Fragile States and the Democratization Process: A New Approach to Understanding Security in the Middle East

November 2008


This study focuses on the impact of democratization upon state fragility in the Middle East, through the analysis of two critical case studies: namely, Lebanon and Palestine. Post 9/11, western governments have prioritized democratization in their foreign policy, in a bid to counter the rise of extremism within the region. Nonetheless, weak internal state structures, the absence of civil society institutions, a lack of freedom, the presence of competing trans-national sources of identity (ethnicity, religion or sect), and the failure of states to acquire the support and loyalty of their citizens can all be considered factors that, although largely ignored within policy circles, in fact contribute most significantly towards state fragility and to the success or failure of any democratization effort.

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