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POMED Notes: Democracy and Conflict
POMED Notes: Democracy and Conflict
Do transitions to democracy dampen violent, extremist forces or ignite them? Yesterday afternoon, POMED and the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars hosted a panel discussion on the relationship between democratization and conflict, asking whether democratization is likely to be a force for stability or unrest in the Middle East.
Thursday, March 19,2009 09:08
pomed.org

Do transitions to democracy dampen violent, extremist forces or ignite them? Yesterday afternoon, POMED and the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars hosted a panel discussion on the relationship between democratization and conflict, asking whether democratization is likely to be a force for stability or unrest in the Middle East. In his opening remarks, POMED Executive Director Andrew Albertson, the panel’s moderator, observed that U.S. efforts to promote democracy in the Middle East since September 2001 have been motivated in part by the belief that political reform would mitigate public discontent in the region, undercutting terrorists and militant extremists. But some scholars argue that transitions to democracy are rocky and likely to engender conflict, bolstering sectarian and nationalist elements of society. Noting that these issues have emerged in Afghanistan, Iraq, Lebanon, and the Palestinian territories, the event asked: What lessons have we learned?

Panelists included Thomas Carothers, Vice President for Studies at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, Audra Grant, a political scientist at the RAND Corporation, Karin von Hippel, Co-director of the Post-Conflict Reconstruction Project at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, and Amjad Atallah, Co-director of the New America Foundation’s Middle East Task Force.

For POMED’s notes on the discussion, click here.

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