The Idea Department

The Idea Department is a space for the discussion of politics, economics, global affairs, ethics, international relations, and related topics - brought to you by the staff and interns at Project Syndicate.
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Posts tagged "tunisia"


Economist Daily Chart: The Shoe Throwers Index. This week we crunched lots of statistics to predict where the next Arab revolution could most likely occur. Click through to find out how we put together this “index of unrest”, and to suggest ways it could be improved.

(via thepoliticalnotebook)

Is India’s experience the instructive model to follow if democracy in the Arab world is to be achieved? Former Indian Minister of State for External Affairs Shashi Tharoor in his article, The Arabs and the Democratic Choice, argues that India’s governing system since its status as an independent nation could serve as a template to be followed by nations such as Tunisia and Egypt to gain the freedoms they have been previously denied. 

Once India freed itself from Britain’s colonial rule it set up a democracy to build up the nation and not an authoritarian rule which could’ve easily been established during a period of uncertainty and instability like the one India was facing.  Tharoor sees India’s model as a democratic success for the fact that even though India’s citizens face a myriad of problems they have never taken to “demonstrations calling for regime change.”  Instead India’s citizens have taken to other means such as “debates in Parliament, political alliance-making, and eventually the ballot box” to instigate change and solutions to pressing issues.

Many countries are calling for democracy in Egypt but Tharoor believes this is ineffective, as he sees it, democracy must come from within and cannot be taught. Is India’s model really the best for Arab nations to follow? Can democracy be taught or is that something that a nation must configure on their own?


How Egyptians Are Using Twitter

(via anokarina)

"Has the uprising in Tunisia sparked a new democratic wave that will conquer Egypt and eventually sweep away the authoritarian ‘Arab exception’?" Álvaro de Vasconcelos seems to think so. In The Roar of the Democratic Wave, his newest piece for Project Syndicate, Vasconcelos discusses the role the international community and world leaders should play in Egypt’s democratic revolution.

On January 25th of this year, inspired by Tunisia’s “Jasmine Revolution,” protestors in Egypt took to the streets in protest of poverty, unemployment, government corruption and the authoritarian regime of Hosni Mubarak. Mubarak has been the autocratic leader of Egypt for 30 years and is refusing to step down. Instead the government has shut down the internet, restricted access to Al Jazeera and employed the military in an effort to quell the revolts.

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