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The Prospects for Democracy in Tunisia and Egypt

- April 25, 2011

Tunisia:

bq. I believe Tunisia’s chances of becoming a democracy before the year ends are surprisingly good. This is for six, largely political, reasons. Most importantly, the military is not complicating the transition to democracy. Tunisia not only has a small military of only about 36,000 men, but since independence, in 1956, the country has been led by two party-based non-democratic leaders who strove to keep the military out of politics.

Egypt:

bq. Democratization in Egypt in the long term is probable, but it does not share the especially favorable conditions that we find in Tunisia. One of the biggest differences between the two countries is that every president of Egypt since 1952 has been a military officer. Post-Mubarak, the interim government, the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF) is led by eighteen generals. These generals unilaterally issue statements about what they see as the rules of the game for future elections.

From “a post”:http://blogs.ssrc.org/tif/2011/04/21/contrasting-progress-on-democracy-in-tunisia-and-egypt/ at The Immanent Frame by “Alfred Stepan”:http://www.columbia.edu/cu/polisci/fac-bios/stepan/faculty.html.