The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) is, of course, an instrument of U.S. foreign policy and hence labors under political constraints. Its efforts to promote democracy-one of its strategic objectives, the others being to encourage economic development, to stabilize population growth, and to protect the environment-have to be consonant with other policies, objectives and goals of U.S. foreign policy that may have higher priorities. U.S. foreign-policy objectives are not always consistent, and many observers may agree with Thomas Carothers that "democracy promotion is not a major element of U.S. policy"1 in the Middle East and North Africa (hereafter referred to as MENA)- or in China, for that matter.
The United States has other more pressing concerns in MENA. It is committed to maintaining access to much of the world's oil, for instance, yet this objective may conflict with promoting democracy among the Gulf Cooperation Council's ruling families, who control a substantial proportion of the region's oil reserves. Ironically the current policy of the "dual containment" of Iran and Iraq strives to put one of the region's more participant polities in quarantine. The United States is also committed to the security of Israel and to a peace process pretty much on Israel's terms. This may be incompatible at present with any substantial democratization in Egypt, Jordan or Palestine, as popular sentiment in all of these places runs diametrically counter to U.S. policy.
USAID also labors under an additional constraint that may have been at least partly a consequence of the animosities stirred up by the American-led coalition against Iraq in 1990-91. Any USAID program for promoting democracy has to be consonant with the host regime's strategies of political survival. Yet in 1991 and 1992 Tunisia, Algeria and Egypt successively cracked down on all forms of Islamist opposition, thereby reversing policies of selective accommodation with political Islam and bringing cautious attempts at political liberalization to a halt These three countries, together with Jordan, Morocco and Yemen, were the key candidates of USAID's Asia and the Near East Bureau for the Agency's "Democratic Pluralism Initiative," but their domestic strategies of suppressing Islamist opposition were obviously incompatible with any serious efforts to open their respective regimes to democracy or political pluralism.
Consequently, USAID's room for maneuver was further constricted. The "Democratic Pluralism Initiative" gave way in 1992, in the final months of the Bush administration, to a more cautious "Governance and Democracy Program," which places greater emphasis on governance and "improving policy formulation" for the sake of sustainable economic growth than on democracy or democratic pluralism. Under the Clinton administration, however, USAID was encouraged to do more for democracy. J. Brian Atwood, recruited from the National Democratic Institute for International Affairs to be the new director of USAID, made the promotion of democracy one of the Agency's four top priorities.
Coincidentally, USAID's new focus on civil society offered fresh guidelines for promoting democracy in MENA. There would now be two tracks, the traditional one of promoting more effective governance and a new one of building up civil society. Each track could be related to a portfolio of the Agency's past projects and experience. The first track continued the efforts of previous administrations to enhance institutions so as to address the political, legal and regulatory constraints to sustainable economic growth. The new track of promoting civil society could build upon previous Agency experiences that had supported NGOs in a variety of developmental projects. The respective political logics of these two tracks, to which I was occasionally exposed as an outside academic consultant, are the focus of this paper. How, if at all, given the constraints of USAID in the region, can either track promote democracy?
It will be argued here that the first track, promoting effective governance, is in keeping with USAID's traditional mission of fostering economic growth and development and may also contribute to encouraging political pluralism in a number of states in the region. If USAID is expected to be in the business of promoting democracy, its efforts should be concentrated on developing institutions, such as legislatures, that may facilitate transitions to more accountable forms of government when internal political circumstances change. The second track, building civil society, however, is more problematic because it rests on a secular Western understanding of civil society and its relationship to democracy that is antagonistic to the most powerful democratizing forces in the region. This paper argues that "civil society" needs to be reinterpreted in light of both Islamic and Western experiences. By deepening its first-track menu of governance programs, USAID could still promote civil society, suitably redefined, in ways that would be more politically neutral than the current second-track approach, which singles out secular NGOs for support
TRACK ONE: GOVERNANCE PROGRAMS
Promoting more efficient and more effective governance has long been an objective of USAID. Already in the late 1960s, Title IX programs were promoting democratic governance. In the 1980s the Agency was involved throughout the world in many programs strengthening government institutions for the sake of economic development, so that it was only a small step to refocus some of the institution building upon legislatures and judiciaries as part of the Democratic Pluralism Initiative under the Bush administration. In the five MENA countries where USAID had an active presence in 1995 - Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco and Yemen - programs were either being planned or were already underway to strengthen the respective parliaments.
