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Abstract

This paper tests the Obama Effect hypothesis with respect to the Arab world. The paper first presents popular uses of the term and then discusses the thin scholarly literature on the topic. For quantitative data, the paper uses longitudinal data from the Annual Arab Public Opinion Poll from 2004 to 2011, with supplemental data from the Pew Research Center. Furthermore, the paper analyzed data on the Arab Spring in the context of a possible Obama Effect and policy implications for the future of U.S. foreign policy. The paper found insufficient support for the hypothesis due to a lack of theoretical foundation or statistical support in the Arab world. It should be noted that this study was limited due to the lack of survey questions tailored to test this specific hypothesis. Lastly, the paper made suggestions for future U.S. foreign policy in the Arab world as well as for future research.

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