- The New Populist Movement: Organizing to Take Back America.
- Labor Movement
- Democracy in the Arab World
- Buying Options
Panics and depressions were hardly new; they had occurred every twenty years or so, beginning with a severe one in But what no previous bust or slump had ever produced a foreboding sense that the whole system of production and distribution had reached a state of terminal breakdown.
Poverty had long since lived side by side with plenty. Now it seemed, however, that those parallel lines had converged — that plenty, a toxic excess of wealth, had produced poverty. Whether democratic protocols could be maintained in the face of such a catastrophic emergency was by no mean self-evident. At first, fear mixed with disorientation.
As weeks became months and months turned into years of bitter disappointment and frustration, fear, guilt, and denial gave way to more muscular emotions. Anger, a thirst for revenge, a giddy camaraderie of the disinherited, and even on occasion, a perverse sense of liberation, formed a psychic united front that vastly overmatched the dwindling cultural resources of the old order.
It gave us a new sense of freedom, and it gave us a new sense of power to find ourselves still carrying on while the bankers, for a change, were taking a beating. It was as if the whole country awoke from a delirium. Writers from the Left like Wilson, but also from the Right and center, took note. An editor at the Baltimore Sun confirmed that for the vast middle class, the romance and idolization of the great men of business was over.
The New Populist Movement: Organizing to Take Back America.
Popular culture — movies, plays, cartoons, songs, novels, comic one-liners, editorials, even painting and poetry — overflowed with ridicule and rage aimed at the ancient regime. Material misery all by itself need not lead to political daring and radical imagination. Every nightclub punchline and lampooning cartoon, each literary satire and poetic belittlement, the whole flood of iconoclastic biographies, cinematic excommunications, and editorial jeremiads whittled away the puissance of the old ruling class.
A ruling elite may survive a reputation for imperial aloofness; indeed, under the right circumstances a reputation for disinterested cruelty may even enhance an impression of impregnability and social superiority. It took many forms. Farmers took to the fields and roads in shocking displays of lawlessness. All across the corn belt, rebels banded together to forcibly prevent evictions of fellow farmers. Nor were its concerns confined to the farm belt; the Holiday movement demanded a sharply progressive income tax and relief for the urban unemployed and for the federal government to run the banks.
The Association, its membership close to a million, created a virtual moratorium on foreclosures from the Rockies to Appalachia in the winter before FDR took over. Demonstrations at state capitols in Iowa, Nebraska, and Minnesota, among others, led legislatures to declare moratoria or extensions on overdue mortgage payments.
Factory occupations, urban street battles, violent strikes in the South, mass marches of the unemployed, seizures of mines and public utilities by the freezing and desperate, squatting on vacant land and in unoccupied houses, and blocked foreclosures and evictions in big cities were all symptomatic of a more general readiness to trespass across lines of authority and private property that had long been verboten. Veterans of World War I massed in Washington to demand the government accelerate payment of service pensions; the Bonus Army was dispersed violently by troops led by Douglas McArthur and Dwight Eisenhower, ordered in by President Hoover.
In Detroit, tenants and unemployed councils stopped all evictions in Some councils were integrated, some won the support of the Urban League, and some demanded fourteen weeks of unemployment insurance for maternity leave. Among its more inventive proposals: to settle a million people on unused land; to operate idled factories at public expense, bartering what they produced; to provide pensions to all those needy and over sixty years old. For his trouble, Sinclair was vilified by the old guard as an epileptic, a red, an atheist, and an advocate of free love.
In the Midwest farmer-labor parties were gestating. Eastern intellectuals formed embryonic third parties, including the League for Independent Political Action, which advocated massive income redistribution. The Socialist Party led by Norman Thomas remained stoutly anti-capitalist, although its influence was rapidly diminishing. Membership in the Communist Party, on the other hand, began to grow.
And both parties issued calls for public ownership of basic resources and for the socialization of credit. Revolution was never on the New Deal agenda. Infant bureaucracies of the new order felt the heat.
Within the mushrooming social welfare bureaucracy, a militant grouping agitated for a more comprehensive income maintenance program. It would be paid for by taxing the wealthiest and be administered by social workers and their unemployed clients, who were themselves often involved with councils of the unemployed, some of which staged sit-ins at relief offices.
Once installed in office, the New Deal administration went off in various directions at once, trying out this and that. Orthodoxy still had a say, for example, in the axiomatic belief, which FDR shared, in the need to balance the budget. But the urgency of the moment compelled other options. So, the National Recovery Administration experimented with corporatism; the state would backstop the power of business to discipline itself, to reign in its self-destructive impulses to compete, to overproduce, to slash wages. Meanwhile, the Tennessee Valley Authority ventured into the realm of state planning and regional development.
