Democratization in the Middle East: Experiences, Struggles, Challenges

By Amin Saikal; Albrecht Schnabel | Go to book overview

10
State power and democratization in
North Africa: Developments in
Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, and
Libya
Tom Pierre Najem

Increasing democratization has been a trend in the developing world, particularly since the dissolution of the Soviet Union in the early 1990s. With the apparent failure of the heavily statist, one-party-driven, command economy model of socialist development long advocated by the Soviets and adopted by their allies and many other nations in the third world, the Western pluralist, democratic, and capitalist model of development has in effect become the only system of governance that is perceived by most developing countries as being both viable in practice and attractive in terms of its societal implications. Part and parcel of this perception, of course, is that the victory of Western capitalism in the Cold War has meant that the Western powers are in a position not merely to influence development as exemplars but also to impose their preferences. The increasing globalization of the world economy and the predominance of not only Western countries but also powerful intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations such as the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund (IMF), Amnesty International, and many others has meant that in many cases, and for better or for worse, development capital, trade, and other prerequisites for effective development have become contingent upon the adoption of Western ideals and standards.

To some extent, the past decade has been characterized not only by increasing democratization, but also by considerable triumphalism on the part of some of its advocates. Some scholars, most notably Francis Fukuyama, have suggested that the Western form of liberal democracy can

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