Ist Demokratie möglich in der arabischen Welt?

Der Irak versinkt zusehends in blutigem Chaos. Die Aussichten, dass im Januar wie von den USA und der irakischen Übergangsregierung versprochen Wahlen abgehalten werden können, sind düster. Einige Skeptiker gehen noch weiter und argumentieren, dass das Debakel im Irak der Beweis sei, dass die Chancen auf eine demokratische Entwicklung in der arabischen Welt insgesamt trübe aussehen. Haben sie Recht?

Die Hälfte aller Länder auf der Erde sind Demokratien, doch ist keiner der 22 arabischen Länder darunter. Der Arabische Bericht über die menschliche Entwicklung der Vereinten Nationen äußert freimütige Kritik am wirtschaftlichen und sozialen Fortschritt der Region. Das wirtschaftliche Wachstum ist bisher langsam, etwa die Hälfte der weiblichen Bevölkerung sind Analphabetinnen, und die Region ist nur unzureichend in die Weltwirtschaft integriert. Tatsächlich erreichen die weltweiten Exporte der arabischen Länder mit einer Gesamtbevölkerung von mehr als 300 Millionen Menschen ohne Öl und Gas nicht einmal das Exportvolumen Finnlands.

In den demographischen Tabellen der arabischen Welt zeichnet sich ein enormer Jugendüberschuss ab; 45 % der Bevölkerung haben heute ein Alter von unter 14 Jahren, und die Gesamtbevölkerungszahl wird sich aller Voraussicht in den nächsten 25 Jahren verdoppeln. Dabei sind die Chancen für junge Menschen, in der Region eine sinnvolle Arbeit zu finden, unzureichend. Die Arbeitslosigkeit stagniert bei 20 %. Gleichzeitig wir der Mittlere Osten modernen Kommunikationsmedien mit häufig antiwestlicher Einstellung überschwemmt.

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