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.
The Gaza flotilla incident highlights not only the unsustainability of the closure of Gaza, but also the unsustainability of the U.S. position discouraging reconciliation between the Palestinian factions, Fatah and Hamas.
The formation of a new Iraqi government may still be months away, not because the issues to be negotiated will take time, but because serious negotiations do not appear to have started yet.
ElBaradei's movement for change is redefining political activism in Egypt and in the process presenting legal opposition parties with difficult choices.
The popularity of Sayyid Qutb among some members of the Muslim Brotherhood may speak to a desire to pull the Brotherhood back from its broad social and political work and refocus its efforts on reforming society through a more elitist approach.
Switzerland and Lebanon are both complex multi-communal societies, and they both have a long history of trying to manage pluralism, sometimes with more success than others.
Islamist parties have learned to communicate better through their engagement with the political process, but so far their participation in electoral and parliamentary activities has resulted in few concrete benefits.
The Yemeni government is mired in an unwinnable and sporadic civil conflict in the northern governorate of Saada that has weakened the central government, accelerated the economic crisis, and threatens global stability by emboldening al-Qaeda.
Opposition activity is heating up in Egypt as the country heads for parliamentary elections this fall and a presidential election in 2011. What ramifications will this activity have on the Egyptian political system?
The post-election phase in Iraq appears even more difficult than anticipated, postponing improvements in Iraq’s long-term security and economic development.