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Democracy And Development

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"The Third Wave of Democratization in The Arab World", is an essay written by Dr. Mustafa K. El-Sayyid in the book "The Arab World Today" edited by Dan Tschirgi. This section discusses a topic that is on its own very crucial and an integral part of our society especially in the last few years, the question of democracy is very fundamental due to the sensitivity of the situation within the Arab region.

The Middle East has always been an influential area by the west. However, in recent years this influence has been tumorized, the impact of the western world-especially the current main actor the United States- has reached a point of significant interference with the policies of the Middle Eastern nations. "Western democracy can travel across the globe without any entry visa and is welcome wherever it lands" (Bahgat Kourany). And that is the main idea upon which Dr. Mustafa El Sayyid has focused upon, which is the empirical situation and conditions of democracy in the Arab world as opposed to democracy in the western world.

Samuel Huntington has described the appearance of democracy through three different stages, which he referred to as the Three Waves of Democratization. Dr. El-Sayyid has followed in Huntington's footsteps and analyzed democracy in the Arab region those three waves. However, the author did not refer to democratization in the Arab world, but he considered it a process of "Political Liberalization". This thought has been further stressed upon through out his argument, by creating a comparative analysis between the three waves of democracy in the whole world on one hand and those same waves of "Political Liberalization" on the other.

Democracy has been described by Dr. Mustafa through two main perspectives; first of all he analyzed the features of democracy in the Arab world as opposed to it in more advanced political systems. He then emphasizes on the key players who have great roles within the process of liberalization.

The main theme of that most of the features have touched upon is the question that forces itself, whether or not this process of "Political Liberalization" is a step towards democracy or not? However, Dr. Mustafa describes it as a "cosmetic surgery" more than it is an actual logical and thoughtful process of modernizing the political systems within the region. One of the things that have been also emphasized on is the execution of human rights in the Arab World and how the basic element of democracy is not actually met. A very brief comparison between the efficiency, intensity and depth of this wave in the Arab region and its counterpart in the western world will bring out to any reader, the question of whether or not governments in the Arab World have real or disguised legitimacy. On the other hand, the author have also mentioned how supposedly more advanced nations have advised most of the Arab nations with the importance of modernizing their political system, which in itself is contradicting where most of the foreign policies of those nations -especially the US's- reject as a matter of fact they may help out in banning such an improvement in the system of the Arab nations simply cause such modernizing may have a great effect on their interference in the Middle East. other words the western the US, lecture the Arab World on democracy, the problem with that is if pure democracy was to achieved the Islamists group, who are against the US, are those who will come into power, those people's main rival is the US, so accordingly it is rather contradicting



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