The recent revolution in Tunisia demonstrates that the complete stifling of political opposition does not guarantee longevity for authoritarian regimes.
The Tunisian revolution has fulfilled longstanding expectations that the youth bulge in Arab countries would eventually lead to political instability; it also showed that the weakness of opposition movements might be less significant than many observers believe.
The recent collapse of the coalition government in Lebanon and the anticipated announcement of indictments from the U.N. tribunal have caused political upheaval and could lead to a crisis that might engulf the country and the region.
While the departure of President Ben Ali does not necessarily signal a democratic transition, the international community can play a role in creating space for a genuine democracy to take root in Tunisia.
With nearly 1 in 3 Tunisian youth unemployed, the country’s policymakers must develop a strategic vision for growth and create jobs quickly.
As tensions in Lebanon run high, the release of the findings of the UN-backed investigation into the assassination of Rafiq Hariri could inflame passions and lead to conflict between Sunni and Shia communities.
Without addressing Yemen's immediate security challenges—including a civil war in the North, a secessionist movement in the South, and a resurgent al-Qaeda organization—the country's long-term economic and governance issues cannot be resolved.
Although full democracy in the Arab world remains a distant goal, broader participation in the political process, with a marked effect on human development, can be achieved.
Policy makers in Algeria, Morocco, and Tunisia should focus on improving the quality—rather than quantity—of jobs available to workers, in order to significantly improve the region’s economic outlook and global competitiveness.
This volume examines the Arab world’s major political actors, assesses the weaknesses of secular parties, and evaluates how incumbent regimes have maintained their grip on power in spite of reform-oriented claims.