The current regimes in the Arab world are resisting democratic change because of firm security measures maintaining the status quo and ineffective, incapable, and insular opposition movements.
This article discusses xenophobic attitudes in the Arab world, which were evident throughout the celebration of the results achieved by the German national team at the World Cup. It also calls for an honest self assessment and for a serious review of the wrong readings of the other.
Despite the Muslim Brotherhood's original reluctance to embrace political participation, the organization’s parliamentary representation has grown exponentially in recent assemblies, and its participation in politics has grown in tandem.
After seven years, the United States is in the final stages of exiting Iraq. Only 50,000 U.S. troops will remain by the end of August, but the country is far from stable as political squabbling keeps the country gridlocked, the economy is in shambles and violence is once again rising.
Arab countries have made progress since the mid-20th century in a number of basic development goals; however, entrenched authoritarianism has obstructed sustained human development and domestic pressure for reform has been effectively muzzled by incumbent regimes.
A recent U.S. Senate resolution that addresses human rights and civil liberties in Egypt is meant to pressure the regime ahead of upcoming elections, but it is symbolic and not binding.
Although full democracy in the Arab world remains a distant goal, broader participation in the political process, with a marked effect on human development, can be achieved.
Egypt has changed significantly in the past decades, as spheres of public activity that once were off limits -- free media and civil society advocacy -- have become legitimate in the eyes of the government, and even more important, in the eyes of Egyptian citizens.
While Prime Minister Netanyahu was received warmly on his recent visit to Washington, progress on the peace process remains in doubt. If direct negotiations are to resume, the split among Palestinians will hamper—and arguably prevent—the ability of President Abbas to negotiate on behalf of the divided people.
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.