ARGUMENT
Learning to Live With the Islamist Winter
What to make of the historic election results in Tunisia, Egypt, and Libya -- and how the United States should respond.
BY TAMARA COFMAN WITTES | JULY 19, 2012, 9:45 PM
KHALED DESOUKI/AFP/GettyImages
Wednesday’s sharp uptick in violence in Syria led the news, but overshadowed a far more peaceful milestone. The announcement of Libya’s election results on Tuesday marked the end of a tumultuous period in which three revolutionary Arab states (Tunisia, Egypt, and Libya) all held their first sets of genuine electoral contests — among the freest and fairest ever carried out in the Arab world. With many dozens of parties and many hundreds of candidates running, the elections were also the most competitive. And in most — but not all — of these polls, Islamist parties and movements came out ahead. This seems a worthy moment, then, to take stock of what the outcomes in these three North African countries can — and can’t — tell us about the future of democratic politics in the Arab world.



By using this website, you agree to our use of cookies. This use includes personalization of content and ads, and traffic analytics. Review our Privacy Policy for more information.
Help us bring you the truth.
Only with your support can Foreign Policy deliver essential coverage of the world’s most important issues.
FP PREMIUM
$19.99 PER MONTH
All articles on ForeignPolicy.com
Quarterly digital or print magazine
Digital access to FP's 50-year print archive
Conference calls with FP editors
CANCEL ANYTIME.

LEARN MORE
BEST VALUE: SAVE 15%
FP PREMIUM
$199.99 A YEAR
All articles on ForeignPolicy.com
SUBSCRIBE Upgrade to Insider Upgrade
FP EVENTSFP STUDIOSFP ANALYTICSFP PEACEGAMESSUBSCRIPTION SERVICESREPRINT PERMISSIONSWRITER’S GUIDELINESWORK AT FPFP GUIDES – GRADUATE EDUCATIONFP FOR EDUCATIONFP ARCHIVEBUY BACK ISSUESMEET THE STAFFADVERTISE WITH FPCONTACT USPRIVACY POLICYWORDPRESS VIP