Speaking on the Tavis Smiley Show, Carnegie’s Marwan Muasher discussed his new book The Second Arab Awakening: And the Battle for Pluralism, which argues that democracy can flourish in the Middle East, but will take decades and will require major political and cultural change. Once the political space has been opened, Muasher said, it is up to the people to take it to democratic ends. People have to roll up their sleeves and work towards putting in place democratic institutions that would ensure that the results will be pluralistic systems, he argued.
In a country like Tunisia, Muasher explained, they acknowledged from the beginning that all forces of society needs to be included in the process towards democracy, whereas in Egypt, all major forces attempted to rule in an exclusionist manner.
With 70 percent of the Arab world under 30 years of age, Muasher said, the young generation believes in democracy and pluralism and the right of all forces to operate. “You have a young generation which understands what it take,” he argued, “being exposed to the outside world [and] understands what it takes to build stable and prosperous systems.”