On July 23, Foreign Policy published a biweekly column featuring Scowcroft Center deputy director Matthew Kroenig and New American Engagement Initiative senior fellow Emma Ashford discussing the latest news in international affairs.
In this column, they debate Olympic defection, the effectiveness of sanctions over the Nord Stream 2 pipeline, democratic backsliding in Tunisia, the prospects for a nuclear deal with Iran, and the viability of China’s autocratic model of governance.
A move to a more authoritarian model might only make it less likely that Tunisia undertakes necessary economic reforms and could jeopardize needed international assistance, including a pending IMF loan.
Unfortunately, the problems of simultaneous economic and political transitions are something political scientists have studied broadly and have found few solutions for. Democratization often fails for lack of economic reforms, while economic reforms are harder to accomplish in a democracy.