Posts tagged with "democracy"



Op ed for the Arizona Daily Star. For fans of direct democracy, the recent Brexit vote is good news. The majority of British people took the course of the nation into their own hands and voted against the advice of every major international institution, politician and expert. The UK is leaving the EU after 43 years, not because of some political crisis or diplomatic wrangle, but because the British people opted for this option in a national referendum. As an exercise in direct democracy, the...
Many European observers had initially hoped the Arab Spring would lead to similar democratic outcomes in the Middle East and North Africa as occurred in the 1990s across Central and Eastern Europe, but we now know it did not. According to Freedom House, the countries in the MENA region are less free now than they were before the protests began. Libya and Syria are de facto failed states, and Egypt is under military rule; Tunisia is the lone exception. Meanwhile, those regimes that stayed in...
I have been hesitant to make any conclusions about what is going on in Europe right now. Predictions about the possible future are even harder. But I would like to share some of my thoughts about the challenging negotiations between Greece, the European Union and the International Monetary Fund and explain why I think that they never will be over. As a European scholar, I am a chronic optimist. I always like to remind my students that the history of the EU has been shaped by crisis and...
In his recent article on POLITICO "Why political Islam is winning" Charles Hill did not convince me that the democratic world as we know it is coming to an end. Point taken: today the relics of the Arab Spring protest seem like the final backlash against democracy in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) but the overall picture is not as dark as its seems in the article. Let me explain why. First, it is wrong to put political Islam on the same footing as the Islamic State. While the former is...