The West should not restrict its democracy promotion efforts only to those countries that are perceived as already having the institutional, social, and economic framework needed for a true democracy.
A year after President Obama called for a new beginning in U.S. relations with the Muslim world, it is still unclear how important human rights are for Washington’s policies in the Arab world. Is it possible for the U.S. to engage with governments in the region and consistently defend human rights?
With budget deficits on the rise, the Middle East and North Africa’s oil importing countries must reform their fuel subsidy programs, which benefit the rich more than the poor and waste fiscal resources.
The private sector has become the main driver of growth in the Middle East and North Africa, but more consistent and equitable regulations are needed to transform the region into a diversified, high-performance economy.
The forthcoming elections may lead to an unprecedented change in Egypt’s political scene. But whether the opposition actors will be able to push for greater political reform, and whether the regime will let them, remains to be seen.
Turkey is one of the most economically and politically powerful states in the Middle East and it has recently been taking steps to fill the leadership vacuum that exists in the region.
Obama's Cairo speech had the admirable goal of improving relations with the Muslim world, but the administration has focused almost exclusively on building bridges with leaders and governments rather than supporting political and human rights.
The reactions of Arab politicians, writers, and journalists to the Israeli raid on a flotilla of humanitarian aid have diverted public debate in the Arab world and undermined efforts to help Gaza.
The involvement of Islamist movements across the Arab world in official political processes has given rise to concerns over the nature and potential repercussions of their participation.
Egypt’s role in the Middle East is falling as perceptions grow that the former power is preoccupied with its own domestic affairs. The election cycle currently under way will help define the extent to which those perceptions become reality.