“Beyond Orthodox Approaches” reviewed by the US Institute of Peace
In March 2010, NIMD and Hivos launched a joint publication, Beyond Orthodox Approaches: Assessing opportunities for democracy support in the Middle East and North Africa. Hivos have now posted a review of the book on their website.
In an article entitled "The Uncertain Future of Democracy Promotion", Steven Heydemann assesses the challenges – many of which are outlined in Beyond Orthodox Approaches – currently facing promoters of democracy in regions where authoritarian regimes have continued to flourish:
In a major report issued earlier this year, Beyond Orthodox Approaches: Assessing Opportunities for Democracy Support in the Middle East and North Africa (BOA) the two organizations present their own critical diagnosis of the field, and offer a number of useful recommendations for how it might change. The report is an important step forward. If it is able to affect the practice of democracy promotion it will have made a significant contribution. Even this report, however, does not take fully into account the depth and scale of the obstacles that confront efforts to advance political reform in the Middle East. Gaps in BOA’s assessment of the conditions that democracy promoters must contend with suggest that this commendable effort to push beyond current orthodoxies may not be radical enough.
Heydemann is Vice President of the Grant and Fellowship Programme at the US Institute of Peace in Washington, DC. He is the co-editor of the forthcoming edited volume Comparing Authoritarianism: Reconfiguring Power and Regime Resilience in Syria and Iran.