During the 2011 uprisings, Arab protesters channeled decades of discontent with failed economic policy. However, the demise of leaders will not be enough to answer this discontent nor ensure productive development. Scholarship on the political determinants of economic development finds that the common recipe of expanding the private sector and increasing trade openness may be valuable but is not sufficient on its own for successful development. The Arab world’s economic path to 2011 included implementation in these areas, yet reform in underlying socio-economic structures and interests lagged. Addressing these conditions constitutes one of the most serious challenges facing Arab economies and politics.
"Too often, the "winner-takes-all" Mubarak model persists in Egyptian politics. Instead of engaging or working within the system, and compromising, opposition forces protest in Tahrir Square or boycott. While these tactics won a revolution, they will not build a democracy," writes Jane Harman.
Iran’s new president, Hassan Rouhani, is marking the end of his first year in office. He has made a resolution of the nuclear issue and the lifting of sanctions against Iran the center-piece of a broader strategy. He hopes a breakthrough here will open the door for a revival of the Iranian economy, the reintegration of Iran into the international community, a recognition of Iran’s major role in the region and perhaps the loosening up of domestic restrictions on politics and basic freedoms. But he faces formidable opposition from an entrenched ruling elite.
The Middle East continues to be a region in turmoil. From civil war in Syria to ongoing attempts to resolve disagreements over Iran’s nuclear program, there is no shortage of strategic challenges. Yuval Steinitz, Israel’s Minister of Intelligence, Strategic Affairs, and International Relations, discusses these and other issues with the Wilson Center’s Director, President, and CEO, Jane Harman, during this episode of REWIND.
Greater political pluralism in Tunisia, Egypt, and other countries of the region could augur less dependency on the US and a more independent foreign policy, Wilson Center expert Samer Shehata says. In this interview, Shehata and Distinguished Scholar Robin Wright analyze the Middle East’s evolving political landscape.
Lebanon is finally getting Washington’s attention after spending the last four years languishing on the back burner. The Lebanese are now hopeful that maybe the days when Lebanon was a priority in Washington are upon them once again.
Journalists and academics from around the world convened to discuss the state of reporting in their respective countries. Panelists discussed journalist's access to, and freedom to disseminate, information and the media's impact on public opinion and policy.
"Governing is about choosing. When America acts, it has to ask itself two questions, not just, can it accomplish it? If we wanted to unseat the Assads, we could do it. The question is not just that, it's what will it cost? It's the second question that always needs to accompany the first," said Aaron David Miller.
"The goal of winning "concrete steps" from Iran is still far away. This gives fuel to those who argue that time is running out because Iran continues to expand its enrichment and other nuclear work. And it puts a question mark over what the results in Moscow mean going forward," writes Iran nuclear expert Michael Adler.
The Iran Primer Blog
The Islamists Are Coming
September 10, 2014 // 4:00pm — 5:30pm
Turkey’s Presidential Elections 2014 - What do they mean for Turkey’s democratization process, the Kurdish question and Turkey’s foreign policy?
September 11, 2014 // 12:00pm — 2:00pm
Experts & Staff
- Haleh Esfandiari // Director, Middle East Program
- Kendra Heideman // Program Associate
- Michael Adler // Public Policy Scholar
- Margot Badran // Senior Scholar
- Jason Brodsky // Policy Advisor to the Director, President and CEO and Research Associate
- Aaron David Miller // Vice President for New Initiatives and Distinguished Scholar
- William Green Miller // Senior Scholar
- Amal Mudallali // Senior Scholar
- David Ottaway // Senior Scholar
- Marina Ottaway // Senior Scholar
- Joby Warrick // Public Policy Scholar
- Robert Worth // Public Policy Scholar
- Robin Wright // USIP-Wilson Center Distinguished Scholar