February 1, 2016

YOU CAN'T HAVE A CLASH OF CIVILIZATIONS WHEN THERE IS ONLY ONE:

Fukuyama: 'Putinism,' Radical Islam No Alternative To Liberal Democracy (RFE/RL, January 29, 2016)

[I]f Putinism currently has a tight grip on Russia, the historian calls it an empty system.

"His model is based on a narrow energy-dependent economic model which right now is falling apart," the political scientist notes. "I think what is happening in Russia right now as global commodity prices have fallen is the exposure of the hollowness of this and we will see after another decade of economic failure whether Russians really think this is such a great alternative to the kind of both freedom and prosperity that is seen in Western Europe."

Fukuyama notes that it took Western Europe a 150-year period to develop its system of liberal democracy and that the two decades of recent history are "not necessarily a sign that there will never be this kind of political development" in Russia as well.

Similarly, the political scientist sees little future for radical Islam as an alternative to liberal democracy.

"The Islamic State is not a state and I would predict fairly confidently that they are not going to establish a viable one and it is certainly not an attractive state," he says. "It is not a state in which millions of people are dying to live in a place which beheads people regularly and forces women into these highly constrained roles."

He ascribes the success of Islamic State and other radical Islamic groups to the failure of authoritarian governments in the Arab world to create regimes that have popular legitimacy and meet the economic needs of their citizens.

"It's true that liberalism is not doing well in that part of the world," he observes. "But I do not think that radical Islam represents a long-term civilizational alternative to the kind of (democratic) regimes that exist in Europe and North America and Asia."

Posted by at February 1, 2016 3:30 PM

  

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