A review of Tunisia: An Arab Anomaly by Safwan M. Masri.
In the aftermath of the Arab Spring, democracy in the Arab world seems farther away today than at any point in the last 25 years. If it is to ever arrive, it will likely be through a more evolutionary and elite-driven process.
A review of Temptations of Power: Islamists and Illiberal Democracy in a New Middle East by Shadi Hamid.
Popular uprisings have occurred only in some Arab states and in even fewer have authoritarian rulers been overthrown. What factors allow us to predict whether an authoritarian regime will be vulnerable?
Egyptians threw off the thirty-year dictatorship of Hosni Mubarak, but now find themselves under essentially the same military tutelage that they had hoped to escape.
The journalistic and policy communities have been alive with speculation as to whether Islamist groups involved in politics—including Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood and Palestine’s Hamas— are true believers in democracy or calculating pragmatists who, in Steven Cook’s words, are “seeking to use democratic procedures in order to advance an antidemocratic agenda.”