Realism and Democracy

American Foreign Policy After the Arab Spring

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Elliott Abrams
  • Cambridge, England: 
    Cambridge University Press
    , September
     2017.
     295 pages.
     $24.95.
     Hardcover.
    ISBN
    9781108415620.
     For other formats: Link to Publisher's Website.

Description

America is turning away from support for democrats in Arab countries in favor of 'pragmatic' deals with tyrants to defeat violent Islamist extremism. For too many policymakers, Arab democracy is seen as a dangerous luxury. In Realism and Democracy, Elliott Abrams marshals four decades of experience as an American official and leading Middle East expert and shows that deals with tyrants will not work. Islamism is an idea that can only be defeated by a better idea: democracy. Through a careful analysis of America's record of democracy promotion in the region and beyond, from the Cold War to the Obama years, Abrams proves that repression helps Islamists beat democrats, while political openings offer moderates and liberals a chance. This book makes a powerful argument for an American foreign policy that combines practical politics and idealism and refuses to abandon those struggling for democracy and human rights in the Arab world.

About the Author(s)/Editor(s)/Translator(s): 

Elliott Abrams is senior fellow for Middle Eastern Studies at the Council on Foreign Relations, New York. He served as assistant secretary of state for human rights under Ronald Reagan, and as a Deputy National Security Advisor in the administration of George W. Bush where he handled Middle East policy for the White House. His previous book, Tested by Zion (Cambridge, 2013), is the definitive account of the Bush administration and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and won the Bronze Prize in 2013 from the Washington Institute for Near East Policy as outstanding book of the year on the Middle East. Abrams is a member of the board of the US National Endowment for Democracy.
 

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