Is enfranchisement the answer to the middle east problem, or is dictatorship necessary for stability in the region?


There are examples to show that the government acts to moderate the wishes of the population at large. In case of a democracy, the religious mindset of the people would translate into policies that would destabilize the region... further.

We saw this in the election of Muslim brotherhood in Egypt, Saudi nationals(not the government) funding extremist terror groups, and in Kuwait there are bills in Parliament that aim to establish shariah based punishments. The bill being eventually blocked by the amir.

The empty anti-Israel rhetoric from the Saudi government would likely be acted upon in a democratic state, perhaps along the lines of what we see in Iran.

Should foreign governments push for enfranchisement of the citizens of Saudi Arabia as their basic human right, considering the possible implications of doing so?

What is the stance of policy makers in the west in this regard?

Gold Nile

Posted 2017-08-17T13:21:22.280

Reputation: 11

Question was closed 2017-08-17T21:44:59.920

You classify Iran as a democratic state? And what evidence is there that Saudi arabia would go to war against Israel as a democratic state when it actually has fought Israel while not a democratic state and history shows democratic states don't fight one another. – – 2017-08-17T15:31:49.883 - even Fukuyama admitted that The End of History is not the case anymore :) – user4012 – 2017-08-17T17:08:11.347 - I classify Iran as being a theocratic democracy. And its not about the likelihood of declaring war on Israel, so much as the current influence clerics hold over society in Saudi Arabia translating into policy in a democracy. – Gold Nile – 2017-08-17T17:11:44.317

That 'we' is still really broad even if you take it (as narrowly as I can imagine) to mean only heads of state of the major western nations. – None – 2017-08-17T17:52:20.737

@user4012 I know, but until reality bears itself out to be vastly different, I'm sticking with it! – – 2017-08-17T18:12:17.547

@GoldNile Well all evidence shows that despite many trappings of democracy, Iran is not that and even assigning it a false title only theoretically applied to Israel will not suffice. – – 2017-08-17T18:14:43.167

Apparently, even dictatorship does not lead to stability of the region. – Bregalad – 2017-08-17T18:18:00.830

Interesting article, but I'm left unimpressed by Zakaria's realignment of the liberal democracy idea. He makes a distinction using constitutional democracies, but, for example, Iran certainly has a constitution and ostensibly also the separation of powers. – – 2017-08-18T14:05:14.930



Democracy is just a good tool to organize a government. It gives the government a "political mandate" to do what it wants. It is not an "absolute good" the way Liberty is - just the way we ensure Liberty in the West.

Remember that nazis came to power in a democratic way and proceeded to dismantle the very democratic institutions that brought him to power. Remember that the democratic elections that followed the Arab Spring led to Islamist governments in every case. Remember the Turkey's slide to Islamism as the army relinquished the control over the government.

Thus democratic election can lead to an internally stable government (Weimar-->3rd Reich, secular dictator-->islamist democracy) which would, in turn, lead to an international instability (ww2, islamists attacking each other, Israel, US, Europe &c).

I wish we had a silver bullet answer to our problems, but, I am afraid, the is none. We would have to stick with the old drudge of promoting secular education (especially for women!)

PS. See also


Posted 2017-08-17T13:21:22.280

Reputation: 627

The pope really says that? – user4951 – 2019-01-01T22:49:38.717

@user4951: Alexander Pope, apparently, did.

– sds – 2019-01-04T18:47:46.100

he's not a pope. he's a satirist – user4951 – 2019-01-04T19:46:11.983

No one said that Alexander Pope was a pope. You are misinterpreting the original comment. – sds – 2019-01-04T19:47:35.677

"for forms of government let fools contest; whatever is best administered is best." --Pope. – None – 2017-08-17T19:13:01.133