As the Egyptian government prepares to revise its NGO law, restricting foreign funding appears to be a top priority.
The principal opposition coalition is threatening to boycott April parliamentary elections.
Nobel Peace Prize laureate Shirin Ebadi, a renowned advocate for democracy and human rights in Iran, discusses the state of civil society and ways the U.S. can engage Iran.
The most common cause of corruption is a combination of discretionary power and low accountability, both of which are imperative for the political survival of authoritarian regimes.
The debate in Washington and European capitals has recently centered on how many more troops will be sent to Afghanistan in 2009 as part of a military surge. The real question, however, is how combat troops should be used - to pursue the Taliban, or secure key areas to allow institutions to develop. The main policy objective must be the development of a government that can survive U.S. withdrawal.
Barack Obama's election was celebrated throughout the Middle East. But enthusiasm could quickly turn to hostility if the new administration does not back up its rhetoric with concrete changes to U.S. Middle East policy on three key issues: Palestine, Iraq, and political reform.
The divide between the political and developmental approaches to assisting democracy starts from contrasting ideas about both democracy and democratization and leads to very different configurations of assistance programs. Yet this division need not represent a rift in the world of democracy aid. Both have a significant place in U.S. and European efforts in supporting democracy around the world.
Arab regimes that have long been friendly to the United States are increasingly reluctant to follow Washington’s lead on any issue. They are not enemies of the United States, but they are not faithful allies, either. Rather, they follow the policies they believe best protect their interests, regardless of what the United States wants.
European priorities for Middle East policy include greater engagement with the Arab-Israeli peace process and with Iran. The advent of a new U.S. administration and greater diplomatic engagement by Arab states offer the hope of new approaches and possibilities for cooperation.
Three years since the Tulip Revolution much of the support for the current Kyrgyz government has faded. The Kyrgyz opposition that once struggled to bring about this revolution now argues that simply changing the leaders will not produce the needed reforms. Instead, the opposition contends that a new political system, one that checks the power of the majority party, must be implemented.