A GDN-AUB Panel Discussion focusing on the « Road to Democracy »

« The Road to Democracy : the Arab Region, Latin America and Eastern Europe » was the topic addressed at the GDN panel discussion held in partnership with the American University of Beirut (AUB) in Beirut, Lebanon on May 18th, 2012.

After decades of authoritarian rule, the popular uprisings of Tunisia and Egypt (January 2011) appear to have opened the door for a potential democratic transformation not only in these two countries but also in the Arab region as a whole.  This, of course, remains to be seen.

In their aftermath, the following political picture in the region has so far emerged:

  1. Popular and/or armed uprisings have occurred in Libya, Bahrain, Yemen and Syria. In the case of Libya, Western military intervention played a decisive role in toppling the Gadhafi regime, while in the case of Bahrain; Saudi military intervention has played a crucial role in preserving the regime. In Yemen, after a prolonged period of mass protests and military conflicts, a new president was elected, but national reconciliation is yet to be achieved. And in Syria the outcome of peaceful popular demonstrations against the regime that turned into armed upheavals remains uncertain.
  2. In the other Arab countries, threatening mass movements do not seem to be in the making, and, for the time being at least, the surviving autocratic regimes are not in imminent danger of being overthrown.

With the above in mind, the panel assessed the prospects for democratic transition in the Arab region in light of the lessons to be learnt from the recent uprisings with a focus on Tunisia and Egypt, and against the experience of democratic transition in Latin America and Eastern Europe.

Read more:

This event is organized by GDNet as part of its Research to Policy Networking Program and South to South Learning

View more documents from Connect2GDNet
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