International experiences of democratization can offer insights into the transition from authoritarianism to democracy. In light of this, the Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies presents issue No. 67 of Rowaq Arabi, (May 20, 2014), titled What Lessons for Arabs in European Democratic Transitions?, which examines the experiences of nine European countries that began their path to democracy between 1974 to 1991.
The issue examines democratic transitions in Portugal, Hungary, Poland, Bulgaria, Czechoslovakia, East Germany, and Romania, focusing on the contexts of these shifts. Despite the different circumstances, many of the questions currently facing Tunisia and Egypt, for example, are similar to those confronted by the populations in those countries during their processes of democratization. Despite the difficulties in drawing lessons appropriate for the Arab region, there are, however, common features and challenges that make us similar to these countries.
The latest issue of Rowaq Arabi is divided into two main sections. The first section includes two reports from Democracy Reporting International (DRI). The first report, titled “Paths to Democracy in Europe,” examines political shifts and democratization processes in Europe between 1974 and 1991. The second report, titled “Democracy Delayed: Obstacles in Political Transitions,” looks at the challenges faced by seven European countries in their attempts at democratization.
The second section of the issue contains documents, including a set of rights statement and letters that shed light on the phases and challenges of democratic transition in Egypt. It also highlights the most significant events that constitute genuine setbacks to democratization, as well as the stance taken by human rights organizations, among them the CIHRS.
Rowaq Arabi is a publication issued by the CIHRS for more than 15 years. It is primarily a research journal based on studies, analyses, debates, and documents, with contributions from select researchers from various Arab countries.
You can pick up an Arabic copy of Rowaq Arabi from the CIHRS office in Bab al-Louq or read the journal online here.
This post is also available in: Arabic