Policy Paper Beyond Orthodox Approaches

29 maart, 2010

The authoritarian regimes in the region have demonstrated their adaptability to changing political circumstances, and aspirations for a democratic transition have so far failed to materialise. Yet the lack of democracy in the region should not be mistaken for a rejection by its citizens for such reform. Various opinion polls show that the majority of the population in the region are in favour of democratic government and want their voice to be counted. Furthermore, requests for support from political and civil organisations in the region – for increasing public and political democracy in their societies – underscore this desire.


NIMD works predominantly in young democracies and fragile states that require different programmatic approaches than when working in the political setting of the Middle East and North Africa. Hivos, in contrast, does work in authoritarian and semi-authoritarian settings and is searching for ways to circumvent programmatic constraints, in addition to deepening its knowledge of the political systems in the region.


Assessing Opportunities for Democratic Support in the Middle East and North Africa


This publication aims to explore what role – if any – external organisations can play to further democratisation in the region. The authors have examined and reflected upon the programmatic opportunities and potential obstacles for engaging in and with the region.

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