This Working Paper is the culmination of the work of the Study Group on Reform and Security.

Can the Obama administration simultaneously pursue democracy and security in the Middle East? Can the U.S. engage autocratic regimes and push for human rights at the same time? The U.S. can and it should, according to a new USIP Study Group Report on Political Reform and Security in the Greater Middle East.

This extensive paper examines the complex nexus between democratic change and U.S. security interests, with a principal focus on Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco and Yemen. It sets out a set of general and country-specific findings and recommendations for a long-term strategy by which “political liberalization” can enhance the stability and legitimacy of governments, thus strengthening security and peacemaking in the region.

Find out more about the Study Group on Reform and Security.

About the Authors

Daniel Brumberg (Principal Author) is Acting Director of the Muslim World Initiative at the U.S. Institute of Peace and Co-Director of Democracy and Governance Studies at Georgetown University, where he is an Associate Professor of Government. He is the author or editor of several books, including: Reinventing Khomeini: The Struggle for Reform in Iran (University of Chicago Press, 2001), Islam and Democracy in the Middle East, co-edited with Larry Diamond and Marc F. Plattner (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2003), Conflict, Identity, and Reform in the Muslim World: Challenges for U.S. Engagement, with Dina Shehata (USIP Press, 2009). The author of a bi-weekly blog "Islam and the West" for Washingtonpost.com's On Faith web page, Dr. Brumberg is now pursuing a multi-country study of the "Globalization of Authoritarianism." He has lived and traveled in the Middle East, and speaks French and Arabic.

Explore Further

  • The Arabic version of the Executive Summary is now available for download. (PDF/169.6 KB)

Related Publications

Turmoil in Syria: Reshaping the Middle East?

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

The Institute invited leading experts from the U.S. and across the Middle East to identify key vectors of influence Syria’s neighbors are bringing to bear on the conflict; to forecast how the on-going conflict in Syria will affect the delicate and volatile regional balance of power; and to examine how the Syrian opposition and the Syria regime are factoring in regional and cross-border dynamics.

Conflict Analysis & Prevention; Mediation, Negotiation & Dialogue

Through a Glass Darkly? The Middle East in 2012

Through a Glass Darkly? The Middle East in 2012

Friday, January 13, 2012

By: Steven Heydemann

In a period of tremendous change in parts of the world, we are asking USIP leaders, from board members to senior staff and experts, to explain the effects that events abroad and here at home will have on the United States, and the contributions the Institute can and does make. Steven Heydemann is USIP’s senior adviser for Middle East Initiatives.

Conflict Analysis & Prevention; Religion

View All Publications