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University Library, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Arab Spring: Bahrain

This guide aims to direct those who are studying the Arab Spring to relevant Arabic resources within the University of Illinois and in Egypt, Syria, Tunisia, Yemen, Bahrain, Libya, and Sudan.

UIUC Library Resources

Search Strategies

This list of Keywords and phrases will allow you to hone your search for materials on Bahrain during the Arab Spring

  • Pearl Revolution
  • ثورة اللؤلؤ
  • February 14 Revolution
  • ثورة ١٤ فبراير
  • Bahrain Protests
  • احتجاجات البحرين
  • "Arab Spring" Bahrain "
  • الربيع العربي" البحرين
  • Bahrain Revolt
  • ثورة البحرين
  • Saudi Arabia role in Bahrain Uprising
  • دور المملكة العربية السعودية في انتفاضة البحرين
  • Bahrain Uprising
  • انتفاضة البحرين
  • Demographics role in Bahrain Uprising
  • دور التركيبة السكانية في انتفاضة البحرين

Search Avenues

Bahrain البحرين


Protests in Bahrain began on February 14th, 2011,  and largely consisted of members of the Shia majority demanding expanded political freedom and participation. However, a police raid on the 17th of February, in which several protestors died, led to the steady escalation of hostilities between the government and the protestors. In time, some protestors expanded their goals from reform to the ending of the Bahraini monarchy. Intense protests continued into March, during which time protestors and police clashed almost daily. The most intense period of demonstrations ended in mid-March of 2011, when the Saudi Arabian government, responding to the Bahrain monarchy's request for aid, sent 1,000 troops into the country.

Protests continued into 2014, though without the wide scale and energy of the earlier protests. A notable exception to this was in December of 2013, when a large number of protests were organized to coincide with forty-second anniversary of Bahraini independence and the two-and-a-half year anniversary of the 2011 protests.

The tactics used by the Bahraini government to suppress protestors have received international attention and condemnation. The Bahrain Independent Commission of Inquiry concluded that the government had used systematic torture, psychological abuse, and committed other human rights violations in response to the 2011 uprising. (report linked below)


Good Resources for Getting Started

Important Libraries in Bahrain


Covering Bahrain: How the Arab Media Told the Story of the Bahraini Protests

AlRashed, Shaima Y. Howard University, ProQuest, UMI Dissertations Publishing, 2012. 3543740.


How statescraft employed by the al-Khalifa monarchy obstructs democratic reform in order to maintain regime stability in Bahrain: a historical review

Kalwaic, John Kerr. Temple University, ProQuest, UMI Dissertations Publishing, 2012. 1533303.


One Hand: Military Structure and Middle East Revolts

Burns, Sean. Northwestern University, ProQuest, UMI Dissertations Publishing, 2013. 3595563.


Religion and the evolution of democracy: A revised Selectorate Model for the Arab Spring

Bagherpour, Amir. The Claremont Graduate University, ProQuest, UMI Dissertations Publishing, 2012. 3512471.