No scenarios for 2012 can be traced, without taking due account of the events of 2011. There is no doubt that last year would be remembered as the year of the “Arab revolts” and there are two different perspectives from which we can look at this: an internal and an external one.
From the inside, it is clear that a breakpoint was reached within the Arab world, the main causes being socio-economic imbalances and political tensions. The ultimate tension is the one among the so-called “secular” (this term having a different meaning within the Islamic context) ideologies, parties, governments, and their religious counterparts. Secularists retained hegemony over the Arab panorama, and, more generally, the Muslim panorama, in the post-colonial era (though some exceptions like Wahhabi Saudi Arabia can be found). However, secularists did not maintain their promises: they did not achieve Arab unity, nor socialism or economic progress, but above all they were not able to face Israel. During the last decades, they ended up in the building of little national regimes, mostly self-referential and cleptocratic.