New regulatory laws governing banks and the stock market would put the financial system under surveillance. Public works put people to work, refreshed and extended the infrastructure of the national marketplace, and presumably primed the pump of industrial recovery. All of this was underway three months in. All of it, if not entirely new, seemed bold, pathbreaking. None of it, however, was meant to uproot the foundations of capitalism in America, but rather to restore them. Outside the ranks of the administration, however, is where currents of radical anti-capitalism were detectable during these formative years when the New Deal had not yet consolidated its hold; not merely detectable, but ones with real force and amplitude.
Strikes and union organizing were commonplace throughout the decade; nor did they, taken in isolation, challenge the fundamentals of the marketplace. However, the circumstances were not normal, nor was the behavior of the union movement conventional. To begin with, all the core sectors of the industrial economy were free of unions.
This was not a matter of good luck for the employing classes, but rather the result of concerted efforts going back decades to cleanse industry of their presence. Fledgling or even more established unions had been defeated over and over again, and driven underground or out of existence by the collusive efforts of companies, courts, police, vigilantes, and the mobilization of private and public armies.
Faced with that history of failure, summoning up the will to try again was itself a radical break with the resignation, fatalism, and self-reproach otherwise so natural in such an environment. If the era is most distinctively marked by the uprising and organization of millions of working people, then that phenomenon alone suggests a radical rupture with the past.
Beyond the act of rebellion, this working-class insurgency carried with it other signs of something out of the ordinary. Much of what eventually became the Congress of Industrial Organizations was led by political radicals. And the workers they led knew them to be men and women of the Left. Moreover, the new institutions they invented were ecumenical in makeup. Encrusted barriers of skill, religion, ethnicity, gender, and even race, which with very few exceptions, had disabled earlier efforts to create inclusive unions and a living sense of social solidarity, were overcome; not completely, not permanently, but with enough tenacity to win out against long odds.
Embryonic unions often began as communal undertakings. This was especially the case in the steel, meatpacking, and textile industries, and was true elsewhere to a lesser extent in automobile, rubber, and mining where it had always been true. That meant they deliberately enlisted not only the support but the participation of community groups including ethnic clubs, neighborhood tenant associations, local churches, and fraternal societies among others. Conventional trade unions tend to stay in their own lane, conducting their affairs at some remove from the general public, and confining their concerns to contractual relations with ownership.
CIO unions, in this formative period, were much more capacious. They self-consciously identified their own interests with those of the wider social universe they were embedded in. It is in this zone, between customary acts of collective bargaining and the riskier, more audacious attempt to stand up for the whole community, where class consciousness is born. Signs of this more adventurous spirit marked the era. Sit-down strikes in the rubber and auto industries particularly, but also across broad stretches of the economy, were transgressive.
They called into question the inviolability of private property as workers occupied factories and other commercial assets. This elicited hysteria among political and corporate elites. Enthusiasm of this scale carried political implications. The other was in Minneapolis and led by the Teamsters. Both were captained by revolutionary socialists. General strikes are rare and inherently political. Power to run daily affairs — everything from sanitation to transportation, from medical services to policing — oscillates between the institutions of old and the upstart centers of the mass movement, or even may vest entirely in the General Strike Committee.
This is an untenable situation. Barring actual revolution, power ultimately devolves back to where it came from. But the act of calling and conducting a general strike is a grave one. It may have no revolutionary aspirations, yet it opens the door to the unknown. That these two strikes happened in the same year — — is a barometer of just how far down the road of anti-capitalism the working-class movement had traveled. While the sit-down and general strikes were the most dramatic and politically challenging expressions of working-class sentiment, the whole movement of the CIO was, from the outset, a political undertaking as well as an economic one.
In one sense, that was involuntary. The new labor movement was quick to seek out its own political allies as a counterweight. Apart from specific instances like those, more profoundly, the existence and survival of the infant industrial union movement was implicitly premised on an alliance with the Roosevelt administration. In the earliest years, that relationship was not as one-sided as it might appear. However, bitter about the way labor had been mistreated or ignored entirely by the National Recovery Administration, leaders of the incipient mass movement took a decision to go ahead on their own, expecting no tangible aid from Washington.
When important segments of American business decided they too had had enough of New Deal tinkering with the economy, their disaffection opened a doorway through which the new labor movement could reenter. The Roosevelt administration needed new allies. To get them it would have to pay closer attention to the social upheavals erupting around the country.
She has been pursuing graduate work at Columbia University since September He is the Editor of Globalization and Emerging Economies He received a PhD from Georgetown University. Mustapha K. He has a PhD from the University of Geneva. Previously he taught at California State University, Fullerton. He is the author of a forthcoming book, The Development History of Iraq.
He is the author of Political Islam in Syria He has an MA degree from Damascus University. This book is the outcome of a collaborative research project on the determinants of the democracy deficit in the Arab world. Our deep gratitude goes to a number of institutions and individuals who have supported, advised and encouraged this project.
