Cover: Building Democracy on the Ashes of Authoritarianism in the Arab World

Building Democracy on the Ashes of Authoritarianism in the Arab World

Workshop Summary

Published Jul 29, 2013

by Laurel E. Miller, Jeffrey Martini


Download Free Electronic Document

Full Document

FormatFile SizeNotes
PDF file 0.1 MB

Use Adobe Acrobat Reader version 10 or higher for the best experience.

بناء الديمقراطية على أنقاض السلطوية في العالم العربي: موجَز ورشة عمل

Arabic language version

FormatFile SizeNotes
PDF file 0.2 MB

Use Adobe Acrobat Reader version 10 or higher for the best experience.


Purchase Print Copy

 Format Price
Add to Cart Paperback8 pages $9.95

After popular uprisings toppled authoritarian leaders in Tunisia, Egypt, and Libya in 2011 and precipitated a negotiated power transfer in Yemen in 2012, it quickly became commonplace to observe that ousting a disliked regime was easier than replacing it with something better. The challenges that come after regime change — building new, more open political systems and responding to popular expectations of improved living conditions — have come to the fore. Political and social upheavals have been on full display as politicians, activists, and publics at large have struggled to define new rules for wielding government power and new relationships between states and societies. Against this backdrop, the RAND Corporation and the Ankara-based International Strategic Research Organization jointly convened a workshop in Istanbul, Turkey, on April 24, 2013, to provide a private setting in which policymakers, opinion leaders, and experts from Arab countries could reflect collaboratively on how to overcome obstacles to democratization. Participants came from Egypt, Tunisia, Libya, Yemen, Syria, and Jordan, and included political party leaders, former ministers, current officials and senior political advisers, heads of research institutions, academics, and columnists. Participants' political affiliations varied considerably on the ideological spectrum, though the nature of the discussions was notably pragmatic rather than ideological. The workshop focused on four main topics: approaches to developing new political systems and political parties; security threats to democratization; the role of regional neighbors and the international community in supporting democratization; and lessons that can be learned from past experiences in other parts of the world.

The April 24, 2013, workshop summarized in this publication was made possible in part by a generous contribution to the RAND Corporation from Charles Zwick. Funding for the workshop and this publication also came through RAND's continuing program of self-initiated independent research.

This report is part of the RAND conference proceeding series. RAND conference proceedings present a collection of papers delivered at a conference or a summary of the conference.

This document and trademark(s) contained herein are protected by law. This representation of RAND intellectual property is provided for noncommercial use only. Unauthorized posting of this publication online is prohibited; linking directly to this product page is encouraged. Permission is required from RAND to reproduce, or reuse in another form, any of its research documents for commercial purposes. For information on reprint and reuse permissions, please visit

RAND is a nonprofit institution that helps improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis. RAND's publications do not necessarily reflect the opinions of its research clients and sponsors.