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After The Arab Spring

Transitions in Egypt, Libya, and Tunisia have yet to extend opportunities for political participation and good governance. Frustration with the slow, halting progress in bringing representative democracy there might lead foreigners to recommend a procrustean solution, but what the countries need is a differentiated approach.The ouster of President Mohamed Morsi and the violent repression of his supporters in Egypt highlight the fragility of representative institutions vis-à-vis the ideological divide and conflicting interests. Tunisia has seen its share of economic and political struggles. While its transition process has been the most successful to date, the hard task of ratifying the constitution and holding elections lies ahead. Libya faces the challenge of armed militias and building the capacity and legitimacy of state institutions. Behind headlines focusing on national struggles lurk differences in who is empowered, who is sidelined, in the transition processes. The challenges and possibilities for international efforts aimed at strengthening democratic politics are not uniform across the countries.                 Findings from the Transitional Governance Project, a series of post-election surveys conducted in Tunisia1 and Egypt2 in fall 2012, and Libya3 in spring 2013, reveal three lessons:the need to expand the focus on women and youth to greater attention to disenfranchised rural and less-educated citizens;the need to distinguish between sidelined groups whose preference across critical issues match their more engaged counterparts and sidelined groups whose viewpoints are not represented;the need to understand the significant differences across countries among the groups that are enfranchised or sidelined in the transition process. A one-size-fits-all approach to the transition processes ??? and particularly to development assistance aimed at fostering democratization ??? is unlikely to be effective.Governance p



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