Democratic Transition News

After the Arab Spring

Dec 14, 2012
"On the second anniversary of the Arab uprisings, millions across the Middle East still have dreams of makeovers. But revolutionary fairy tales have devolved into the reality of running countries that are still without fully functioning governments or basic laws. Providing fundamental public services, much less addressing economic woes that sparked the uprisings, is still a very long way off," writes DIstinguished Scholar Robin Wright.

Egypt and the Art of Compromise

Dec 14, 2012
"The referendum on Egypt's constitution scheduled for Saturday is a sign that Egyptians of varying views are finally playing politics, not just planning protests. Washington should embrace this in its newfound role of providing guidance without interfering. In other words, it should be coach, not captain," writes Jane Harman in The Washington Post.

U.S. Intelligence: Pragmatic Future for Islamists

Dec 13, 2012
Islamists are likely to be “more market-oriented” and entrepreneurial in the future, according to a new report by the U.S. National Intelligence Council. “Global Trends 2030: Alternative Worlds” explores what the world could look like in the coming decades. The report predicts that Islam and other religions will play a larger role in global politics. But in the Middle East, “political pragmatism could trump ideology helped by a growing civil society that will begin to produce a new cadre of pragmatic, entrepreneurial and social leaders.” If pragmatists fail to improve the economy, hardline Islamists could gain popularity by offering a non-Western model, the report says.

Facebook Sheikhs: Egypt

Dec 11, 2012
Egypt’s Facebook sheikhs reflect the growing diversity within Islam. The new tech-savvy sheikhs range from rock-star street preachers to Salafi populists. Even the old clerics are finding they have to be hip to keep their flocks. Their television shows, broadcast on popular satellite stations, compete for viewers—generating new rivalries over who controls the Muslim message.

Women after the Arab Awakening

Dec 11, 2012
Women played frontline roles in the Arab uprisings, but have since faced growing political hurdles during the transitions. Nine female activists from Yemen, Egypt, Tunisia, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, Syria and Libya outlined the specific challenges to women’s participation at a meeting sponsored by the Woodrow Wilson Center for International Scholars in October 2012. They also offered strategies for empowering women.

Venezuela's Chavez, in Cuba for Health Treatment, Appears Likely to Miss Regional Summit

Dec 10, 2012
Arnson is quoted in a Wall Street Journal article discussing the Venezuelan leader's health status and it's effects on the nation.

Africa UP Close

Dec 04, 2012
The Africa Program and the Project on Leadership and Building State Capacity launch new blog - join the discussion today!

Egypt’s Draft Constitution

Dec 03, 2012
Egypt’s Constituent Assembly passed a draft constitution on November 30. President Mohamed Morsi then announced a national referendum will be held on December 15. “I renew my call for opening a serious national dialogue over the concerns of the nation, with all honesty and impartiality, to end the transitional period as soon as possible, in a way that guarantees the newly-born democracy,” Morsi told the Constituent Assembly.

New HAPP Occasional Paper: A 21st Century Vision for U.S. Global Media

Nov 15, 2012
The Wilson Center's History and Public Policy Program is pleased to announce the publication of an Occasional Paper, “A 21st Century Vision for U.S. Global Media,” by Wilson Center Senior Scholar A. Ross Johnson and R. Eugene Parta.

Muslim Brotherhood Statement on Islamic Law and National Identity

Nov 13, 2012
On October 31, Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood announced, "We cannot in any way compromise in demanding to apply Sharia." Article 2 of the constitution already cites the "principles" of Sharia as the main source of legislation. But it does not define those principles. In a statement, the Muslim Brotherhood defined them as commandments mentioned in the Koran and instructions derived from the traditions of the Prophet Mohamed. The organization specified that only principles accepted by mainstream Sunni scholars should apply.

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