The Post-American World

by Fareed Zakaria

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How does Zakaria account for the failure of democracy to flourish in the Middle East? Liberal democracy, to be more specific.

Zakaria attributes the failure of democracy in the Middle East to a lack of economic opportunities. VI. Issue analysis: Iran and Syria

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I think that Zakaria's primary analysis on this point is that the economic conditions to favor political stability is what endangers democracy in areas like the Middle East.  The lack of economic opportunity in places like the Middle East makes it less likely for the patience to be present in liberal democracy.  The lure of self- centered leaders who wish to usurp power as opposed to allowing the time and conditions needed for democracy to gain a foothold is too strong for areas where unemployment is high and economic hope is low.  It is in this where Zakaria suggests that it is in America's interests to build and develop "long term strategic interests" all over the world.  The War on Terror might be able to provide some type of basic element of security, but the reality is that democracy will not fully grow unless the conditions in which people lend legitimacy to their government is evident.  This can only happen when opportunities present themselves, and if these elements are not in abundance, democracy will not be able to take hold in areas like the Middle East.

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