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A protester carrying the pre-Gaddafi Libyan flag. Picture: Collin Anderson

For those, like me, who have an enduring appetite for politics, the Middle East and the Gulf provided a feast even before the spate of popular revolts. The uprisings, as much about economics as politics, are an inevitable result of globalisation. As borders collapse, there is a freer flow of ideas, people and information—as well as trade and investment—and a growing convergence of values, aspiration and demands. This process does not make us all identical but it does make those denied the basics of income, respect and a vote more…

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