A generous grant from the International Development Research Centre IDRC, Canada made it possible to assemble a first-class research team to undertake the often arduous research work this project has entailed.
- Along a Winding Path;
- Marguerite Duras : Ecriture et politique (Critiques Littéraires) (French Edition).
- Curse of the Necromancer: Book Three in the Hejate Trilogy;
- Conquest (Star Force Series Book 4)!
- The Horrors of ICE’s ‘Trans Pod’.
- About De Gruyter?
Emma Naughton of IDRC has been greatly supportive of the research project from its inception and to her we extend our sincere appreciation. We owe special gratitude to the IFE, which provided excellent secretarial and research assistance in an intellectually congenial environment. We also would like to acknowledge the support of the AUB administration and in particular Khalil Bitar, the Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences, who always stood ready to facilitate the administrative requirements of the project.
Our thanks also go to the Office of Grants and Contracts, which provided very helpful administrative support. In particular, we would like to thank Luis Serven, Manager of the Macroeconomic and Growth Division for his support, and Gary Milante for his substantive and technical contributions to the project. The Economic Research Forum for the Arab Countries, Iran and Turkey Cairo organized a panel on the preliminary findings of the cross-country work; the Dubai School of Government hosted a workshop on the research methodologies of the various papers; and the Center for the Study of Democracy at the University of Westminster in London organized a session to present the findings of the project.
All these meetings provided valuable feedback and insights that helped improve the ongoing research. It was gratifying to work with our colleagues on the research team. Their unflinching collaboration and engagement in the research work for a period of over two years greatly facilitated our task as co-managers and editors. We hope that as a team our joint aspirations to fulfil the objectives of the research project have been realized. Our sincere thanks go to Kristine Stroad Moore for her capable technical editing of the manuscript.
Samir Makdisi would like to acknowledge his great debt to his wife Jean for her support and patience in putting up with the various demands that the work on the project entailed. Equally importantly, he benefited greatly from her penetrating intellect and, whenever called upon, her enriching of the written text. His three scholar sons, Saree, Ussama and Karim, often provided critical intellectual engagements that helped him focus more sharply on particular issues being addressed. He would also like to extend special thanks to Rima Shaar, secretary of the IFE, for first-rate secretarial support, and to acknowledge the research help of graduate research assistants at the IFE who have efficiently carried out the tasks assigned to them: Moon Baz, Sandra Chaoul, Hanan al Fakih and especially Layal Wehbeh who, for two years, assisted in the research project.
Ibrahim Elbadawi would like to acknowledge the support and patience of his wife Enayat and the stimulating discussions with his daughter Lina. He would also like to thank his assistant Tourya Tourougui for her superb secretarial support. When the Arab countries were still under colonial tutelage, the burning question for them was how and when to gain independence.
Most of them in fact became independent only after the Second World War, 1 and democracy did not arise as a political issue except as a potential post-independence question. However, with the exception of Lebanon and early isolated cases of democratic engagement that did not last long, Arab political regimes since independence have generally been characterized by varying forms of authoritarian rule, despite notable growth in the levels of real per capita income and levels of education.
Intermittent attempts at political reform might over time have permitted limited political liberalization, but the essential nature of authoritarian rule has not changed materially. Indeed, throughout this period Arab intellectuals and groups advocating substantive political reform have condemned authoritarianism and the absence of democracy in the Arab world.
Denial of full political rights of citizens and restrictions on civil liberties and, hence, lack of representative and accountable governments, are also blamed for the failure of Arab regimes to achieve sustainable and equitable economic and social development, or to address the major issues presently faced by the Arab world, including, among others, the Palestinian question. A secondary objective is to discern the growth and development consequences of autocracy. To identify the factors that explain the continuation of the Arab democracy deficit, a two-tier research approach was adopted that combines both quantitative and qualitative analyses: cross-country work followed by intensive country case studies.
The cross-country work is an extended modernity regression model of democracy measured by the widely used Polity IV index for a global sample covering most Arab countries. It is preceded by an analysis of the crisis of Arab democracy, which draws a political framework for the penchant of Arab autocratic regimes to hold on to their rule. The model finds that after controlling for a host of economic, social and historical variables, as well as for religion, a negative and highly significant Arab region-specific effect remains, that we refer to as the Arab dummy.
What we do find is that oil and, more importantly, regional conflicts notably the Arab—Israeli conflict, but also other civil and international wars seem to be the major factors that account for this negative Arab dummy.
- La fiancée Viking (Les Historiques) (French Edition).
- The Grand Adventures of Eccentric Aunt Cecil: Book One Aunt Cecils Mysterious Past;
- Global Justice in the 21st Century | commentary on global issues.
The most striking result of the analysis of cross-country work is that once it is interacted with the conflict variable, the direct Arab dummy effect not only disappears, but its interaction effect is negative and highly significant, while the same effect is positive and significant for other developing regions. This finding does not carry over to other determinants of democracy e.
