Middle East and North Africa

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The states of the Middle East and North Africa can look back on another decade of repression and decline. The region’s new, old rulers are determined to prevent a re-run of the Arab Spring, and a once-model of democratization has descended into autocracy.

No other region of the world has witnessed more abuse of democratic rights, standards and institutions than the Middle East and North Africa. Turkey’s rejection of its one-time transformation course is one piece of a disheartening tableau.

In several countries, local, regional and international conflicts are getting in the way of socioeconomic development. The increasing imbalance between oil-rich states and the rest of the region is further inflaming the situation.

Governance of the countries of North Africa and the Middle East remains poor. Since the collapse of the Arab Spring, one particular problem has come into focus: many governments have done more to exacerbate domestic and international tensions than ever before.

Every BTI dimension has seen a continuation of the negative trend of recent years. There is barely a single country that is truly addressing its fundamental structural problems: elite power circles and widespread corruption; population growth, particularly among the poorest sectors; and the fragility of overall security.

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Jan Claudius Völkel
Regional Coordinator Middle East and North Africa

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