In this article, Oliver Roy argues that in order to grasp what is happening in the Middle East, a number of deep-rooted prejudices must be set aside. First among them is the assumption that democracy presupposes secularization; the democratization movement in the Arab world came precisely after thirty years of what has been called the “return of the sacred,” an obvious process of re-Islamization of everyday life, coupled with the rise of Islamist parties. The second is the idea that a democrat must also, by definition, be a liberal.
This is the first paper in the BDC-Stanford Project on Arab Transitions series, authored Dr. Tamir Moustafa of Simon Fraser University in Canada and entitled “Drafting Egypt’s New Constitution: Can a New Legal Framework Revive a Flawed Transition?”.
In societies in transition, efforts to resolve deep divisions or fundamental disagreements about the nature of society through constitutional drafting may sharpen political differences and heighten the political salience of controversial issues or social cleavages. Seeking a constitutional resolution of the most contested issues may discourage the development of an approach to political relations in which all parties commit to a vision of the future in which there is an acceptable, or at least bearable role, for all other parties.
تحلل هذه الورقة الخيارات التي تواجه اليمن، والرئيس اليمني علي عبد الله صالح، في ضوء الاحتجاجات الداعية إلى الإصلاح الديمقراطي في البلاد في مطلع العام 2011.
هذه الورقة تطرح وتقيم الخيارات الممكنة للرئيس وتقترح خارطة طريق محتملة كوسيلة لحل الأزمة.
This paper explores the options facing Yemen and President Ali Abdullah Saleh in light of the protests calling for democratic reform in the country in early 2011.
The paper maps out and assesses possible options for President Saleh and proposes a potential roadmap as a way to resolve the crisis.
What accounts for variation in the durability of authoritarian regimes in the post-colonial Middle East? This working paper presents a new explanation that underscores how the geopolitical environment mediated outcomes of domestic conflicts pitting early rulers against social opposition.
The internet is enabling new approaches to public diplomacy. The Digital Outreach Team at the US Department of State is one such initiative, aiming to engage directly with citizens in the Middle East through posting messages about US foreign policy on popular Arabic, Urdu, and Persian language internet forums. This permits them to present the US administration's views on issues related to American foreign policy in a transparent manner. This case study assesses the process and reach of this new method of internet diplomacy.
(excerpt) During democratization’s “third wave,” democracy ceased being a mostly Western phenomenon and “went global.” When the third wave began in 1974, the world had only about 40 democracies, and only a few of them lay outside the West. By the time the Journal of Democracy be- gan publishing in 1990, there were 76 electoral democracies (accounting for slightly less than half the world’s independent states). By 1995, that number had shot up to 117—three in every five states.
In light of the ongoing ‘War on Terror’ and the occupation of Iraq, attention has turned again to how countries such as the United States and Britain can use ‘soft power’ to influence not only domestic communities but also countries in the Middle East and Central Asia. Inevitably, the role of media, whether in the form of radio, television, the internet or film, looms large in such debates.