Tunisia’s 217-member Constituent Assembly must now write a constitution. What are the next stages of institutional reform?
Most Lebanese expect the army to play a stabilizing role should the country experience spillover effects from continued popular unrest in Syria. However, Lebanon’s political forces are increasingly competing to penetrate the army and shape its orientation, undermining its relative independence from sectarian politics.
The trial of 150 Jordanians for terrorism, the largest of its kind in the country’s recent history, shows exactly what is wrong with Jordan’s State Security Court.
With the United States and Europe only half-willing, the international community is incapable of stopping human rights violations in Syria or even helping the opposition.
While the final outcomes of the Arab transitions are far from over, one thing is certain: civil-military relations will be redefined and renegotiated in every country. Arab militaries will inevitably fulfill a more central role in politics, and formalizing this reality may be the only hope for consolidating democratic transitions.
Advocates of al-Maliki’s second term said that Iraq had formed a truly inclusive and effective government. More than a year after parliamentary elections, the country is still crippled by sham ministries and political stalemate.
The continuing uprisings in the Middle East and North Africa have prompted European nations to rethink their relations with the Arab world as well as the frameworks within which pan-Mediterranean cooperation has taken shape.
Fatah and Hamas share a parochial perspective on elections, with each looking to exploit the issue in order to gain the upper hand against its rival and shore up its battered legitimacy.
Syria’s relative lack of civil society freedom might insulate its government from Egyptian style demonstrations for now, while the greater level of contact between the regime and society might protect it from a rebellion akin to Libya’s.
In order for Iraq to maximize petroleum wealth and meet the country’s economic demands, clearer lines of authority between the central government and the regional governments need to be drawn and Baghdad may have to manage resources more directly.
Facing a polarized political atmosphere and the specter of international tribunal findings that are expected to shake Lebanon’s stability, Prime Minister-designate Najib Mikati may not be able to deliver on his promise to create a national unity government.
Prime Minister Bakhit’s mixed record on political reform raises questions about whether his cabinet will implement changes that insulate Jordan from the pressure of mass protests.
Over the past year, various actors in Lebanon were in the midst of a heated debate over a new media law as the country’s disputes played out in the media and concerns over telecommunications infiltration continued to be voiced.
Turkey has greatly expanded its economic and security relationships with its Arab neighbors in a drive to increase its role as regional power, while Arab states retain concerns about ties with the powerful Turkish economy.
In boycotting the November parliamentary elections, the Muslim Brotherhood hopes to avoid becoming politically marginalized and instead to use their outsider status to push an alternative agenda.
The Sadrists' endorsement of Nouri al-Maliki has placed him one step closer to retaining his post as prime minister, yet political wrangling and negotiating have escalated between all major Iraqi parties and a new Iraqi government may not be formed any time soon.
Strengthening the Lebanese army would require the political will to formulate a national defense strategy that includes a serious procurement program.
Syria’s Muslim Brotherhood sees a change in leadership, but will the group change its activities or approach towards the al-Assad regime?
Electoral reforms take a back seat while family and confessional politics continue to dominate in Lebanon.
Will Jordan's proposed electoral reform gain wide public support or will it prove too threatening to the familial and tribal foundation of the Hashemite monarchy?