Nothern Africa And the Middle East: What's Next?
Post-Revolutions in Northern Africa and the Middle East: Fostering a Successful Democratic Transition by Stanley Lucas
March 31, 2011
Fostering democracy and economic development in countries that have been under a dictatorship for decades is a complex and challenging task that requires a clear vision and investment by the transition government and the support of the international community.
After the dictator has gone, citizens who rose up against oppression and corruption are confronted with two scenarios: a slow, tough road to democracy and economic development, or permanent instability marked by political infighting and power struggles.
The latter scenario can lead to an even worse situation where the victims of the regime morph into the new oppressors.
We often hear political commentators discuss the uncertainty and risk posed by unknown leadership assuming power post-dictatorships, and whether or not the alternative will be any better.
International technical assistance and a strong commitment by the interim government to giving political, economic and civil society leaders the tools and expertise to deal with the new challenges of building democratic institutions and breaking from old patterns and systems can help minimize the risk and shape a stable government.
For these transition societies, gaining access to the know-how, through the transfer of knowledge and the sharing of experiences will foster democratic institutions and sustainable stability.
The Success and Failure of Transitions around the World
Egypt, Tunisia, Algeria, Bahrain, Iran, Yemen, Syria, and Libya are experiencing today what countries in Latin American and the Caribbean -- and Eastern Europe and Russia -- experienced in the 1980s.
In Latin America, 18 dictatorships fell in large part as a result of Presidents Carter and Reagan