This first track of governance promotion is based on the assumption that enhancing the technical quality of decision making will improve a country's economic performance. Relatively small amounts of investment in institutional development can produce large dividends by generating better-informed discussions and decisions concerning economic policy. Pressures for salutary economic reforms may be self-sustaining if enlightened interests are given expression in the policy making process. USAID had been in the business of promoting the technical quality of economic decision making long before the Bush administration pushed the Agency into the political task of promoting free societies to complement Ronald Reagan's free markets. In Egypt, for instance, since the late 1970s USAID had invested substantial resources in generating information for informed, decentralized decision making at the regional and local levels. Catalyzed by the country's international debt crisis in the early 1980s, the central government then created a Cabinet Information for Decisions Support Center, not only to keep track of the various debts but more generally to respond to the cabinet's need for reliable information in a variety of policy areas.2 USAID's earlier efforts contributed to Egypt's new commitment to " information for development," as the Cabinet's Information Center drew upon the various local and regional sources of information originally funded by the Agency.
Once the Bush administration decided that USAID should promote free societies as well as free markets, the logical response of the Agency was to apply its experience in improving the quality of economic decision making to political institutions such as legislatures and judiciaries. Carefully crafted programs could meet the twin objectives of promoting economic growth and democracy, whether or not these two valued outcomes were mutually reinforcing. Perhaps it helped within the USAID bureaucracy, too, to promise success in meeting two or more strategic objectives rather than just democracy. And in light of the local sensitivities that democratic development might arouse, it was perhaps only prudent to emphasize economic as well as political objectives to host governments.
Elected legislatures became prime beneficiaries of USAID planning in Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco and, tentatively, Yemen. Interventions being planned or already being implemented are designed to be purely technical, enhancing the level of institutional activity by introducing new information systems and staff training. To the extent that parliament is politically relevant, a streamlining of its deliberative and informational capacities may foster economic growth as well as political development Egypt's purely consultative (and only partly elected) Shura Council, for instance, was the first public forum in which a controversial privatization program was sympathetically discussed.
Most of these USAID programs are in early stages of implementation, any evaluation of them would be premature. Legislatures clearly carry weight, however, even in authoritarian regimes that in various ways deprive them of their representative character. No outside donor agency can significantly influence the political strategy of an authoritarian regime bent on retaining its power by all available means, which may include systematic practices of torture and other human-rights violations as well as electoral fraud. But USAID can still carry out its administrative mandate of promoting democracy by working on an existing legislature. Legislatures are institutions that outlast particular regimes. Carefully designed programs can raise the quality of legislative deliberations by offering new delivery systems of relevant policy-related informational. Both the donor and the repressive host regime will point to the better quality of discourse as a sign of greater democracy, but the real impact of these programs will come when the regime changes or when the incumbents alter their political strategy so as to include fair representation of opposition forces committed to democratic institutions.
In some of the Agency's internal deliberations that I have witnessed, the question was raised whether the timing was right for a legislative initiative, that is, whether the incumbent regime was preparing to expand the parliament's political influence over decision making. In the aftershock of Desert Storm, however, the timing can almost never be right in MENA; few regimes, with the possible exceptions of Jordan and Palestine, show signs of any political liberalization. In fact, the reverse has been the general trend since the Gulf War. It is still true, however, that "the intensity of political contestation in the MENA region is increasing. Moreover, it is becoming more focused on institutions and the rules of the game, a harbinger of greater commitment to the institutionalization of democratic procedures."3 Legislative initiatives put USAID in the position of waiting for Godot only if significant political change in a democratic direction is expected soon. The more pertinent question might be whether these programs meanwhile reinforce the authoritarian trends already so evident in the region by helping to legitimate existing institutions.
My answer is, definitely not. All of the countries in question except Yemen have legislatures that long predate current authoritarian tendencies. Their institutional fates are not tied to a particular regime, nor for that matter to USAID's assistance. Their very presence, however fraudulent the elections that designate their members, is a potential check on arbitrary exercises of power as well as an asset to rulers who must pretend to be promoting democracy for the sake of their domestic and international images.
Even Tunisia's National Assembly could usefully be assisted, despite the Ben Ali regime's harsh treatment in 1995 of the tamest of opposition parties. USAID's programs are carefully designed to be nonpartisan, but they enhance capacities for contestation, hence for opposition parties within a given legislature, by developing informational delivery systems. Contestation may indeed contribute to a regime's legitimacy, but it does not reinforce authoritarian tendencies.
