• Research

    Evaluating Political Reform in Yemen

    In a region dominated by single-party authoritarian regimes, some experts concluded that the opposition's success in the Yemeni 2006 presidential election marked major democratic reform. But did the election truly indicate a shift toward substantial political reform, or was the regime simply allowing minor electoral freedoms while seeking to maintain the status quo? 

    • Commentary

    Roadmap to Nowhere

    The International Quartet Committee's proposed roadmap to Israeli-Palestinian peace lacks enforcement mechanisms and wrongly focuses on security issues as preconditions for political progress, argues Sufyan Alissa. Organising internal Palestinian affairs is useless if Israeli policies of building settlements, the separation wall, of controlling natural resources and imposing closures, continue.

    • Research

    Pushing Toward Party Politics? Kuwait's Islamic Constitutional Movement

    The political arm of the Kuwaiti Muslim Brotherhood may soon have more political influence than most of its sister movements, yet must strike a balance between building a broad political coalition and pursuing its goal of Islamization – a vision challenged by some political actors. How will this affect future democratic reforms, as well as the Brotherhood’s goal of a more Islamic society? 

    • Testimony

    Democracy Promotion in Central Asia: From High Expectations to Disillusionment

    None of the five Central Asian states have fulfilled the democratic aspirations that were held by their citizens some fifteen years ago, not to mention the aspirations held by people like us, outside observers, the analysts and activists that are gathered at this meeting.

    • Commentary

    Economic Reform A Remedy for Public Debt

    • Commentary


    Last Thursday's confrontation on the campus of the Arab University in Beirut appeared to confirm that the ghosts of the civil war are back with a vengeance. Lebanese leaders had little to offer their constituencies sectarian abuse, while Washington's rhetoric on the political crisis in Lebanon is further complicating an already tense situation.

    • Commentary

    Hizbollah and Its Changing Identities

    After the war of last summer, Lebanon had settled back into a pretense of normality, shattered periodically by massive demonstrations in the streets of the capital, as Hizbollah mustered its supporters in an attempt to force the government to call for early elections. The government refused to give in. Hizbollah is now trying to break the impasse.

    • Commentary

    Masking the Facts

    • Commentary

    How Democracies Emerge: The "Sequencing" Fallacy

    In the second half of the 1990s, a counterreaction emerged to the heady enthusiasm about democracy promotion that flourished during the peak years of democracy’s “third wave” in the late 1980s and early 1990s. Believing that the global democratic wave had been oversold, several policy experts and scholars produced a series of influential articles articulating a pessimistic, cautionary view.

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