It’s more than five years since the then US secretary of state, Condoleeza Rice, pledged that America would take a different course and support the democratic aspirations of all people. “For 60 years,’ she said, “my country, the United States, pursued stability at the expense of democracy in this region, here in the Middle East, and we achieved neither. Throughout the Middle East the fear of free choices can no longer justify the denial of liberty.”
But not much happened and now, a popular uprising forced Tunisia’s autocratic leader to flee the country and the army step in. In its leader, The Sunday Times writes:- “Too often the West gives too much weight to short-term stability at the price of long-term stable government…..The West props up corrupt regimes for fear of the deluge if they fall. That is in nobody’s long term interests.”
How then, does a society move from dictatorship to democracy without violence? If there is a think-tank self-help paper on this, could someone let me know?