“Post-independence, no Arab country has given serious attention to putting into place democratic institutions that would ensure a culture of pluralism,” argued Carnegie’s Marwan Muasher on the Brian Lehrer Show. “If the second Arab awakening is to be finally successful, it has to go beyond getting rid of despotic rule and putting in place the necessary pillars for a democratic society.” The United States for a long time prioritized stability over reform in the Arab world and did not pay much attention to the domestic challenges facing these countries in the region, he said. While the process of democratization needs to be homegrown, the United States should support it and let the process evolve on its own.

Turning to the Arab-Israeli peace process, Muasher argued that the U.S. failure to carry through a successful peace process has undermined the U.S. reputation in the Arab world. “We know what the solution is. The problem is not finding a solution, but finding a credible path to get us there,” he said, contending that the more time the process is given, the less of a chance there is for a two state solution. “The parameters are known, what is needed is the political will,” he added.

This interview originally aired on the Brian Lehrer Show.