December 15, 2004
Middle East Democratization Watch
Ray Takeyh sent in the below piece today. Comments on it welcome (particularly as I've been meaning to blog about the status of the Broader Middle East and North Africa Initiative for about a week now so feedback on Takeyh's take would be helpful in further forming my views). Be sure to read this too. Back later, but don't miss this either.
I'm particularly interested in the timing and relative weight as between economic versus political reforms in the region. Is the China model better--with economic reform preceding political? Or must political reform come first? I think the answer is that, given current realities on the ground (of which more later), we should concentrate on economic liberalization but with concommitant (if more modest, but still material) progress on political reform. But people like Takeyh, and others as one of the links showcases above, are very skeptical of such an approach. Here are some snippets from people who wrote in to the "Across the Bay" blog reacting to some relatively nascent and undeveloped B.D. musings:
"Well, of course the regimes will be comfortable with economic reforms since no one stands to benefit from such movement as much as they do--look at Gamal Mubarak. Economic liberalization without social and political reforms, in the PA oranywhere, is a potential disaster: there are no political reforms in the offing in places like Dubai. I think it's time we started hitting hard at both Arab and Western officials who think economic liberalization is a panacea; rather, it will just further consolidate the elites' hold on power."
"The paradigm of economic reforms coming before and paving the way to political reforms have been tried in Egypt, Jordan, and even Syria over the last few years, and did not work. Lack of public accountability and the corruption of the ruling elite made sure of that. The Morocco Forum is going to be a big failure because more emphasis is going to be put on economic reforms. Seeing that the Bush Administration is now adopting the economic approach, the Europeans can feel quite justified now with their approach to their Medditerranean partners which always emphasized economic reforms over everything else."
Lots to digest here. Here Takeyh's piece in full (which I think is in today's CSM). Throw it into the mix too and comment if inclined.
Flagging winds of American idealism across the Middle East By Ray Takeyh and Nikolas Gvosdev
Posted by Gregory at December 15, 2004 11:36 PM
Reviews of Belgravia Dispatch
--New York Times
--an anonymous blogospheric commenter
UPDATE: Comments re-enabled. Thanks!
The UBL Tape
Wanted: More Troops
Questions Re: a Post-Sharon Israel
Zbigniew Brzezinski Speaks
The Former Secretaries Meet POTUS
DeLay Steps Aside
The Rancid Stench of L'affaire Abramoff
The End of the Sharon Era?
English Language Media
New York Times
The New Yorker
Real Clear Politics
Foreign Affairs Commentariat
Non-English Language Press
Katrina vanden Heuvel
The American Scene
Winds of Change
The Reliable Source
Law & Finance
Bull and Bear Wise
Corporate Counsel Blog
Corp Law Blog
Deal Lawyers Blog
New York Observer
Central and Eastern Europe
Across the Bay
Bliss Street Journal
American in Lebanon
B.D. In the Press
The Sunday Times(UK)"If It Makes America Look Bad It Must Be True, Musn't It?"
The Guardian "Trial and Error"
Online Journalism Review "Feeling Misquoted? Weblogs Transcripts Let the Reader Decide"
Online Journalism Review "Bloggers Rate the Most Influential Blogs" (see chart)
The Sunday Times (UK) "Rise of the Virtual Soapbox"
Middle East-Peace Process
U.S. Foreign Policy