These results remain robust against a variety of diagnostic tests. The above findings suggest two important conclusions. First, unlike conflict, both oil and gender 2 — like other determinants of democracy — had an impact that does not vary across regions. Second, however, the Arab world is different with regard to the impact of conflicts on democracy; while conflicts have led, for whatever reasons, to a subsequent democratization process in other regions, in the Arab world they have not.
Thus, drawing from the robust and persistent findings of the econometric analysis, the central premise of this work is that oil and conflicts are the two major overarching factors behind the persistence of the gaping democracy deficit in the Arab world. At the same time, it probes beyond the generality of cross-country work by focusing on selected Arab countries in an attempt to identify country-specific factors that could provide supplementary explanations for the survival of their autocracies.
Thus, with the cross-country model as a starting point, the following eight case studies, carried out by teams of economists and political scientists, were selected for in-depth analyses of the factors that account for their persistent, though varying, democracy deficits: Algeria, Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, Sudan, Syria and the Gulf region. Equally importantly they analyse country-specific factors historical, political, economic and institutional that further explain the persistence of the democracy deficit — factors that are not necessarily captured by the global model, thereby shedding additional light on why autocracy has tended to survive in the Arab world.
These idiosyncratic country-specific factors were found to be critical in shaping the dynamics of the influence of oil and conflict in blunting and pre-empting democracy in these countries and thus help explain the observed diversity across these countries in terms of the extent and stability of autocracy.
What is noteworthy is that religion as such Islam, of course, being the major religion of the Arab world does not appear to play a significant role. There have been a number of studies, both inside and outside the Arab world, on the characteristics of contemporary Arab societies and how they relate to the nature of prevailing undemocratic Arab regimes. Gender inequality whose multifaceted aspects have been addressed by a vast and growing feminist literature , familial, patron—client or tribal relationships, and, in some cases, religion, have been put forward as explaining the intrinsically non-democratic nature of Arab societies.
In this vein, culturalist approaches in particular, have been advanced as alternative explanations of the persisting Arab autocracy. Culturalist approaches that make too many assumptions about the universal acceptance, uniform exposure and internalization of particular views are not supported by historical evidence. This conceptual analytical perspective strongly coheres with our own cross-country empirical work in Chapter 2. We find that while the ratio of female labour force participation is positively and significantly associated with democracy, unlike oil and conflict, it does not, however, explain the direct Arab dummy effect.
Moreover, unlike conflicts, the gender effect is uniform across all regions, suggesting that the Arab world is not different from other regions with regard to the potential impact of the empowerment of women on democracy. Similar findings have also been found in the empirical literature, with an even more robust set of gender indicators. Indeed, other societies in the developing world have similar social characteristics to those attributed to the Arab region, yet they still made the transition to democracy.
Thus, whatever the explanation for this transition in some societies, and for its absence in the Arab world, the persistence of the Arab democracy deficit has remained a question that we felt needed to be critically addressed, and was at the heart of this research, while the causes and nature of the transition from autocracy to democracy lay outside its purview. In undertaking the task of explaining why the democratic process has failed to take root, we have been cognizant not only that notions and meaning of democracy have been explained in various ways, but that its empirical measurement suffers from certain limitations.
There is perhaps broad agreement as noted in Chapter 1 that the concept of democracy encompasses a political system in which members regard themselves as political equals, collectively sovereign and possessing all the capacities, resources and institutions they need to govern themselves. Democratic regimes become consolidated i. Whereas liberalism and democracy are distinct concepts, they have tended to converge.
Contemporary democratic regimes are generally liberal ones, though in a few cases non-liberal fundamentalist or other parties have come to power via free elections. This phenomenon poses an interesting challenge to the prospects of the continued congruence between liberalism and democracy, mainly but not solely in developing countries, where fundamentalist movements are potentially strong and could assume the reins of power democratically. Whatever these prospects, fear of such movements is not an argument at all, though some writers have propagated it to promote the perpetuation of autocratic regimes.
Instead, greater civic and political rights across the board should be promoted, and, in the Arab region, it is imperative that outstanding regional conflicts, primarily the Palestinian question, be justly resolved. Meeting the challenges posed by these interlocking factors would, among other things, greatly help in promoting the cause of democracy in the Arab world. In the former case a polity may demonstrate the trappings of democracy — including elections, ideologically diverse political parties and the appearance of political participation, to name a few indicators — but may not possess a political culture in which citizens evince loyalty to a set of democratic rules of the game, to the idea of an autonomous civil society and to notions of individual social and political rights, including gender equality, as would be the case in a substantive or mature democracy.
