Middle East Reform Initiatives: A Stage-Theory Perspective
Looney, Robert E.
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The United Statt:s as well as the EU has proposed a number of reform initiatives that would hopefully lead to a more prosperous, democratic Middle East. In general these proposals have been met with little enthusiasm in the region. In part this stems from the fact that the objectives of the reforms often proposed arc too vague-a market economy, democracy, and so on. On a technical level, some reforms are no doubt much more effective than others in creating a positive environment of growth and stability. Yet even in most high-level discussions of the various initiatives the likely linkages between reforms and outcomes are never made clear. In fact, this quantitative dimension is almost totally disregarded in the on-going debates, no doubt contributing even further to the wide-spread ambivalence, suspicion, and skepticism concerning reforms that is pervasive throughout the region.
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