Democratic Transition News

Obama: U.S. to Support Democratic Transitions

Feb 13, 2013
On February 12, President Obama pledged to “stand with citizens as they demand their universal rights, and support stable transitions to democracy,” in his State of the Union Address. “We’ll keep the pressure on a Syrian regime that has murdered its own people, and support opposition leaders that respect the rights of every Syrian,” he said.

U.S. Ambassador: Egypt Needs Leadership on Economy

Feb 12, 2013
On February 10, U.S. Ambassador Anne Patterson outlined realistic steps Egypt can take to move forward economically and politically. Elections and constitutions “are not enough,” she told members of Alexandria’s Rotary Club. She stressed the importance of a healthy and active civil society to the country’s democratic transition. Patterson said that Cairo also needs to ensure the protection and political participation of religious minorities and women.

Qatar Bets on Islamists

Feb 07, 2013
Qatar has seized the opportunity of the Arab uprisings to expand its influence across the region. It moved into the vacuum after the revolutions caught the United States and other major powers by surprise. Despite its small size, it now aspires to a play a leading role in Arab politics.

Young Saudis and The Kingdom’s Political Future

Feb 05, 2013
Many young Saudis admire the youthful protesters of Egypt, Tunisia, Yemen, and Bahrain. But they don’t seek to imitate their tactic of massive street protests. One reason why is that they still hope—despite the lack of available evidence—that the Saudi royal family will voluntarily begin to share power with the Saudi people. Presumably then, the government can rest easy? Not necessarily.

Egypt's 2012 Constitution: Devil in the Details, Not in Religion

Feb 01, 2013
Egypt’s new constitution was adopted on December 22, 2012 amid intense political tensions and deep rifts between Islamists and liberal forces. Several articles include a stronger emphasis on religion than the 1971 constitution but its character is largely secular.

Al Qaeda on the Rise in North Africa?

Jan 30, 2013
Al Qaeda and its affiliates may exploit the limited ability of new Arab governments to control their territory, according to the United States Institute of Peace's Dan Brumberg. Now the organization and its affiliates have no incentive to directly challenge the new governments. But they are likely establishing local cells that could pose a security threat.

NPR: Salafis in Tunisia

Jan 29, 2013
The second in an NPR series on ultra-conservative Salafis, the new political force in the Middle East, focuses on Tunisia.

NPR: Salafis in Egypt

Jan 29, 2013
The first in an NPR series on ultra-conservative Salafis, the new political force in the Middle East, focuses on Egypt.

Women’s Rights Under Egypt’s Constitutional Disarray

Jan 17, 2013
Egypt’s post-revolution constitution does not explicitly prohibit discrimination based on gender or religion. It only recognizes women’s domestic role within a family “founded on religion, morality, and patriotism.” Clerics will have the final word over the new laws.

López Maya: La diosificación de Chávez busca legitimar a Maduro

Jan 16, 2013
Margarita López Maya elaborated on the quasi-religious aura that has engulfed Chávez's cult of personhood, which has the potential to circumvent constitutional restraints and legitimate extralegal measures.

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