Welcoming Egypt to the World of Democracy

Liberalized Autocracy Defining Egypt’s Politics

After the United States was attacked on September 11, 2001, many nations have been leading the democratization of Europe, the United States, and the Middle East. Civil society has played such a critical role in Latin America and Eastern Europe, bringing hope that even other countries can successfully transition to democracy even if they are faced by differing contexts in the political arena.

The West views Arabic countries as areas where democracy can be attained through the continuous demonstrations began by the civil society. Non-Governmental Organizations are only seen as tools to enhance governance and to hold various governments to account. Therefore, strengthening the civil society has been discussed at various areas such as meetings, conferences, and seminars.

However, the promotion of democracy in the Western States has not affected the level of democracy in Middle Eastern Countries. Therefore, the notion that civil society is the only path to democracy in the Arab States is far from the truth. A number of Non-Governmental Organizations have been funded in Egypt with the hope that they may lead to a rise in democracy. Any donor who gives money to NGOs in Arabian countries should be assured that the money is only made available to the organizations that are perceived as being friendly to the regime of the day.

In this regard, Schlumberger argues that the current manner in which democratization is being implemented in Middle East is bound to fail. Donors need to beware of the broad political undertakings of the autocrats in the liberalized autocracies so as to be able to initiate democracy in the Middle East.

Egypt is a perfect scenario of liberalized authoritarianism. Moreover, the country is on record as having received huge amounts of donor money from foreigners. The civil society sector in Egypt is so vibrant that it has a voice in the whole of Middle East. The country has undergone untold pain and suffering in its quest to disentangle itself from the forbearing pains of economic and political fields. The citizens of the nation have remained hopeful that the country would one day be a role model of democracy in the Middle East. This has not come to be.

It is now a clear thing that liberalized autocracy has been cemented in the Arabian countries. The trademark of the liberalized autocracy is indicated by controlled elections, pluralism, and selective suppression in Morocco, Kuwait, Egypt, and Jordan, among others. These signs are not just a strategy to survive in power but they are aimed at defying the institutions created by the very constitutions that rules such nations. They are aimed at killing any mark of democracy that is seen. However, the Arabic nations are being seen as moving away from liberalized autocracy, if we are to cite the case of the conviction of Saad Eddin Ibrahim and his colleagues. Such issues are an indication that Egypt and the Middle East could be on the way to democratization of politics. Democracy may be on its way especially if one focusses    on the recent happenings in Jordan.