In an article published by World Affairs, Carl Gershman writes:
Since the uprisings of the Arab Spring in 2011, an Arab Winter of authoritarian backlash has swept across the Middle East. The setbacks in the Middle East have actually been part of a global phenomenon of authoritarian resurgence that has been marked by increased repression in Russia and China, as well as by setbacks to democracy in smaller countries like Venezuela, Azerbaijan, Turkey and Thailand. But the authoritarian resurgence has been more pronounced in the Middle East than in other regions. Indeed, according to Freedom House, 12 of 18 countries in the Middle East are more repressive today than they were before the Arab Spring uprisings.