As Arab Strongmen Exit, Will Democracy Really Take Root?

(Christian Science Monitor) Walter Rodgers - Something in the new political calculus of the new Middle East does not seem to compute. The overthrow of several "strongmen" does not miraculously nor instantly transmogrify an autocracy into a democracy. The emergence of another authoritarian figure or combination of figures seems to be a more likely outcome of the street revolts in Tunisia, Egypt, Bahrain, and Libya than genuine democratic governance. Arabs traditionally disdain political weakness. Some vital components of democracy, such as compromise, dissent, and tolerance, can be too easily mistaken for impotence in that part of the world.

2011-03-04 00:00:00

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