La démocratie est-elle possible dans le monde arabe ?

Alors que l'Irak s'enfonce rapidement dans un chaos sanglant, les élections démocratiques promises par les Etats-Unis et le gouvernement provisoire irakien pour janvier prochain semblent de plus en plus compromises. Pour les plus sceptiques, la débâcle irakienne prouve que la démocratie a peu de chances de l'emporter dans le monde arabe en général. Est-ce vrai ?

La moitié des pays du monde sont des démocraties, et pourtant aucun des 22 pays arabes. Le Rapport arabe sur le développement humain des Nations Unies critique sans détour l'évolution économique et sociale de la région. La croissance économique est lente, environ une femme sur deux est analphabète, et la région est mal intégrée dans l'économie mondiale. En effet, avec une population de plus de 300 millions de personnes, les pays arabes exportent moins - exception faite du pétrole et du gaz - que la Finlande.

Une explosion démographique se profile, avec une population - dont 45 % a aujourd'hui moins de 14 ans - qui devrait doubler dans les vingt-cinq prochaines années. Pourtant, les perspectives professionnelles pour les jeunes sont médiocres et le chômage tourne autour de 20 %. Parallèlement, le Moyen-Orient est inondé de communications modernes, à tendance majoritairement anti-occidentale.

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