Democratic Transition News
Feb 28, 2013
The most important achievement of Egyptian women over the past year is their emergence as a formidable and active voting block of 23 million voters. Moreover, women broke many taboos by camping out in the streets alongside men, challenging traditional expectations of their behavior.
Feb 27, 2013
The rise of Islamist parties in the aftermath of the Arab uprisings took most by surprise, including in some cases the Islamist parties themselves, which were more successful than they dared to hope. But the success of Islamist parties, coupled with the disarray of the secular opposition, augurs poorly for democracy.
Feb 25, 2013
Turkey’s ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) offers a moderate political model that may be attractive to Arab Islamists, according to a new report by The Brookings Institution. The AKP promotes Islamic values without seeking to establish an Islamic state by embracing “passive secularism.” Islamist parties in Tunisia and Morocco are already close to the AKP model, since neither party calls for a constitutional reference to Sharia, or Islamic law.
Feb 19, 2013
Commenting on Enrique Pena Nieto's new crime strategy, Fellow Steven Dudley said, "Certainly this speech was an attempt to check off a number of boxes and differentiate himself from the Felipe Calderon administration, which many widely viewed as a failure with regards to the fight against organized crime... These are incredibly difficult things to resolve. Putting $9 billion towards this would be a great step in a different direction, in a softer direction... However... I don't think we can expect much transparency with regards to how the money is implemented and the results that we will get from those particular programs."
Feb 14, 2013
Tunisians want their government to focus on employment, economic development and security, according to a new poll by The International Republican Institute. Some 77 percent of respondents said Tunisia is moving in the wrong direction.
Feb 14, 2013
Ennahda, the moderate Islamist party leading Tunisia’s coalition government, has prudently managed radical religious groups through dialogue, persuasion and co-optation, according to a new report by the International Crisis Group. But the recent assassination of opposition politician Chokri Belaid has thrown the country into a crisis, and raised the threat of violence.
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.
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.
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.
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.