The New World Order in the 21st Century; Illiberal Democracies or Liberal Democracies in the Middle East and North Africa

Document Type : Research Paper



US and Europe’s strategy to make fundamental changes in the Middle East and North Africa in particular and in the Muslim World in general includes such aspects as nation-building, state-building, culture-building, religion-building and elite-building. These aspects are followed within the framework of one of the two approaches including ‘Alqaeda-Rule’ and ‘Rule-Alqaeda’ or a combination of these two with different priorities. The first approach is founded upon the destruction of the existing structures and then the creation of liberal values and norms, and the second approach refers to the replacement of this priority. The author of the article argues that George W. Bush, unlike his first term of presidency who operationalized and realized the first approach (with military attacks on Iraq and Afghanistan), pursued the second approach in his second term that is ‘Rule-Alqaeda’. Within such context of change in beliefs, values and norms, culture- and nation-building is possible by relying on soft power within the framework of religion-, culture- and nation-building. In the meantime, this approach is faced with two major challenges namely security of energy transfer and war on terrorism and extremism, and ultimately it has to compete with the fourth wave of democracy or illiberal democracies, which are rooted in the Islamic Revolution in Iran.


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