Project on Middle East Democracy
The POMED Wire Archives
Arab Reform Bulletin: Shifts in U.S. Assistance to Egypt Alarm Democracy Advocates
April 9th, 2010 by Chanan
, POMED’s Director of Advocacy, published an essay
in the Arab Reform Bulletin about budding concerns among democracy activists for the Obama administration’s approach to political reform and human rights in the Middle East, and specifically, in Egypt. Using Obama’s budget request for fiscal year 2011 as an indicator, McInerney notes that bilateral funding for democracy and governance programming has dropped significantly from the previous year. The one noticeable area for increased funding - for programs linked to the historically obstructionist Egyptian government - will not produce any substantive changes. In fact, the opposite is true: ”the less the Egyptian government is involved with democracy and governance programming, the greater the opportunity for such programming to succeed.” He thus concludes: “the signals the Obama administration is sending will continue to alarm supporters of Egyptian democracy who are hoping for U.S. support.”
Democracy Promotion: A New Approach
November 25th, 2009 by Jason
Michael Allen at Democracy Digest cites Tara McKelvey, who argues the Obama administration is pursuing a more “culturally sensitive” method of democracy promotion, compared to the Bush administration’s “cowboy” style. Allen observes many democracy advocates are pleased with the new approach “given the apparent absence of likely candidates for democratization,” but he also warns that “a developmental approach should not become an excuse for political timidity or conflate incrementalism with the perpetual postponement of democratic reform.” Meanwhile, the confirmation hearing
for Rajiv Shah to be USAID Administrator has been scheduled for Tuesday, December 1st in front of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.
Turkey’s Troubles and the Middle East
July 23rd, 2008 by Adam
POMED Research Associate Alex Taurel
and our Director of Research Shadi Hamid
write an interesting article in the Christian Science Monitor
about the implications for democracy in the Middle East if Turkey’s ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) is shut down by the Constitutional Court. They assert that it would send a troubling message to Islamists in the region that no matter how much they moderate, they will not be accepted as legitimate political actors. According to the two authors, this would only bolster radical Islamists that see violence as the only avenue of political influence. Taurel and Hamid conclude by urging President Bush to denounce the closure case to send the message that the U.S. is willing to defend political actors in the Middle East that abide by democratic principles.
On a related note, remember that POMED is hosting a public panel discussion tomorrow (Thursday, July 24th) at 2pm entitled “Turkey’s Political Crisis: Implications for the Middle East”
in the Rayburn House Office Building, Room 2212. For more details, click here.
U.S. Government-Related Resources
The opinions expressed on this blog are those of the authors, and do not necessarily represent the views of POMED as an organization