The Challenge of Change and the Necessity of Social Engineering

Bahgat Korany

in The Changing Middle East

Published by American University in Cairo Press

Published in print December 2010 | ISBN: 9789774163531
Published online September 2011 | e-ISBN: 9781617970368 | DOI:
The Challenge of Change and the Necessity of Social Engineering

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Political leadership at the top does not change very much. Our personal day-to-day experiences serve to emphasize how persistent, continuous, and vibrant the process of change is. It is thus undeniable that the region has been going through a process of deep transformation, a process that may at times be blunted or diverted, such as during the short Arab “Spring of democratization” in 2002–2005, but which will certainly continue. Without an equivalent development of basic resources and infrastructure, the population–resource gap will widen and the demographic bomb could have catastrophic effects. Almost two-thirds of the population of the Arab world is now under thirty years old — the so-called youth bulge. Technology, Prometheus's fire unbound, has been the major and continuing trigger of an all-encompassing change that goes beyond interstate relations to the rise and consolidation of civil society.

Keywords: change; democratization; infrastructure; technology; civil society; Arab Spring

Chapter.  2603 words. 

Subjects: International Relations

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