Возможна ли демократия в арабском мире?

По мере того как Ирак быстро погружается в кровавый хаос, перспективы успешного проведения демократических выборов в январе, как было обещано США и временным правительством Ирака, выглядят довольно мрачно. Некоторые скептики идут еще дальше, утверждая, что сложное положение в Ираке подтверждает, что перспективы установления демократии в арабском мире весьма унылы. Правы ли они?

Половина всех стран мира являются демократическими государствами, однако среди них нет ни одной из 22 арабских стран. Доклад ООН о человеческом развитии в арабском мире откровенно критикует экономический и социальный прогресс в регионе. Он свидетельствует о медленном экономическом росте, неграмотности половины всего женского населения арабских стран и недостаточной интеграции региона в мировую экономику. Действительно, при населении свыше 300 миллионов человек экспорт арабских стран, за исключением нефти и газа, меньше экспорта Финляндии.

Демографическая статистика арабских стран свидетельствует об огромном преобладании молодых людей в структуре населения: 45% всего населения составляют дети и подростки в возрасте до 14 лет, и ожидается, что население удвоится в течение следующей четверти века. Однако регион не в состоянии предоставить молодым людям адекватные возможности для самореализации. Уровень безработицы составляет около 20%. В то же самое время Ближний Восток переполнен современными коммуникациями, многие из которых имеют антизападный уклон.

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