Most Americans and Middle Easterners agree, according to public opinion polls, that democracy can develop in the Middle East and that only peaceful means of supporting democracy are acceptable.
Nevertheless, deep disagreements remain on whether the U.S. should be involved in promoting democracy in the region, and if so, how.
What types of policies and programs do Middle Easterners perceive as permissible and legitimate ways for the U.S. to impact political reform? What actions can the U.S. take to regain credibility on promoting reform in the region?
How do American view the promotion of democracy abroad compared to other policy priorities, especially when groups likely to come to power through democratic means are opposed to most U.S. policies?- Project on Middle East Democracy
Andrew Albertson is the Executive Director of Project on Middle East Democracy.
Fares Braizat is the Deputy Director of the Center for Strategic Studies at the University of Jordan, Braizat is a 2007 Fulbright APSA Congressional Fellow.
David DeBartolo is the Director of Dialogue Progams for the Project on Middle East Democracy (POMED). He formerly worked on Palestinian political party development in East Jerusalem and Ramallah for the National Democratic Institute.
Nader Said is currently the General Director of Arab World for Research and Development and was formerly the Director of the Development Studies Program at Birzeit University.
Samuel J. Eldersveld Collegiate Professor Of Political Science, Director, International Institute, Vice Provost for International Affairs, University Of Michigan.
Professor Tessler is President of the American Institute for Maghrib Studies, a member of the Council of American Overseas Research Centers, located at the Smithsonian Institution.
He is also on the Steering Committee of the Palestinian American Research Center, another CAORC member; editor of the Indiana University Press series in Middle East Studies; and past President of the Association for Israel Studies.
His prior university administrative experience includes the direction of two Title VI National Resource Centers: the University of Wisconsin Joint Center for International Studies at Milwaukee and Madison, and the Center for Middle Eastern Studies of the University of Arizona.
Nader Said, Director of AWRAD, presents a provocative survey finding Arabs strongly in favor of a secular democratic government.
The vast majority of Arabs believe the role of religion should be sharply distinguished from the role of politics; Said reports this majority is growing due to the influence of Hamas and other fringe groups.
David DeBartolo reveals poll results which show Americans desire to promote democracy using only peaceful and non-military means.
DeBartolo strategizes on how to frame foreign policy rhetoric to match the desires of the American people; naming methods such manipulating language in public opinion polls and explicitly framing efforts as peaceful.