Arab Spring Revolutions Have Not Yet Created Democracies, but Democratization Is Possible
Jul 17, 2012
Daunting challenges lie ahead for Arab countries where revolutions have upended longstanding authoritarian regimes. This monograph aims to help policymakers understand the challenges ahead, form well-founded expectations, shape diplomatic approaches, and take practical steps to foster positive change.
Prospects and Lessons from Around the Globe
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Daunting challenges lie ahead for Arab countries where revolutions have upended longstanding authoritarian regimes. These unexpected events created new uncertainties in a troubled region: Would the Arab Spring lead to a flowering of democracy? Would loosening of the political systems in these countries unleash dangerous forces of extremism or ethno-sectarian conflict? Would new autocrats replace the old ones? Through a comparative analysis of past democratization experiences throughout the world over nearly four decades and a detailed look at recent uprisings in the Arab world, Democratization in the Arab World aims to help policymakers understand the challenges ahead, form well-founded expectations, shape diplomatic approaches, and take practical steps to foster positive change. The monograph explores the conditions and decisions that are most likely to influence whether democratization succeeds in Arab countries undergoing political transitions. It identifies the main challenges to democratization in these countries; analyzes how countries in Europe, Latin America, Asia, and Africa have dealt with similar challenges in the past; and suggests what the United States and broader international community can do to help strengthen fledgling democracies in the Arab world.
Concepts and Context
Democratization and Democracy Promotion: Trends, Theories, and Practices
The Arab World on the Eve of Change
From the Arab Winter to the Arab Spring
The Regime Transition in Tunisia and Emerging Challenges
The Regime Transition in Egypt and Emerging Challenges
Democratization Experiences Throughout the World
Eastern Europe and the Post-Soviet Space
Lessons from Past Transitions and Policy Implications
Detailed Data on Changes in the Number of Countries and Democracy Scores in Eastern Europe and the Post-Soviet Space, 1990–2009
"Democratization in the Arab World is both a valuable contribution to the literature on transition and an essential guide for understanding the Arab Spring. While fully recognizing the immense challenges that lie ahead, it argues convincingly for a policy of sustained yet prudent support for the process of democratic transformation that is now only beginning to unfold."
- Carl Gershman, President of the National Endowment for Democracy
"Democratization in the Arab World is an excellent book that fills a need for concise profiles of democratic transitions and the lessons that can be drawn from them. It breaks new ground in very deliberately, thoughtfully, and parsimoniously applying the lessons of theory and experience to the transition processes underway in the Arab world. This book has both academic integrity and great practical value."
- Larry Diamond, Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University, and founding co-editor of the Journal of Democracy
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