43 of 48 sub-Saharan African countries have held multiparty elections, but this superficially rosy picture hides a much starker reality. In most of these countries democracy is a sham. In Africa today, stemming state decay is a more urgent task than building democracy.
Coming out of the war in Iraq, however, the Bush team appears to be in danger of losing a workable balance between the security and democracy imperatives. The administration's recent scramble to reconfigure U.S. policy on free trade agreements is a case in point.
Presentation by Vladimir O. Potanin, President and Chairman of the Board of Interros.
Following internal maneuvering and international pressure, Yasser Arafat has agreed to a new government proposed by Prime Minister-designate Mahmud Abbas, paving the way for Washington's ‘road map’ for an independent, democratic Palestinian state. But can Abbas implement reform? How do Palestinians view the issue of reform? And, what is the relationship between reform and Arab-Israeli peace?
Pakistan’s latest experiment in ‘‘controlled democracy’’ is faltering just months after elections and the nomination of a Prime Minister. General Pervez Musharraf does not want parliament to vote on the Legal Framework Order, a decree that he used to amend the country’s constitution. Pakistan’s problem is not the constitution – it is the fact that it is subject to the whims of rulers.
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.