OverseasREPORT July 2012

OverseasREPORT is CIPE's quarterly newsletter.


Excerpt from this Issue...

Washington, DC – Since the uprisings in the Arab world, there has been no shortage of debate on the political future of Arab countries. Yet everyone is still grappling — in Washington as in the affected countries — with the economic dimensions of this upheaval and their implications for political transition. While the region may be in the early stages of a long transition marked by considerable opportunity, the opportunity can only be sustained if key economic challenges are soon addressed.

At a recent meeting, CIPE hosted two experts who possess a strong grasp of the political economy issues at stake: Larry Diamond, Director of Stanford University’s Center on Democracy, Development, and the Rule of Law (CDDRL), and Michele Dunne, Director of the Atlantic Council’s Rafik Hariri Center for the Middle East. Steve Clemons from The Atlantic moderated an insightful discussion, which also featured CIPE Executive Director John D. Sullivan.

While the uprisings can be interpreted through different lenses, Dunne stated that without the underpinnings of economic reform, the political transitions will face trouble. Former regimes that had been producing economic results ran out of time as they became discredited by human rights abuses and political repression. So in order to win public support for economic reform, honest government is an imperative. Diamond spelled out at least three things the public requires to accept reform: governments must be legitimate (beginning with counter-corruption efforts); they must present a road map for reform; and they must engage people in the reform process.

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