Can NATO React to the Arab Spring? Democracy, Human Rights, and the Rule of Law
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The Arab Spring brought a regional paradigm shift in which human dignity and participatory involvement in the political process became the demands of the masses. As long-standing dictators began to fall, NATO was and continues to be confronted with the challenge of reevaluating its adherence to the Cold War status quo of regional stability at any cost. NATO can no longer afford to ignore the popular opinion of North Africa and the Middle East and thus must seize this as an opportunity to solidify their commitment to democracy, human rights, and the rule of the law. While NATO member states have long championed these values domestically, they now witness the Arab World collectively struggling to champion them as well. However, the uncertain future of the governments in Tunisia, Egypt, Libya and Syria makes it difficult for NATO to act. While each country section will highlight individualized recommendations to NATO and its member states, the overall theme that can be extracted is that NATO should adopt a facilitating role in these respective state-building processes. In a time of unprecedented regime change, domestic ownership of the transition is essential to guarantee legitimacy.
- SIS 495 Task Force