Liberalism in the Middle East: Prospects and Mechanisms of Change
Christopher J. Coyne
George Mason University - Department of Economics
February 27, 2006
In the aftermath of September 11th , the importance of spreading liberalism to the Middle East has moved to the center of the Western policy agenda. This paper considers the potential for liberalism in the Middle East region, as well as mechanisms for generating sustainable change toward this end. The main message is one of cautious optimism. While there is potential for liberalism in the Middle East, it is unclear that the current means used to export these institutions - reconstruction via military occupation - are adequate to achieve the desired end. A commitment to markets and free trade in ideas, beliefs, institutions and cultural products is explored as an alternative means of exporting liberal values, ideas and institutions.
Keywords: Middle East, Social Change, Free Trade
JEL Classification: O11working papers series
Date posted: March 2, 2006
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