The enduring challenges the Egyptian regime has encountered are likely to pave the way for another revolutionary wave, whose instruments and ultimate goals may well exceed those of the revolution of January 25, 2011.
On December 12, for the first time in the history of Saudi Arabia, women are going to the polls nationwide to elect their local representatives and even stand as candidates. It has been a long time coming partly because of strong opposition from the ultra-conservative religious establishment and partly, too, because of a lack of interest among Saudi women to get involved in politics.
One key byproduct of the Arab Spring is the increased regionalization of political and security dynamics across the Middle East and North Africa region. As the five-year anniversary approaches, the region is awash in crosscutting and overlapping challenges from which no states are immune. Extremism is spreading, refugees proliferating, and interventionism transforming domestic conflicts into regional wars. As we gaze into the crystal ball and ponder what the next five years have in store, it will behoove us to think of the Middle East as one, interconnected system where the fates of its member states are intertwined and interdependent.
The collapse of central authority in both Syria and Iraq, coupled with the rise of a growing number of non-state actors, has given rise to much speculation about the future of the Levant and the end of at least some of the states formed after World War I. The first of a long series of agreements that defined the post-Ottoman Levant was one reached by a British and a French diplomat, Mark Sykes and Francois Georges-Picot, in 1916. The “end of Sykes-Picot” has become the short hand for speculation about a possible reconfiguration of the states of the Levant.
Morocco’s latest elections were ground-breaking, because for the first time citizens were allowed to vote for local and regional representatives directly. The results of these regional and local council elections show Morocco as an emerging democracy. They also indicate people’s greater understanding of what elections mean and attest to a general renewal of trust in public matters.
In this paper, Mauricio Merino discusses Mexico's fight against corruption and reviews the ongoing reforms to promote transparency and curtail corruption. This paper is available in both English and Spanish.
Although Botswana ranked 31st of 174 countries on the latest version of Transparency International’s Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI), and Cape Verde (42th), Seychelles (43rd), Mauritius (47th), and Lesotho, Namibia, and Rwanda (all 55th) followed with comparatively high scores, 22 African countries are among the 50 lowest performing in the world on both the CPI and the comparable World Bank Control of Corruption (WBCC) indicator. Rwanda and Liberia (94th on the CPI) are among countries that have dramatically reduced corruption, and their examples demonstrate how committed leadership can reduce corrupt practices and enhance prosperity, economic growth, and positive priorities.
Despite the ongoing conflict in Yemen, civil society organizations (CSOs) inside the country have significant capacity not only to mitigate the civil war but also to assist in rebuilding once the conflict is over. For historical reasons CSOs in Yemen have more space to monitor developments, advocate for greater accountability, and help the country grow and prosper..
In CWIHP e-Dossier No. 64, "CIA Covert Book Program: Book Programs in Poland," author Paweł Sowiński traces the CIA covert book program that funneled forbidden literature from West to East between 1956 and 1990. Sowiński focuses on the intermediaries, distributors, and smugglers who carried this contraband across borders.