The essay poses the question whether the so-called Arab spring offers the potential to complete the 1989 revolutions. It first discusses what was hoped to be achieved in 1989, and it then argues that the post-1989 arrangements failed to prevent new security challenges from emerging. The Islamist threat came to play the role that the Communist threat had played to the West or the Western threat had played to the East. The essay then turns to the question on what needs to happen if current events are to lead to something better. It argues that there is a need to overcome the legacies of the past and adapt institutions to the global present. The world must move away from nationalist and bloc thinking towards a concept of human security — a concept which came out of the Helsinki Agreements in 1975. The case of the recent intervention in Libya illustrates the need for a human security approach in practice.