Moqtada al-Sadr’s decision to support Nouri al-Maliki’s quest for a second term as Iraqi prime minister has given new impetus to negotiations over the formation of a new government but it has not solved any of the underlying obstacles preventing the creation of a politically viable government.
While regime supporters claim that the public is against the idea of international monitoring, there is growing support from opposition movements and broad sectors of the Egyptian public in favor of international electoral monitors as a safeguard against election fraud.
Democratic transformation and improved human rights in the Arab world have been stymied not only by authoritarian regimes and a lack of pressure from the West, but also by a number of social, political, and cultural obstacles to democratisation that exist within Arab society.
The Egyptian parliamentary elections in 2010 and the presidential succession question offer a valuable opportunity to understand the regime’s preferences on striking a balance between stability and the urgent need for reform.
The Arab world is trapped between two major forces—an entrenched political establishment that lacks checks and balances and Islamist movements who are often militant and whose commitment to political diversity is often suspect.
The relative plurality found in both Egypt and Lebanon is rare in the Arab world; politicians and media officials in both countries should embrace this rich pluralistic characteristic instead of seeking to undermine it.
Without addressing Yemen's immediate security challenges—including a civil war in the North, a secessionist movement in the South, and a resurgent al-Qaeda organization—the country's long-term economic and governance issues cannot be resolved.
As Islamist movements in the Arab world become more politically active, they are struggling to pursue their moral and religious agenda under unfriendly or repressive regimes.
The international Muslim Brotherhood is not a rigid and disciplined organization with control over its local branches; instead, it is better understood as a framework of loosely linked, ideologically similar movements.
Palestinian Prime Minister Fayyad’s program to build a Palestinian state despite occupation and internal division does not offer a solution to the deeper problems afflicting Palestinian politics.