Published online by Cambridge University Press: 30 September 2013
More than two years after the heady days of protest and uprising that characterized the Arab Spring, the glow of revolution has given way to the intricacies and complications of regime building. Coalitions are being formed, constitutions written, judiciaries vetted, and security services (re)built. As collective attention focuses on these complexities of regime restructuring, it is worth noting that a fundamental security paradox sits at the heart of transitions in the Middle East and North Africa. On one hand, individuals who hit the streets or battlefields in support of revolution in 2011 did so in the belief that a new form of government would improve their political, social, and economic security over the long term. On the other hand, subsequent (and ongoing) efforts to draft new rules of the political game have triggered internal conflicts and, on occasion, those conflicts have compromised citizens' physical security over the short term.