The Arab Spring and the South Pacific

Fareed Zakaria on Harvard professor Eric Chaney’s paper on the democracy deficit in the Arab World in, “A region At War With It’s history”.


¬†One year after it captured the world’s imagination, the Arab Spring is looking less appealing by the week,
“The promise of a new birth of freedom in the Middle East has been followed by a much messier reality”.
Why does it seen that democracy has such a hard time taking root in the Arab world?

A Harvard economics professor, Eric Chaney, recently presented a rigorous paper that helps unravel that knot.
Chaney asks why there is a “democracy deficit” in the Arab world and systematically tests various hypotheses against the data

Read more: http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,2111248,00.html#ixzz1s5ZRCx7c 


“The real problem in a country like Egypt is that the military continues to keep power concentrated, undivided and unchecked. It maintains the central role in the economy. Even when it has liberalized control of the economy, it has done so to benefit a handful of cronies and friends. The chief challenge in the Arab world remains to create a vibrant civil society, which means political parties and also a strong, self-sustaining private sector. The term civil society was coined during the Scottish Enlightenment to describe the activities of private businesses, an independent force that existed between the government and the family. The Middle East today has strong families and strong governments, but everything in between is underdeveloped.

This is very similar to the situation in Fiji. Fiji with it’s history of military coups since 1987 is as removed from democracy as those middle eastern countries that have yet to move on from the strangleholds of their militaries. Fifi’s longstanding military anchored instabilities would indicate that the Arab Spring has yet to experience consecutive coups.

Read more: http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,2111248,00.html#ixzz1s5YeL84k

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