The Messy Business of Democracy

Juan Cole has an excellent post about the growth of democracy in two Muslim-majority countries (Turkey and Indonesia). While both countries have their very serious problems (lurking authoritarians, bad record on treatment of minorities) they are quietly achieving free and open societies. It is worth remembering that the attainment of our current forms of government in the West required a great deal of struggle and many setbacks. The point is though that this kind of reform seems to work best when people are given the chance to do it themselves. Go read the whole post, perhaps a little optimism for the new year.


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