North African Protests
One perspective, associated with Brian Whitaker and Marc Lynch, holds that these developments could form an early part of a broader wave of protests in the Arab world which could even destabilize long-secure regimes. This perspective needs to be handled carefully. Although authoritarianism and corruption play a role, a larger background issue is the weakness of the global economy. In themselves, these protests, like the wave of strikes in Egypt, have all arisen out of strictly local economic grievances. However, in the age of satellite television, it is possible that a linking narrative will form, one which unites them into a larger struggle. The formation of such a narrative and any sign of popular acceptance is the sign to watch for.