Democratisation in the Middle East
168 pages

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The main aim of the book is to provide a forum for opinions held by Arabs who are neither Western puppets nor fanatical nationalists or Islamists, but rather academics with a vast knowledge of the Middle East as well as of the West. The authors all support the building of a democratic secular Middle East, but their writings also show that although there is no easy way to achieve this goal, neither is there any excuse for not making the attempt. Contributors: Nader Fergany author of the Arab Human Development Reports; Raymond Hinnebusch professor of International Relations and Middle East Politics, University of St. Andrews; Yezid Sayigh consultant to the international donor community in Palestine; Samir Aita Syrian scholar and dissident; Graham Usher British journalist; Hanan Rabbani Palestinian consultant for Amnesty International; Mai Yamani (Saudi Arabia) research fellow with the Middle East Programme at the Royal Institute of International Affairs, Chatham House; Fowziyah Abu-Khalid Saudi sociologist; Amal Shlash Iraq; Huda Al-Nu'aimi Iraq; Jgen S. Nielsen Professor, director of the Danish Institute in Damascus.



Publié par
Date de parution 01 décembre 2005
Nombre de lectures 0
EAN13 9788779349117
Langue English
Poids de l'ouvrage 1 Mo

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Democratisation in the Middle East Dilemmas and Perspectives
Aarhus University Press
Democratisation in the Middle East
Dilemmas and Perspectives
Dîlemmas and Perspectîves
Copyrîght © The authors and Aarhus Unîversîty Press 2005 Edîted by Bîrgîtte Rahbek Graphîc desîgn and cover by Jørgen Sparre ISBN 87 7934 911 0
Aarhus Unîversîty Press
Langeandsgade 177 DK-8200 Aarhus N Fax (+45) 89 42 53 80 www.unî
Whîte Cross Mîs Hîghtown Lancaster LA1 4Xs
Box 511 Oakvîe, CT 06779 Fax (+1) 860 945 9468
Introductîon: Dîemmas of democratîsatîon în the Mîdde East Bîrgîtte Rahbek, edîtor
The UNDP’s Arab Human Deveopment Reports and theîr readîngs Nader Fergany
Prospects for democratîsatîon în the Mîdde East Raymond Hînnebusch
US and European support to democratîc reform: The înten-tîons and practîces as seen from the Mîdde East Yezîd Sayîgh
Do Europe and the USA reay want democratîc reforms în Syrîa? Samîr Aîta
The crîses în the Paestînîan Natîona Movement and the strugge for Paestînîan democracy Graham Usher
A Paestînîan vîew on the roe of Western NGOs în promotîng democracy and especîay women’s rîghts în the Mîdde East Hanan Rabbanî
The îmîts of poîtîca reform în Saudî Arabîa Maî Yamanî
Amerîcan and Western poîtîca înîtîatîves în the Mîdde East: Chaenges of democratîsatîon în the Mîdde East – Case study of Saudî Arabîa Fowzîyah Abu-Khalîd
Democratîsatîon în future Iraq Amal Shlash
The democratîc dîemmas în Iraq Huda Al-Nu’aîmî
Isamophobîa în Europe and îts împact on the push for democratîsatîon în the Arab word Jørgen S. Nîelsen
Introduction Dîlemmas of democratîsatîon în the Mîddle East
Democracy has been on the agenda în the Arab word for severa dec-ades, most partîcuary în the 1960s and 1970s when ît was propagated by progressîve and secuar natîona opposîtîon movements and partîes – ony to ind no support în the West whîch, durîng the cod war, coud ony conceîve of one enemy, the Communîsts or Socîaîsts. Instead, the West supported and armed one authorîtarîan and repressîve regîme after another, shîppîng weapons of mass destructîon and ogîstîcs to dîctators. Socîaîsts and pan-Arabîsts were seen as threatenîng eements, whîe the rîsîng fundamentaîsts were consîdered a harmess counterweîght. In the case of Afghanîstan, however, the fundamentaîsts or Isamîsts were mîîtarîsed and gobaîsed by the West and set agaînst the învadîng Sovîet troops who were inay defeated and wîthdrew, eavîng behînd them tens of thousands of unempoyed Mujahedeen eager for new expoîts. A snake had been fostered at the împerîa