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Obama must challenge authoritarian alternatives to democracy
Obama must challenge authoritarian alternatives to democracy
President Obama’s speech in Cairo tomorrow is significant not only for what he will say to the Muslim world, Michael Cohen and Brian Katulis suggest. It is also an opportunity to articulate the case for democracy at a time when “an alternative political model to liberal democracy is emerging, one spearheaded by China, Russia and other semi-authoritarian leaders and which places economic development ahead of democratic accountability.”
Friday, June 5,2009 02:00
by Michael Allen Demdigest.net

President Obama’s speech in Cairo tomorrow is significant not only for what he will say to the Muslim world, Michael Cohen and Brian Katulis suggest.  It is also an opportunity to articulate the case for democracy at a time when “an alternative political model to liberal democracy is emerging, one spearheaded by China, Russia and other semi-authoritarian leaders and which places economic development ahead of democratic accountability.”

The president must reconcile political reform with wider security concerns, integrate democracy promotion with regional stability, and defend U.S. interests while articulating its ideals. Obama should ensure that security assistance with the region’s regimes fosters better human rights practices and transparent oversight of security services. And, they suggest, through “the National Endowment for Democracy, multilateral initiatives such as the U.N. Democracy Fund and other assistance tools, the Obama administration must offer greater support for non-governmental actors and democracy advocates in the region.”

 

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