PROGRESS IN GEOGRAPHY ›› 2019, Vol. 38 ›› Issue (6): 930-940.doi: 10.18306/dlkxjz.2019.06.013

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“Political public opinion forces” in political changes of the Middle East and North Africa and their geopolitical influences

Liran XIONG1,2,3(), Baoqiang LIU1,2,*(), Youde WU1,2, Meiying JIANG1,2   

  1. 1. School of Tourism and Geography Science, Yunnan Normal University, Kunming 650500, China
    2. Research Center for Southwest China's Opening-up and Borderland Security, Yunnan Normal University, Kunming 650500, China
    3. Center for Bay of Bengal Area Studies, Yunnan Normal University, Kunming 650500, China
  • Received:2018-10-06 Revised:2019-01-27 Online:2019-06-28 Published:2019-06-27
  • Contact: Baoqiang LIU;
  • Supported by:
    National Natural Science Foundation of China, No. 41561033,41861028 and 41261034;Major Project of National Social Science Foundation of China, No. 16ZDA041;Philosophy and Social Science Innovation Team Construction Project of Yunnan Province, No. 2017CX07;Open Fund Project of Center for Cambodia Studies of Yunnan Normal University, No. 2018JPZ003.


Based on the definition of "public opinion," "political public opinion," and "political public opinion forces" and taking discourse power and geopolitical imagination of critical geopolitics as methodology, this study mainly analyzed the formation and impacts of "political public opinion forces" in the political changes of countries in the Middle East and North Africa region from 2010 to 2015. The research results show that the "political public opinion forces" formed against a profound domestic background in the countries of the Middle East and North Africa as well as the international context. Their formation experienced the following process: beginning with the appearance of public opinion events, then moving on to the gathering of people and the rise to political issues, and ending with the domestic and foreign forces finding agents and forming the political powers to incite, protest, and push forward the political changes. After the formation of "political public opinion forces" and under the tactics of various actors, the "political public opinion incidents" expanded at home and aboard while it spread spatially from south and north in herringbone trajectory. As the pivotal actor among the various actors, "political public opinion forces" on the one hand caused the successive political changes of related countries in the Middle East and North Africa. It on the other hand further promoted the differentiating and restructuring of regional geopolitical relations. This is a meaningful attempt to interpret and analyze public opinion events with geopolitical theory.

Key words: "political public opinion forces", geopolitical influence, the Middle East and North Africa