• Commentary

    Needed: American Diplomacy, Help Wanted

    Over the last few decades most, if not all, Arab-Israeli crises have occurred when the United States has been either unable or unwilling to play an aggressive role as a mediator; and most have only abated after the United States has finally thrown itself into the middle of them.

    • Commentary

    Arab Security Services and the Crisis in Democratic Change

    The lack of democratic breakthroughs worthy of mention in Arab countries has spurred debate about barriers to change. The debate would be incomplete, however, without a discussion of the means by which authoritarian Arab regimes control their societies, particularly the critical roles performed by security services.

    • Research

    Islamist Movements and the Democratic Process in the Arab World: Exploring Gray Zones

    In view of the recent victory by Hamas in Palestine and the electoral success of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, understanding the thinking of Islamist movements is more important than ever. Experts are trying to move beyond stark views of the Islamist challenge as either a democratizing force or an extreme threat to democracy, to present a nuanced view of the position of Islamist parties.

    • Event

    International Seminar on Democracy and Islamic Movements

    • November 12, 2005
    • Rome, Italy

    On November 12-13, The Carnegie Endowment for International Peace and the Italian Istituto Affari Internazionali, in partnership with the German Herbert-Quandt-Stiftung, organized a two-day workshop in Rome to discuss the policy preferences and reform strategies of non-violent Islamic movements in different Arab countries.

    • Commentary

    The Key to Arab Reform: Moderate Islamists

    For decades, Arab regimes have used scare tactics to encourage the United States and Europe to support their repressive measures toward Islamist movements by invoking the image of anti-Western fanatics taking power through the ballot box. However, today’s moderate Islamists no longer match this nightmare.

    • Commentary

    The West and Moderate Islam

    In the last few years, Arab liberals have been gradually reaching out to moderate Islamists and engaging them in campaigns calling for reforms. These are steps in the right direction and the U.S. and Europe should learn from this example. The cause of political transformation in the region is best served by bringing in Islamist movements and their popular constituencies.

    • Research

    Islam and Democracy in the Middle East

    • Larry Diamond, Daniel Brumberg, Marc F. Plattner, Editors
    • September 30, 2003
    • Johns Hopkins University Press, September 2003

    Drawing on the insights of some twenty-five leading Western and Middle Eastern scholars, Islam and Democracy in the Middle East highlights the dualistic and often contradictory nature of political liberalization. Political liberalization—as managed by the state—not only opens new spaces for debate and criticism, but is also used as a deliberate tactic to avoid genuine democratization.

    • Commentary

    The Middle East's Muffled Signals

    Despite predictions that the American march into Baghdad would unleash either a wave of democratization or a plague of repression throughout the region, in reality most Middle Eastern states are too preoccupied with domestic problems to be moved profoundly by events in Iraq. Iraq will have a political impact on the region, but changes are likely to come in smaller steps than commonly predicted.

    • Research

    Liberalization Versus Democracy: Understanding Arab Political Reform

    Before the United States can determine whether its gradualist approach to democratic reform in the Middle East is the best remedy, we must first understand how Arab autocracies actually work. In particular, we must understand how the "liberalized autocracies" of the region endure despite frequent prediction of their imminent death.

    • Commentary

    Coalition of the Unwilling

    It is important to have partners in the war on terrorism, Carnegie's Robert Kagan writes, but a unilateral determination to act invariably precedes a policy of effective multilateralism.

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