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Most of the analysis of the Arab spring revolved around the immediate causes of the events and the role of social media in spreading the protests, in countries that succeeded in toppling their regimes. For this reason, this study adopts a different approach to tackle the long-term development of the Political opportunity structures that set the grounds for the emergence of these movements. To avoid the bias of focusing only on movements that succeeded, the paper compares the conditions of the emergence of the Egyptian movement that toppled the Mubarak regime in eighteen days, to the Moroccan movement that faded after a year of weekly protests. Instead of discussing the immediate context in which the movements appeared, or the course of events that the movements followed, the paper adopts a historical approach to review the pre-colonial, colonial and post-colonial historical, economic and political developments that created different structures of opportunity and threat in each of the two countries.
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