What Can Arab Countries Learn From Post-communist Transition?
More than a year has passed since the beginning of the political uprising against the authoritarian regimes in the Arab world. But, as demonstrated by the recent dramatic developments in Syria, the process is far from over. Meanwhile nations which have already freed themselves from their authoritarian rulers (Tunisia, Egypt, Libya and Yemen), must decide where to go and how to manage their political and economic changes. To a lesser extent, a similar challenge is being faced by those constitutional monarchies (like Morocco or Jordan) which accelerated reforms in order to avoid political destabilization. Many politicians and experts, especially those from Central and Eastern Europe, suggest their Arab colleagues learn from the experience of the postcommunist transition of the early 1990s. However, while learning from others is always a useful exercise, the geopolitical and socio-economic context of the Arab revolution seems to be different, in many respects, from that of former Soviet bloc countries more than twenty years ago.
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