In the Arab region this distinction is important. A number of Arab political regimes have the trappings of a democratic system, i. The gap between a theoretical understanding of a democracy and its actual implementation is often wide, especially in developing countries. But even among the so-called mature democracies there are distinct differences in this regard. For example, the influence of corporate capital on the democratic process, including control of the media, is much stronger in certain Western countries than in others; or the degree of social equity and the quality of social coverage pertaining to the social rights of citizens , as well as of civil liberties and political participation, may differ markedly from one country to another.
Such differences, it might be argued, render some of these countries more democratic than others see Economist Intelligence Unit, In other words, empirical measurements of democracy that attempt to capture its basic features — such as political competition, participation, and civil liberties — do not necessarily succeed in fully reflecting the true democratic status in any given country; this is debatably more true in developing than in developed countries. Equally importantly, any measure of democracy must fully recognize the universal right to political participation as reflected, for example, in universal suffrage.
The Polity IV index and other indices, with one or two exceptions does not account explicitly for female suffrage.
- Citation Information.
- Product details.
- Kubitsch und der große Scoop: München-Krimi (German Edition).
- Opening Minds through the Arts: Where Integration Meets Innovation: A Model for Rethinking Education!
- Championing Child Care.
To that extent it suffers from an inadequate assessment of the democracy status of any given country in the period prior to the enactment of the right of women to participate in national or even municipal elections. This problem is of greater relevance for measures that attempt to identify transitions to democracy than measures concerned with the level of democracy at any particular point in time, as in the case of Polity IV, especially as they focus on recent periods that witnessed a growing extension of female suffrage across countries.
Suffrage is, of course, part of the wider issue of gender equality that Polity IV and other indices of democracy do not explicitly recognize. Such gains reflect the recognition that a real democracy implies gender equality as well as equal opportunities for all segments of society. Important as they are, the above limitations of Polity IV do not bear significantly on the polity analysis of the case studies included in this volume, particularly as the analysis focuses on explaining the persistence of their autocratic regimes and not on any transition from a state of autocracy to a state of democracy.
Lebanon is an exception in that from the beginning of independence it has had its own special form of constrained democracy. Jordan introduced the right of women to vote in The Gulf region, with the exception of Bahrain and Kuwait, has yet to introduce female suffrage.
Democracy in the Arab World
The former introduced it in and the latter in The remaining Arab countries, not included in this volume, introduced female suffrage before In all of them however, various forms and degrees of gender discrimination continue to exist, giving an additional signal of the non-democratic nature of political regimes in place. What matters for our purposes is that for all the countries in this volume the persistence of autocracies goes beyond the question of universal suffrage or gender equality in general.
Those states that introduced female suffrage early on have remained non-democratic despite subsequent limited political reforms. This assessment remains valid even after we account for other measures that might have been introduced to reduce gender inequality. With or without greater gender equality, as we note below, the Arab countries with the exception of Lebanon remain autocratic and the question of explaining the persistent Arab democracy deficit remains to be addressed.
Thus, while we have relied on a widely used empirical measure of democracy, i. Perhaps, as pointed out by some researchers, one main empirical limitation of this index along with alternative indices of measurement is the applied aggregation rule: no justification is provided for the weighting schemes of the index attributes, which may lead to potential double counting. On the other hand, Polity IV possesses a number of positive attributes e. Furthermore, it appears to cohere with other indices of democracy e. This enhances its validity though it does not necessarily establish its total reliability.
Now, while the Polity IV rankings of Arab countries may not always have accurately reflected their evolving political situation, in general they have not been far off the mark in assessing the status of democracy in the Arab region. There is plenty of evidence that the political and civic rights record in Arab countries has been marred by serious violations, attested to by various reports of Arab and international human rights organizations. All this lends support to the empirical assessment that, excepting one case Lebanon , various shades of autocracy have prevailed in these countries since independence.
The limited political liberalization that some of them undertook at various times does not materially change this picture. Indeed, the case studies clearly point out how political regimes and practices reflect various forms of autocratic behaviour, the intensity of which could change from one period to another depending upon circumstances. The obstacles to the strengthening of democratization in the Arab region are yet to be overcome.
Over the course of the project, three workshops were held during which the research teams discussed the progress of their work and critiqued the methodologies employed. These proved to be extremely beneficial. They allowed for a constructive and enriching exchange of views among the participants in the project. Mutual feedback helped shape the final drafts of the studies.
Toward the end of the project a dissemination conference was organized to present the findings of the cross-country and case studies to academics and civil society organizations, among others. Their feedback provided many helpful insights. In addition, a few separate individual country workshops were also organized to engage experts in the research findings of the case studies concerned. All these engagements were greatly advantageous to the progress of the research being undertaken. They allowed for a critical discourse of research methodologies and findings that could only serve to improve the ultimate outcome of the research project.
The volume is divided into three parts. Part I, on conceptual and cross-country work, sets the framework of the analysis. Part II, the main part, includes the case studies, which are divided into three groups: the Mashreq countries, the oil-dependent countries and the Nile Valley countries. Part III is an interpretive synthesis summing up the question of democracy in the Arab world.
