Modernization: The Forgotten Strategy of Social Transformation
Like Eastern Europe under Soviet domination, most Arab societies have never experienced democratic government. Arab countries are unlikely to ever experience Soviet style economic control. However, there are similarities in the nature of the centralized oligarchic control over the economy that was practiced in the Soviet system and the one dominating the Arab hierarchies of power. The economic system of Arab societies shares significant similarities with the centralized oligarchic feudalism underlying the Soviet societal system, and which proved to be a successful strategy for recapturing economic and political power after the collapse of the Soviet bloc. Can the post-communist oligarchic capture of state and society be avoided? Yes, if a strategy of modernization prior or parallel to the strategies of democratization and market reform is adopted.