The pace of change in the Middle East – in Syria, Egypt, Palestine and Israel – is accelerating as 2012 draws to a close. But the American people are not paying attention and are deeply skeptical of greater U.S. engagement in a corner of the world that looks increasingly unstable.
The re-election of Barack Obama as the next president of the United States has ramifications—good, bad and indifferent—for transatlantic relations.
Since the beginning of the Arab Spring, analysts, policymakers, and pundits have debated whether democracy will actually take root in the Middle East. One thing, however, is clear: People in Arab nations want democracy, and they don’t just support a vague notion of democracy – they want to live in a country that has specific rights and institutions.
More than a year after the 2011 uprisings, Arab publics are concerned about the economy, but hopeful about democracy.
More than a year after the first stirrings of the Arab Spring, there continues to be a strong desire for democracy in Arab and other predominantly Muslim nations. A substantial number in key Muslim countries also want a large role for Islam in political life. Meanwhile, few think the U.S. favors democracy in the Middle East.
The declaration of Mohamed Morsi as Egypt’s first freely elected president marks a major milestone for a country that until February 2011 had spent nearly three decades under the authoritarian rule of Hosni Mubarak. At the same time, for significant numbers of Egyptians, Morsi’s relatively narrow victory over former Prime Minister Ahmed Shafiq has the potential to raise questions about Islam’s role in society.
Syrian President Bashar al-Assad is widely unpopular in neighboring countries and the vast majority of Jordanians, Egyptians, Tunisians and Turks would like to see him step down. Even though many would like to see Assad out of office, there is limited support for tougher international economic sanctions or Arab military intervention, and very little support for Western military action.
On the eve of the first presidential election of the post-Mubarak era, Egyptians remain hopeful about the future of their country, and they strongly desire both an improved economy and the democratic freedoms they were denied under the previous regime.
Ahead of negotiations over Iran’s nuclear program, a 21-nation survey finds that most publics around the world are broadly opposed to Iran obtaining nuclear weapons, and many support economic sanctions to prevent such an acquisition. Opinion is more divided on whether military intervention should be used, especially among the six E3+3 negotiating partners.
A year after the ouster of Hosni Mubarak, a new nationwide survey finds that Egyptians remain upbeat about the course of the nation and prospects for progress. Most Egyptians continue to support democracy, and most also want Islam to play a major role in society.