“Although authoritarian regimes may initiate economic reform programs, their ultimate success depends not only on reductions in the size and role of the state but also—and to an even greater extent—on the development of pluralist politics. In most of the countries of the Middle East, particularly in the Arab world, it is the incumbent political regime that constitutes the greatest obstacle to both political and economic reform. The much discussed question of sequencing—that is, whether economic reform brings about democracy or vice versa—is not addressed here. Rather, this essay argues that even when authoritarian regimes such as those in power in the Middle East manage to initiate economic reform, its extent and duration are determined more by political considerations than by economic rationality.”
Henri J. Barkey, Can the Middle East Compete?
Checking backgrounds/context of new surge of types of political violence in MENA - does lead back to the question of -
how economic development has been managed/shaped - (following what kind of division lines)
in place like Tunisia, Egypt, (Syria), (Lebanon), and Jordan
Tough political tensions and rivalry - in each place do have other ‘causes’ and need to sort out (and add) those perspectives too. But economic development, (and failure or lack of) pluralism -
(*it’s something so hard to really imagine the actual way ahead or find ‘evidences’ - esp in terms of access (exclusivity and privilege or ‘(manufactured) fairness’…)
And these long-ass Western management language aside - people’s - actually just ‘temper’ - always affect rivalry and what follows. Actual tension, actual bitterness and animosities on the ground.
One really blunt way of putting is I really don’t know - even not sure it’s important to keep criticizing West’s approaches to MENA (academic or journalism stuff.)
There are more realities - more and more realities - need to be felt and taken into ‘(thought) process’ - ((And that might be more worthy of something to be attempted and built))
But if people on the ground aren’t willing to (or more realistically, ‘able to’) change their activity patterns - …
Realities. Economic. Psychological. (Memories to fear, mutual fear ((sectarianism - no one can really guarantee fair and caring governing top … etc.))
Or how fast things can actually change (in some astonishing, surprising way like miracle) - better.