Al-Naqib a, b ; Kedourie ; Sharabi Al-Naqib, K. Bowman, Kirk, Lehoucq, F. Casper, G. Donno, D. Economist Intelligence Unit Index of Democracy. Online at: www. Gandhi, J. Kedourie, E. Liu, A. Munck, G. Paxton, P. Sharabi, H. When the scandal over the abuse of Iraqi prisoners in the Abu Ghraib prison broke out in early , Seymour Hersh, one of the key figures behind the revelations, pointed to the irony that Abu Ghraib had been a notorious torture centre under the Saddam Hussein regime that was thoroughly looted and stripped even of windows and doors after the fall of the regime.
Then they proceeded to do exactly what the Saddam regime had done there before, only this time they took pictures to amuse themselves. Some even compared the process to the creeping Nazification of Germany in the s Rajiva, Other observers compared this latest Western incursion into the Arab world to the first: that of Napoleon Bonaparte in Neither genuinely cared about grassroots democracy, but both found its symbols easy to invoke for gullible domestic publics.
Substantial numbers of their new subjects quickly saw, however, that they faced occupations, not liberations. When the people could take it no more and revolted, the advocates of liberty used the most brutal of tactics, including resorting to indiscriminate shelling of Cairo and even the mosque.
Every rule in the book was broken, and all pretence of promoting liberty or respecting Islam was dropped. Al-Azhar was occupied and desecrated. Horses were tethered to the Kiblah, furniture was hurled around and the Koran kicked about the floor. El Djabarty, aghast, saw soldiers spit on the carpets, urinate on the walls, and litter the mosque with broken wine bottles … Heavy fines were imposed all round, and ten Sheikhs believed to have been implicated were stripped naked and shot in the Citadel.
Sound familiar? It could be Fallujah , Hebron , Hama , or Halabja This convergence of regime conduct across times and cultures should cast a sharp light on some of the unspoken assumptions that underpin much of the current discussions on democracy and democratization. It is a condition that seems to infect rulers and other political actors in the region, regardless of their cultural background or origin, and suck them into a spiral of abuses, oppression, mounting resistance and more repression, leading to eventual collapse. The resulting paranoia is self-reinforcing; the actor who feels threatened by everyone around him acts in a manner that further alienates people and confirms his fears.
Ironically, this paranoia is also shared by entrenched and increasingly beleaguered Arab regimes, and the excuses are comparable. This blaming of the victims suggests that it is not just Napoleon and Bush who tend to believe their own propaganda, but that many analysts do so as well.
To start, we can draw one logical conclusion from the encounters just mentioned: that the amount of repression needed to sustain a regime is proportional to the depth and breadth of rejection it faces from the people. By definition, democracy should not face popular resistance, since democracy is rule by the people, which cannot be in revolt against itself.
So if a certain order provokes a fierce resistance, that order is, by definition, not a democracy. While there are many disagreements about defining democracy, David Beetham is right to argue that:. Disputes about the meaning of democracy which purport to be conceptual disagreements are really disputes about how much democracy is either desirable or practicable; that is, about where the trade-off should come between democratic and other values.
A mode of decision-making about collectively binding rules and policies over which the people exercise control, and the most democratic arrangement to be where all members of the collectivity enjoy effective equal rights to take part in such decision-making directly — one, that is to say, which realizes to the greatest conceivable degree the principle of popular control and equality in its exercise. Democracy should properly be conceptualized as lying at one end of a spectrum, the other end of which is a system of rule where the people are totally excluded from the decision-making process and any control over it.
The theoretical disputes, as Beetham points out, revolve around rival and contestable claims as to how much democracy can be realized in a sustainable form. However, the general idea is that a democracy can be considered consolidated when such activities do not pose a serious threat to its stability. Linz and Stepan stipulate six conditions needed for a democracy to be consolidated: an authoritative state, a lively civil society, an autonomous political society, the prevalence of the rule of law, an effective state bureaucracy and an institutionalized economic society Linz and Stepan, 51—8.
However, modern democracy has another dimension to it. Liberal constitutionalism seeks to limit the powers of the state through guarantees of individual rights and private property. The designers of the American constitution in particular had used complex constitutional curbs on democratic rights indirect elections of the president and senate, special role for the Supreme Court, etc.
However, and of central relevance to our current investigation, the consciousness of the distinction and tension between liberalism and democracy has led to another startling conclusion. Taking as its premise the same point made above that democracy and liberalism have become inseparable , some analysts have argued that in cases where democracy could lead to illiberal regimes as was the case in the former Yugoslavia or some Arab and Muslim countries where Islamists could come to power , it might not be wise to promote democracy.
