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Uprisings in Arab lands  Where? Tunisia, Egypt, Bahrain, Libya, Syria, Yemen, and others  Regimes overthrown in Tunisia, Egypt, and Libya  What is common.

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Presentation on theme: "Uprisings in Arab lands  Where? Tunisia, Egypt, Bahrain, Libya, Syria, Yemen, and others  Regimes overthrown in Tunisia, Egypt, and Libya  What is common."— Presentation transcript:

1 Uprisings in Arab lands  Where? Tunisia, Egypt, Bahrain, Libya, Syria, Yemen, and others  Regimes overthrown in Tunisia, Egypt, and Libya  What is common about the regimes that the revolutions have toppled or seek to do so? Authoritarian, corrupt, and incompetent 1

2 Prospects for democracy in countries liberated by the Arab Spring  Some key questions:  Will democracy take root in Libya, Tunisia, and Egypt ?  Type of democracy? Parliamentary & liberal democracy  Islamist parties have achieved success in elections in Tunisia and Egypt. What are the implications for democracy in those countries?  Could Turkey as a Muslim country that is quite democratic be a model for Tunisia, Egypt and others?  Could external actors help promote democracy in Arab spring countries? 2

3 The Arab Awakening: the Quest for Freedom and Democracy 3

4 What type of democracy?  Parliamentary democracy: free and regular elections  Liberal democracy: the type found in Western societies. More than free elections are required, including: the rule of law, full executive accountability; freedom to form and join organizations, freedom of expression; alternative sources of information; flourishing civil society; gender equality; and rights for ethnic and religious minorities. 4

5 Tunisia and democracy  First Arab country to overthrow its authoritarian ruler  Smooth transition to free and fair elections in Oct Elections to parliament contested by dozens of parties & huge turnout of voters > Ennahda emerged the winner with 37% of the vote.  Encouraging factors: well-educated populace; women’s rights have been well-protected for many years; genuine interest to play by democratic rules. Though there were no genuinely free elections, and some parties were banned, some limited representative government and party politics  No major negatives 5

6 Libya and its democratic prospects  One-man rule (Muammar Gaddafi, from 1969 to 2011)  Political parties banned since Other institutions, e.g. independent judiciary, did not exist during Gaddafi’s rule.  Libyan National Council (NTC)in charge since Elections planned for summer  Positive factors: well-educated population that wants freedom and democracy; genuine interest by the interim administration to bring about democracy  Negative factors: Weak gov. ;much of the country is controlled by militias; call for autonomy in eastern Libya > possibility of break-up 6

7 Egypt: ‘Big Brother’ of the Arab world Egypt gets the most attention in the world  It is the biggest Arab country, 78 m  Cultural capital of Arab world  Largest military + diplomatic pre- eminence (Arab League is in Cairo)  90% Muslim, 10% Christian Copt Key to maintaining Arab-Israeli peace > a regional power of clout + potential to influence developments in other Arab countries 7

8 Egypt’s Prospects  Hosni Mubarak (in power for 30 yrs) overthrown in Jan, 2011 in a revolution led by young idealistic Egyptians> military in charge as transitional gov ; 1 st free and parliamentary elections > victory for the Muslim Brotherhood. New constitution & presidential elections pending  BBC :‘The struggle for power is a three-cornered contest between the revolutionaries, the Islamists and the army’.  The ‘revolutionaries’ want ‘freedom, democracy, equality’: a liberal democracy, civilian rule, secular system  The army: wants to have a strong say in domestic & foreign policy; prefers a secular system  The Islamists want to alter the secular system of government & apply Islamic norms and practices to govern Egypt. NOTE: not all Islamists have the same agenda (differences between the Brotherhood & Salafists)  If the powers of the military are curbed and extreme groups (viz. Salafists) are sidelined, good prospects for democracy 8

9 Turkey as a model?  Why Turkey? It’s population in Muslim(99%) & it is in the region  Secular system of government: separation of religion & state  Turkish democracy: parliamentary > liberal democracy  Justice & Development Party (moderate Islamist party ) in power for 10 years > expanded democracy & showed that Islam and modernity can be fused  Leading politicians in Tunisia, Libya and Egypt have said they admire the Turkish model.  Will Tunisia, Egypt & Libya become more like Turkey? 9

10 The victory of Islamist parties: implications for democracy  Tunisia, Egypt, Libya: all secular states  Libya: no elections yet. NTC leader Jalil called for ‘a democratic state based on Islamic law’.  Tunisia: The victorious Ennahda party has pledged to introduce Islamic law  Egypt: The Muslim Brotherhood (won 40% of the votes) and the Salafists (20-25 % of the vote) have pledged to introduce sharia law, gradually in the case of the Brotherhood and right away by the Salafists  What is sharia law? Many varying interpretations of Sharia law is "the path that must be followed by a Muslim".  It brings together elements from the Koran and the Hadith (a collection of the deeds and words of Mohammed), plus judges' rulings from Islam's first centuries. It was fixed by about the 10th century, and contains detailed instructions for practically every aspect of life. 10

11 Conclusions  Tunisia, Egypt and Libya are treading uncharted waters  Impossible to predict to what extent their secular systems will be altered and Islamic norms and practices applied  The prospects for parliamentary democracy are good in all of them.  Can external actors influence developments? In limited ways, yes. Tunisia, Egypt and Libya will chart their own course. 11


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