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By J. Russell

Addressing systemic adjustments within the center East's defense surroundings because the Iraq battle, admired specialists research the demanding situations those adjustments pose to US method and coverage. They study the reasons of profound monetary, political and spiritual transitions and their implications for hopes of reform.

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Additional info for Critical Issues Facing the Middle East: Security, Politics, and Economics (Initiatives in Strategic Studies: Issues and Policies)

Example text

The very large numbers of young people with education pose significant political challenges to the established political order. Rising literacy has contributed to what historians of the region have called the crisis of authority within Islam,11 which has profound implications for governance. In a manner reminiscent of the Protestant Reformation in Europe, the spread of mass literacy accelerated markedly during the past generation and has destabilized the religious order. Formerly, only learned, literate religious scholars, the ulema, issued religious opinions, or fetwa.

The Middle East captured less than 1 percent of global FDI during the 1980s and 1990s. 4 percent. 8 billion the previous year. The region’s relatively closed capital markets provided some insulation from the turmoil of international financial markets during the Asian economic crisis of 1997. Those same closed markets also may have contributed to the observed decline in the efficiency of investment from 1975 to 2000. Poor 32 Al an Richards government plausibly explains all three phenomena—large offshore holdings, the reluctance of foreign firms to invest in Near East South Asia (NESA), and the declining efficiency of investment.

Conclusion: Governance and Long-Run Instability For the past 15 years or so, the conventional remedy to all of these problems has been the policies of the Washington consensus, now supplemented by a call for democracy. Even today, one of the Bush administration’s justifications for invading Iraq is the claim that it would pave the way for market-led economies and stable democracies throughout the region. In this view, all good things go together; market economies and democratic politics can cut the Gordian knot from the many challenges sketched here.

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