In the four cases of revolutionary “success”, celebrants soon realized that the strongman’s exit was not a moment of victory but the opening scene in a more protracted struggle to shape the post-authoritarian order. The chapter introduces the structure versus agency explanations of the literature. Pacted transitions are, if not more likely to produce democracy, at least more likely to produce peaceful transitions. The chapter questions why pacts seem to have succeeded in some places and not in others. For many scholars of the Arab Spring, the answer has been found in the attributes of the political actors themselves. This chapter describes the transition processes in Egypt, Tunisia, Libya, and Yemen, and then traces the balance of power in the core cases between the military, liberals, democrats, Islamic groups, and civil society. It also highlights the elections and election results of the focus cases.
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