Maghreb Roundtable: Pathway Or Dead End?: Civil Society And Democratization In The Maghreb
An active and independent civil society remains the key to democratic change in North Africa and the broader Middle East, argued Lise Garon, professor at Canada’s Laval University. Yet, most North African civil society groups have made a bargain not to challenge entrenched regimes, suggested John Entelis, director of the Middle East Studies Program at Fordham University. For that reason, Entelis said, these groups mostly ensure a consolidation of power rather than a devolution of it. He added that the only social movements in North Africa that were truly popular and committed to the rule of law, pluralism, and democratic change were non-violent Islamist groups.