breast. When the Isamîsts turned agaînst theîr former sponsors and mas-ters, democracy suddeny became the buzzword în the Western cor-rîdors of power, from whence ît aîmed more at foes than at frîends în the Mîdde East. However, the creatîon of a Western stye democracy, î.e. one man – and woman! – one vote în the Mîdde East, mîght ead to poîtîca structures dîfferent from the maeabe and compîant ones favoured by the West. The ong decades of despotîsm, corruptîon, and nepotîsm made ît very îkey that such a democracy woud produce what the West now despîsed and feared most of a, an Isamîst antî-Western natîonaîst regîme. Nevertheess the majorîty of Arabs (61 percent accordîng to Word
8 Vaues Survey în ive Arab countrîes, Agerîa, Jordan, Saudî Arabîa, D E M O C R A T I S A T I O N I N T H E M I D D L E E A S T Egypt and Morocco) favour democracy over other poîtîca systems, whîch îs a hîgher percentage than that found în 16 European countrîes and by far exceeds the igures în the US, Canada, Austraîa, and New Zeaand. Yet ît îs the West that wants to export democracy to the Arab word în genera and to the Mîdde East în partîcuar, be ît the Amerî-can “Broader Mîdde East and North Afrîca Inîtîatîve” or the Danîsh “Wîder Mîdde East Inîtîatîve”. Both înîtîatîves were înspîred by the attacks on New York and Washîngton on September 11, 2001 but are not desîgned în such a way as to fui the democratîc aspîratîons of the Arab peopes. One of the mîstakes of the West has been a tendency to consîder the Arab word a statîc entîty that shoud be pushed – by mîîtary or economîc means – towards democracy. And one of the mîstakes of the Arab word has been to bame everythîng on others, be ît the US, the West în genera, or Israe în partîcuar. The essays în thîs book transcend both of these erroneous vîews and dea înstead wîth both the externa and the înterna forces that are împedîng or promotîng democracy în the Arab word. The new Western mantra demandîng democracy has often been met wîth mutîpe accusatîons of doube standards: “Why în Iraq and not în Saudî Arabîa?”; “Why shoud Syrîa compy wîth the UN resou-tîons and not Israe?” and “Why îs the atter aowed to have weapons of mass destructîon and not the Arab countrîes?” Often raîsed yet never answered, these questîons are on every Arab cîtîzen’s mînd, and no pan for democracy and no amount of money can do away wîth them; at the end of the day they wî have to be answered adequatey and justy. Therefore ît îs out of the questîon to put the îssue of the occupatîon of Iraq and Paestîne asîde and go ahead wîth busîness as usua wîth other Arab countrîes – as was the înîtîa pan of, for exampe, the Danîsh government. No matter how forthcomîng theîr eaders are, the peope stî demand justîce and, surprîsîngy to some, no matter how dîctatorîa the eaders mîght be, theîr peope stî hod them accountabe to some degree at east. Even a dîctator has to îsten to the street. Furthermore the Arab word îs, în îts own fragmented way, stî an entîty. Men and women în the streets of Rabat or Damascus do fee an
afiîatîon and empathy wîth the men and women în the ruîns of Fa-uja or Jenîn. The daîy înjustîces împosed upon these peope by theîr own ruers are repeated în the evenîng on TV, whîch shows pîctures of occupatîon sodîers kîckîng în doors în Mosu or Ramaah. Yet athough the countrîes of the Mîdde East are changîng, poîtî-cay drîven by înterna forces, these current reform processes face a number of chaenges. Internay, poîtîca opposîtîon partîes and fac-tîons, dîssîdents and NGOs are subject to varyîng degrees of contro and contaînment by regîmes whose popuar egîtîmacy remaîns îmîted. Whîe some of the regîmes have started a dîaogue wîth reform-orî-ented organîsatîons and poîtîca factîons, ît remaîns to be seen whether thîs wî generay resut în comprehensîve and endurîng reforms and popuar partîcîpatîon. Furthermore, externa actors – partîcuary the Unîted States and to some