Category: Middle East/North Africa

Putinism, Islamism no alternative to liberal democracy

     

Russian President Vladimir Putin and the extremist Islamic State group are both engaged in efforts at state building that share two qualities: each seeks to create a political alternative to… Read more »

Elections highlight ‘Struggle for the Soul of Iran’

     

Iran has excluded Hassan Khomeini, grandson of the founder of the Islamic republic and a cleric with ties to reformist politicians, from contesting elections to the country’s powerful Assembly of… Read more »

‘Politics of fear’ threatens rights, prompts civil society ‘choke-out’

     

  The politics of fear led to a global roll-back of human rights and a great civil society choke-out during 2015, according to the 659-page World Report 2016 from Human… Read more »

Democracy takes global ‘battering’

     

Global democracy has endured a battering over the past decade, and those who hoped for a brighter century may be wondering when to expect relief, note Mark Lagon, the president… Read more »

Why social media made but couldn’t save the Arab Spring

     

Five years ago this week, massive protests toppled Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, marking the height of the Arab Spring. Empowered by access to social media sites like Twitter, YouTube and Facebook,… Read more »

Egypt’s durable Arab Spring: fear explains revolution’s failure?

     

  Today’s anniversary of the 2011 Egyptian revolution—which led in quick succession to the overthrow of longtime President Hosni Mubarak, the election of the Muslim Brotherhood–affiliated candidate Mohamed Morsi, and… Read more »

Voice for Hazaras laments Afghanistan’s lost chances

     

After his return to Afghanistan from exile, in 1986, Azizullah Royesh immediately became a tireless advocate of education as a bridge over the divisions that have made his country a… Read more »

Deriding support for democracy is counterproductive

     

It has become fashionable in some circles to pooh-pooh support for democracy, but Tunisia provides the Arab Spring’s “one encouraging success story”, even if its success is fragile, its economy… Read more »

Forces of change coming to Iran?

     

  Iran‘s president has called on the committee vetting candidates for next month’s parliamentary elections to allow more reformists to stand. In a televised speech, Hassan Rouhani said parliament was… Read more »