Joshua W. Walker
The Power & Policy Fellows’ Forum
By Joshua W. Walker
As a longtime ally of the West and new partner of Iran and Syria, Turkey has been seeking the role of mediator and model in every available arena, including Egypt, Lebanon, and Tunisia. As a G-20 founding member, holder of a seat on the UN Security Council, European Union aspirant, and head of the Organization of Islamic Conference, Ankara has transformed itself into an international actor, capable of bringing considerable clout and influence to its regions. Often lost in the debates about Turkey and its potential as a model is the fact that Ankara did not transform itself overnight from a defeated post-Ottoman state led by Ataturk’s military to a flourishing market-democracy led by a conservative Muslim party. It has been almost a century in the making. Read more
By Monica Duffy Toft
With news of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak stepping down, the key question becomes “who will govern Egypt?” Although Mubarak has handed power over to the military, there is still the possibility that other actors, including the Muslim Brotherhood (MB), could step in to fill the vacuum. The central question is: If the MB comes to power in Egypt or even becomes a major player, what will its position be on the transformation of the political system in Egypt? Is it a force for democracy or a force for authoritarianism? In essence, will the MB foster a conservative Islamic vision for Egypt?
The evidence is mixed, but on balance I predict the MB will be a force for democratic change. What is my evidence? I have two sorts. The first regards the MB itself and the second is the role of religious actors in politics more generally. Read more
By Nicholas Burns
Today’s dramatic events in Cairo and the departure of Hosni Mubarak from power may bring to a close the first stage in what is nothing short of a revolution in Egypt’s politics and society.
What have we learned from these extraordinary last eighteen days? I can think of five immediate lessons worth thinking about.
Egyptians celebrate in Tahrir Square, Cairo, on February 11, 2011. (Photo by Ramy Raoof)
First, People Power achieved this victory. For those of us who have lived in Egypt, what was always most impressive about that fascinating but impoverished country was the energy, optimism and resourcefulness of a people who had been dominated by royal and military rulers for the last century. Their idealism, passion and steadfastness during the last eighteen days overcame all of the power, privilege and cynicism of the government and overwhelmed it in the end. The role of Facebook, Twitter, Al Jazeera and CNN in magnifying the voices and faces from Tahrir Square was breathtaking and surely indicative of a new brand of politics in this still new century. Read more