Instead, some form of authoritarian liberalism should be championed Miller, ; Zakaria, ; Plattner, From this perspective, it could be seen that what Napoleon and George W. Bush were trying to promote in the Arab world was not really democracy, but some form of authoritarian liberalism cf. Cole, The claim that Arab culture is hostile to democracy has thus been reinterpreted to argue that Arabs are in fact hostile to liberalism. Other theorists trace the genealogy back to de Tocqueville and even to Aristotle Diamond, The political culture approach has in recent years been eclipsed by rival approaches, after a brief ascendancy in the first half of the last century Almond, pp.
Central also is a solid commitment to the democratic process by all actors as stipulated above. This overriding commitment to democratic proceduralism is a critical political cultural condition for democracy. In combination with policy pragmatism and political tolerance, it promotes moderate partisanship, and these qualities together are most likely to limit the politicization of social life and the rancor of political intercourse.
For if one includes evaluation of the political system in the definition of political culture, then the assertion about the influence of culture becomes a tautology. Nevertheless, attempts to identify causal links between political development and existing identifiable cultural traits in given societies face a number of problems.
Determinism is rejected also on normative grounds, because belief in the rigidity of culture and a one-way causal relationship would condemn whole societies to perpetual lack of democracy Diamond, 9— These multiple qualifications look like the prudent preparation of multiple escape routes. Acceptance of democratic norms evolves at a later stage, as a consequence of the compromises reached and the deals struck between former enemies. In a sense, it can be said that, apart from the elite commitment to democratic procedures which may be initially instrumental and expedient there may not be any specific preconditions for democracy.
Moreover, many of the requirements postulated as preconditions for democracy may, in fact, be outcomes of democracy Diamond, Any viable appeal to cultural explanations must take account of this interactive aspect of culture. While cultural norms and identities of necessity condition reactions to political challenges, political realities also condition culture. The way, for example, ethnic identification evolves and shifts even within similar groups depends on many contextual factors as well as conscious choices Wedeen, —5.
This discourse comes in two main versions. One thinks of premodern peoples as those who are not yet modern, who are either lagging behind or have yet to embark on the road to modernity. The other depicts the premodern as also the antimodern. Whereas the former conception encourages relations based on philanthropy, the latter notion is productive of fear and preemptive police or military action. This position has a political purpose. The message it seeks to send when it argues that the clash of Western powers with Arabs and Muslims is a clash of civilizations rather than a genuine political conflict Lewis, ; Huntington, , is that these people are not worthy of political engagement.
These arguments are additionally suspicious when they are promoted by experts known for their right-wing views and sympathies for Israel. In some of its more recent recastings, the slightly more sophisticated thesis defines the problem in terms of a fundamental contrast between the world of jihad and the McWorld. Needless to say, McWorld predominates in the modernized West, symbolized by America. Jihad, by contrast, is found predominantly outside the West, or on its periphery and in small pockets within it.
Apart from the interesting Freudian? It does not explain why parochialism persists among some groups and not others. In the end, we are finally referring to the Orientalist thesis proper, but in an even more simplistic form. Manji, Hudson attempts to tackle the issue by dividing studies that apply the political culture approach to Arab politics into two categories: the reductionist of which the Orientalists are the oldest and most influential and the empiricist. Lisa Anderson is less charitable to the political culture crowd, accusing them of residual racism and extremely negative attitudes to their subject of study Anderson, 79, 88—9.
Most of these writers fail to notice that the attitudes and behaviour patterns they refer to when they are not mere projections or misreadings of the facts are neither uncaused nor unchanging. This is also the reason why Arab and Muslim countries remain averse to liberalism, since liberalism has been historically associated with the rise of the bourgeoisie Binder, — After the debacles in Iraq and the success of Islamists in elections in Egypt and Palestine in late and early , even this limited goal appears to have been abandoned.
According to Sharabi, patriarchy has been a feature of Arab culture since before Islam, which failed to modify it significantly. Similar views are expressed by Khaldoun Al-Naqib, who uses the concept of tribalism to illustrate the same point. Other writers such as Hasan Hanafi similarly argue that the problems we face in attempting to build free societies can be traced back to deep roots in our shared heritage, transmitted across generations through texts or direct oral inculcation Hanafi, —9.
Like Hanafi, Sharabi, it has been correctly pointed out, indulges in sweeping generalizations for which he provides only sketchy and anecdotal evidence Hamoudi, He also neglects important facts regarding the role of mothers and the exposure of children to influences outside the home, such as schools or the media Hamoudi, 18— Moreover, he fails to demonstrate any causal link or coherent interdependence between the traits he ascribes to neopatriarchy for example, why should a society that embraces patriarchy — supposing that this was the case — tend to be irrational or lacking in initiative?
