Skip to main content

pa3818c.jpg Paul Lachine

The Middle East Turmoil Trap

The Middle East is sinking deeper into turmoil, and we are farther away than ever from finding a solution in Syria, Egypt, and other key sources of regional instability. There is much handwringing, but too little serious thought about how to strengthen the region's security, economy, and social model.

MADRID – Instability continues to spread in the Middle East, with the military coup in Egypt the latest episode to trigger political tremors throughout the region. With its 85 million people and strategically vital location, Egypt is the most important country on the Mediterranean’s southern shore. Continuing the democratization process that began there in 2011 is urgent.

The Muslim Brotherhood’s Islamist government, led by Mohamed Morsi, demonstrated all too well its incompetence and incapacity to ensure an inclusive democratic transition. But the solution offered by Egypt’s military is far from ideal. Coups always tend to exacerbate problems, not solve them, and this one is no exception.

The first consequence is that Egyptian society is even more divided over the question of political legitimacy. Morsi’s supporters cite the legitimacy of his victory in a democratic election a year ago – and the illegitimacy of the army’s coup and detention of the deposed president – while his opponents defend the legitimacy of the massive, countrywide protests against him.

We hope you're enjoying Project Syndicate.

To continue reading, subscribe now.

Subscribe

Get unlimited access to PS premium content, including in-depth commentaries, book reviews, exclusive interviews, On Point, the Big Picture, the PS Archive, and our annual year-ahead magazine.

https://prosyn.org/VG2FyuQ;
  1. reinhart39_ Sha HantingChina News ServiceVisual China Group via Getty Images_jerome powell Sha Hanting/China News Service/Visual China Group via Getty Images

    Jerome Powell’s Dilemma

    Carmen M. Reinhart & Vincent Reinhart

    There is a reason that the US Federal Reserve chair often has a haunted look. Probably to his deep and never-to-be-expressed frustration, the Fed is setting monetary policy in a way that increases the likelihood that President Donald Trump will be reelected next year.

    0
  2. mallochbrown10_ANDREW MILLIGANAFPGetty Images_boris johnson cow Andrew Milligan/AFP/Getty Images

    Brexit House of Cards

    Mark Malloch-Brown

    Following British Prime Minister Boris Johnson's suspension of Parliament, and an appeals court ruling declaring that act unlawful, the United Kingdom finds itself in a state of political frenzy. With rational decision-making having become all but impossible, any new political agreement that emerges is likely to be both temporary and deeply flawed.

    1
  3. sufi2_getty Images_graph Getty Images

    Could Ultra-Low Interest Rates Be Contractionary?

    Ernest Liu, et al.

    Although low interest rates have traditionally been viewed as positive for economic growth because they encourage businesses to invest in enhancing productivity, this may not be the case. Instead, Ernest Liu, Amir Sufi, and Atif Mian contend, extremely low rates may lead to slower growth by increasing market concentration and thus weakening firms' incentive to boost productivity.

Cookies and Privacy

We use cookies to improve your experience on our website. To find out more, read our updated Cookie policy, Privacy policy and Terms & Conditions