LD – Mar/Apr ’16 – Promoting democracy in Middle East

Footnote: My state has five NSDA/NFL districts, two of which didn’t want to have their tournament season run too long; those two districts had their NatQual tournament two weeks before the state championship, and as such used this topic prior to the state championship tournament. People from the other three districts were using this topic for the first time at State. I judged LD finals; both debaters were from the same region, and it was one of the ones that had had NatQuals before State. (I don’t think there was any such correlation in PF finals.)

There are still two NatQual dates left in my state, including one this weekend. For them, and anyone elsewhere still competing on this topic, I offer the most recent relevant articles.

First, the broader and more philosophical takes:

This one should be in every Aff’s toolbag.

El Amine – Are ‘democracy’ and ‘human rights’ Western colonial exports – No – Here’s why

The final round at State was (oversimplified) philosophical reasons vs a realistic evaluation of the possible. (Realism won.) Two from Friedman – on Middle East realism, and on U.S. foreign policy as a question of dealing with the internal vs. external policies of other countries.

Friedman – When the Necessary Is Impossible

Friedman – Impossible Missions – internal vs external politics of foreign countries

A look around the region:

Brownlee – Why Turkey’s authoritarian descent shakes up democratic theory

Lynch – Why it’s wrong to say that the Arab uprisings failed

Grewal – How Tunisia’s military has changed during its transition to democracy

Ryan – Five years after Arab uprisings, security trumps reforms in Jordan

(After what Friedman says, dos the ‘security trumps reforms’ point valid in more than Jordan?)

What conditions are necessary for democracy? Is the ‘rule of law’ one of them?

Abrams et al – To establish the rule of law, cut off elites’ purses and power – Here’s how

Democracy creation else where; does this connect to the El Amine article?

Smith – In central Africa, citizens are using social media to build democracy – Here’s how

If western democracy is going through a legitimation crisis, as Morozov argues, who are we to think about exporting democracy?

Morozov – The state has lost control – tech firms now run western politics – The Guardian


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