For if the basic problem inheres in the culture, and therefore in the people, it would be useless to advocate democracy. The Orientalists are frank about this, as we see in Kedourie, who cites the fact that democracy has been tried and tested in the Arab world before and was a dismal failure, and who hence argues that the Arabs cannot understand, let alone embrace, democracy Kedourie, 1—2. Therefore, priority must be given to the revolutionary transformation of that society. It has been noted that a significant section of Arab intellectuals made a very reluctant conversion to democratic ideals in the late s and early s Ismael, A deep sense of crisis that engulfed Arab thought in the aftermath of the defeat by Israel was made more acute by the slide of most Arab regimes into an intolerably repressive mode.
Cataclysmic events such as the Israeli invasion of Lebanon in and the Gulf War of —1, which saw direct American hegemony imposed on the region, further enhanced this sense of crisis Ismael, 93—6; Abu-Rabi, 50—2. First, the lesson of the previous decades was that the social and political gains sought by revolutionaries needed the masses to protect them; second, the regimes that promised economic development and Arab unity in exchange for suspension of human rights have achieved neither, and had become so gratuitously and brutally repressive that it had become impossible to tolerate the levels of violence they deploy against opponents; and, finally, the situation in the Arab world had deteriorated dramatically in the face of US-backed Israeli hegemony, leading to a marked increase in Arab dependency in all spheres CAUS, 11— How reluctant and incomplete this conversion to democracy was can be clearly seen from the very debates announcing it.
Also, the social conditions of Arab societies, plagued as they were by tribalism, sectarianism and ignorance, make it imperative to prioritize social transformation and social justice rather than formal democracy CAUS, 81—3. Another intellectual speaking in the same debate George Corm argued that the admiration for democracy in Arab opinion clashes with the antipathy to all things Western and the attachment to values hostile to the individualism that is central to Western democratic norms CAUS, A number of intellectuals engaged in that debate accepted that the call for democracy has arisen in Arab thought and practice, not for its intrinsic qualities, but as a tool to achieve independence and development CAUS, Similar ideas were repeated in other writings and debates during the years that followed.
It is to be noted that discussions of democracy by Arab intellectuals, including that in the much celebrated Arab Human Development Report , rely heavily on Western concepts and sources in their definitions and explications Al-Naqib, ; CAUS, ; Ayubi, ; Sadiki, Often there are differences between those who adopt radical leftist views and those who would like to follow the more traditional liberal line, even though the recent shift referred to above points to a convergence between the two positions.
This has led to a criticism that this convergence is another problematic adoption of democracy as an ideology of salvation that is espoused equally irrationally Tarabishi, Like many other Arab intellectuals, Tarabishi adopts the Culture Talk stance, arguing that the problem is a social-intellectual, rather than a political, one. Others were even more scathing, accusing intellectuals of becoming too pro-Western and alienated from the masses, or concerned merely with their individual interests.
These criticisms notwithstanding, a number of the intellectuals participating in those debates were already officials or sympathizers of regimes that were undemocratic. Many more went on to become ministers in cabinets that could not be described as democratic except by an extreme stretch of the imagination and terminology. This probably provides the key understanding as to the nature of the democratic crisis in the Arab world.
From the beginning, the concern in Arab and Muslim circles has not been with democracy as an intrinsic value, but as a means to something else. It was the same with the revolutionaries of the post-war era. For that early generation and their latter day — more radical — successors, some key objectives were too important to be left at the mercy of democratic process. Both groups did not concentrate on empowering the people as an urgent necessity, for the priority was to empower communities or states.
Only later does commitment to democracy evolve and solidify, receiving an unequivocal and enduring commitment from main actors. However, the problem in the Arab world is that rival political groups continue to entertain the view that many things are too important to entrust to the vagaries of a democratic process and the whims of the populace. The debate on governance in the Arab world on the threshold of modernity became entangled from early on with the debate on what form of government is required by Islam. In its early form, the debate centred on the caliphate and whether it could be saved or restored El-Affendi, 81— Additionally, this debate was also influenced by developments such as the Constitutional Revolution of —6 in Iran, the first experiment of its kind in the Muslim world.
Many of the proponents of these models were reluctant to describe them as democratic. In fact, many were adamant that democracy and Islam were incompatible El-Affendi, Would you like to tell us about a lower price? If you are a seller for this product, would you like to suggest updates through seller support? Championing Child Care will undoubtedly stand as the definitive account of late twentieth-century federal child care policy making. Why has child care legislation developed along its present course? How did the political players influence lawmakers? What do the politics of child care legislation over the past thirty years indicate for the future?
Based on more than one hundred interviews with legislators and executive branch officials, archival research, and secondary sources, this book looks at the politics behind child care legislation, rather than analyzing child care as a work and family issue. Identifying key junctures at which major child care bills were introduced and debated , , and , Sally Cohen examines the politics surrounding each of these events and identifies the political structures and negotiations that evolved in the intervening years. In addition, Cohen looks at the impact the election of President Clinton has had on child care policymaking, and how child care legislation became part of other issues, including welfare reform, crime prevention, school readiness, and tax policy revisions.
Read more Read less.