Editor’s Note: This article originally appeared on Order from Chaos.
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Editor’s Note: The lifting of billions of humans out of poverty is one of the great achievements of our age and should be celebrated. However, this shift at times increases the chances of civil strife and other serious problems. My Brookings and Georgetown colleague (a two-fer!) Raj Desai assesses the rise of a global middle class and the many risks of instability it brings.
A review of Steven Levitsky and Daniel Ziblatt, How Democracies Die (Crown, 2018).
Editor’s Note: Immigrants are often portrayed as a threat to democracy, particularly if they come from "shithole" countries as our president has so charmingly put it. This view, however, ignores the very power of democracy and the attractiveness of its values for those who have only known tyranny. Margaret Peters of UCLA and Michael Miller of GWU find that an excellent way to spread democracy is to take in more migrants from dictatorships.
The Arab uprising in 2011 prompted months of excitement about the potential for governance reform and even democratization in the Arab world. But as the protests gave way to massacres, civil war, and renewed repression—what Marc Lynch has called the “Arab Thermidor”—the attention policymakers paid to reform gave way to more immediate security challenges.
Editor's Note: The United States is more engaged in Africa than ever before. This increasing role is occurring as Africa struggles with political liberalization: although we’ve seen impressive successes, much of the continent is mired in authoritarianism. Kristen Harkness of the University of St. Andrews explains the different ways that militaries can interfere with successful democratization. She argues that the West should focus on reforming militaries as part of a broader effort to democratize and stabilize Africa.
The Lawfare Podcast: Shadi Hamid on "Islamic Exceptionalism: How the Struggle Over Islam Is Reshaping the World"
Shadi Hamid is a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution’s Project on US Relations with the Islamic World and the author of the new book Islamic Exceptionalism: How the Struggle Over Islam Is Reshaping the World. This week on the podcast, Shadi sat down with Benjamin Wittes to talk about the book, which examines Islam’s unique relationship with democratic politics and the modern world.