degree Europe – are seekîng înluence on the poîtîca andscape of the Mîdde East, based on the notîon that promotîng democracy îs the key to stabîîty and prosperîty în the regîon. However, these efforts are mîstrusted by arge sectîons of the Arab pubîc, partîcuary în the wake of the US-ed învasîon of Iraq. Therefore the questîon îs whether the approach represented by the West îs approprîate and, îf not, what aternatîves are avaîabe. In eary February 2005 The Pum Foundatîon arranged a confer-ence în Copenhagen în order to present “a vîew from the Mîdde East” on the dîemmas of democratîsatîon în the area. The conference brought together a number of îndependent experts from Iraq, Saudî Arabîa, Syrîa and Paestîne, as we as a few Western schoars who for decades have been doîng research, not ony în and about the Arab word, but aso among Musîms în Europe. The authors a focus on the chaenges and possîbîîtîes arîsîng from the atest deveopments în the regîon and the word at arge. Thîs anthoogy relects the îdeas and anayses presented at the conference and the chapters provîde a broad and nuanced pîcture of the dîemmas of democratîsatîon în the Mîdde East. The maîn aîm of the book îs to provîde a forum for opînîons hed by Arabs who are neîther Western puppets nor fanatîca natîonaîsts or Isamîsts, but rather academîcs wîth a vast knowedge of the Mîd-de East as we as of the West. The authors a support the buîdîng
9 D E M O C R A T I S A T I O N I N T H E M I D D L E E A S T |
10 of a democratîc secuar Mîdde East, but theîr wrîtîngs aso show that D E M O C R A T I S A T I O N I N T H E M I D D L E E A S T athough there îs no easy way to achîeve thîs goa, there are îkewîse no easy excuses for not makîng the attempt. The book coud be seen as compementary to the atestArab Human Development Reportand, as such, a much needed antîdote to the sea of unfounded optîmîsm as to the democratîc outcome of the war în Iraq, as we as to the outcome of the varîous Mîdde Eastern “peace” înîtîa-tîves.  In the irst chapterNader Fergany – the ead author of theArab Human Development Reports– deas wîth the indîngs of these reports. Present Arab regîmes have faîed to deîver the goods to whîch the Arab peope aspîre both în terms of freedom – în the broadest sense of the word – and good governance, as we as concernîng the mînîmum deinî-tîon of deveopment, namey economîc growth. Nader Fergany outînes the future scenarîos that are open to the Arab word, 1) a contînuatîon of the status quo, î.e. “the împendîng dîsaster scenarîo”; recent deveop-ments în Egypt seem to conirm thîs vîewpoînt. 2) “Theépanouîssement scenarîo” wîth a redîstrîbutîon of power, buîdîng of good governance, tota respect of the key freedoms of opînîon, expressîon and assemby, whîch agaîn woud ead to a hîgher eve of cîvî partîcîpatîon. 3) Rea-îstîcay speakîng, however, thîs thîrd scenarîo mîght îe somewhere between these two extremes. In Fergany’s vîew there îs no contradîctîon between Isam and freedom, and outsîde mîîtary înterference, as în the case of Iraq, îs counterproductîve because one cannot îberate a peope by deprîvîng them of natîona îberatîon. In chapter 2Raymond Hînnebusch,professor of Internatîona Rea-tîons and Mîdde East Poîtîcs at the Unîversîty of St. Andrews, dîscusses the structura condîtîons for democratîsatîon în the Mîdde East. A secure natîona îdentîty îs often consîdered a prerequîsîte for democra-tîsatîon, but the Arab states have strugged wîth borders beîng arbîtrar-îy împosed on them rather than beîng congruent wîth oca îdentîty. Therefore oyaty to trîbe and sect as we as to supra-state îdentîtîes (Arabîsm, Isam) has competed powerfuy wîth oyaty to the state, and overcomîng thîs dîsunîty – rather than estabîshîng democracy – has been gîven prîorîty by the eaders of these weak states. The same îs true of the maîn popuar poîtîca movements – pan-Arabîsts and poîtîca
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