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Arab Human Development in the Twenty-first CenturyThe Primacy of Empowerment$
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Bahgat Korany

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9789774166587

Published to Cairo Scholarship Online: May 2015

DOI: 10.5743/cairo/9789774166587.001.0001

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The Birth Pangs of Transitioning From Authoritarianism:

The Birth Pangs of Transitioning From Authoritarianism:

The Long Spring of Empowerment

(p.327) Chapter 10 The Birth Pangs of Transitioning From Authoritarianism
Arab Human Development in the Twenty-first Century

Bahgat Korany

American University in Cairo Press

The central message of this book is that change leading to empowerment must start at the highest level of government decision-making. Empowerment requires resisting authoritarianism and achieving a balanced relationship between citizens and the ruling power. Regimes' obsession with military security has come at the expense of legitimacy, public services, and wider human security. This has led to the deterioration of already inadequate living standards and social conditions. For some regimes this policy failure has led to state failure. Yet democratization waves are spreading through the region. Though the core tenets of democracy are the same everywhere, the Arab world must develop its own mode of democratic governance based on the primacy of social justice. In an institution-based society, everyone must adhere to practices of transparent decision-making, with oversight and accountability at all levels. While the Arab Spring marked a start toward democratization, the path remains difficult. This book proposes that democratization begin with establishing a stable and peaceful means for transferring power in a state ruled by law and with codified, objective standards for decision-making. Toward this end, states must pursue transparency, balanced media reporting, effective conflict management, and support for communal and individual identity.

Keywords:   Arab Spring, democratic transition, adaptation deficit, empowerment

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