What might be counterproductive are USAID initiatives to monitor and offer technical assistance to electoral processes. The International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES), for instance, was funded to do pre electoral surveys and then to monitor legislative elections in Morocco, Jordan, Palestine and Yemen. As a participant in the IFES pre-electoral survey of Tunisia, however, I publicly congratulate USAID for responding to our report4 by shelving any plans to monitor the meaningless presidential and legislative elections of 1994. Any monitoring, despite routine IFES disclaimers of the ability of its small numbers of observers to certify elections to be "fair and free," would have offered them a legitimacy they patently did not deserve. By contrast, the first round of the Moroccan elections, held in November 1993, offered a mixture of surprises, despite the monarchy's dubious history of managed elections.
However unfair or unfree the legislative elections may be, USAID governance programs for legislatures seem bound to have positive effects. In the short run, they can be expected to improve the quality of legislative deliberations and to contribute indirectly to economic development by shaping better policies. The programs are politically neutral in that they involve the organization of for information flows rather than content, but they do favor contestation, hence the more active elements within ruling and opposition parties. The programs do not and cannot promote democracy in the short run, given political conditions in the region and the constraints of U.S. foreign policy. Nor, however, do they legitimate incumbent authoritarian regimes. The seeds of information are planted, and in time the legislatures may well gain or regain their centrality in the political process. Similar arguments can be made in favor of initiatives currently underway (interrupted and then resumed recently in Egypt, for instance) to reform the judiciary. But local government in Tunisia is a different story. Local institutions do not by definition have the same national centrality as a legislature, and some of them may be too close to the people. In Tunisia, for instance, any USAID program associated with the Tunisian government's comites de quartier would be condoning and legitimating the intrusive practices of a police state.
TRACK TWO: DEVELOPING CIVIL SOCIETY
The second track of developing civil society leads either nowhere or to disaster rather than to more democracy in the region. It leads nowhere if the purpose of programs currently under discussion within USAID and host governments is merely to strengthen apolitical non-governmental organizations, such as water-user associations or private charities. It could lead to disaster if USAID were perceived as intervening in the politics of the host country by building politically relevant associations. Associational life in much of MENA. certainly in Algeria, Egypt and Tunisia, is currently polarized between narrow networks of official NGOs that support the respective regimes and shadowy or illegal ones that oppose them. Since USAID cannot support the oppositions, any initiatives to strengthen NGOs are more likely to play into the hands of repressive regimes than to strengthen democracy. The only exceptions are certain human-rights and advocacy groups, which, like the information systems of legislatures, enjoy a degree of political neutrality. USAID properly supports a number of these organizations, but any new civil society initiatives risk being either irrelevant or politically counterproductive.
The trouble is that any new initiative is likely to rest on the historically flawed conception of civil society developed by USAID officials in 1993, when the Clinton administration was urging the Agency to do more for democracy. A consensus was developed within USAID over many months about the meaning of civil society. As reiterated in a number of drafts of a design paper (hereafter referred to as the Blair Report) civil society "inhabits the area between individuals (or families) and the state and is made up of associational groupings of all sorts."5 This geographic conception of civil society separates it from the individual and the state, much as the Atlantic separates New York from England, and then reduces it to the objects inhabiting the space, like ships crossing the Atlantic. Reducing civil society to secondary associations may appear to be a useful strategy for understanding how democratic pluralist polities work, but it also reflects a theoretical misunderstanding of possible relationships between civil society and democracy. In other societies the procedure will only magnify our misunderstandings of our own civil society.
The Blair Report admits that there is a problem with the geographic analogy if boundaries are taken too literally, because some NGOs may be too closely tied to the state. For operational purposes, USAID's definition of "civil society organizations" (CSOs) is narrowed to include only associations that "enjoy a significant degree of autonomy from the state" and that "have as one important goal among others to influence the state on behalf of their members."6 There are other conceptual problems. Business firms, trade unions and political parties are excluded from the Agency's version of civil society.
When challenged that only driftwood (like water-users' associations) might be left in the new version, the author's response conveyed by USAID to me was that "anecdotal evidence (including some in the literature) suggests that there's a pattern whereby NGOs, as they get bigger and more ambitious, find themselves bumping against policy constraints which they can deal with only by becoming more political (i.e. more like CSOs)." USAID's support for NGOs run by well-connected elites can indeed enable them to be more "political" in this sense.
Such a conception leaves USAID open to objections by nationalist critics in the host countries that, as one Tunisian put it, "Civil society represents a spearhead for the West's newest imperialist project - 'democratization' - a project of dubious value and questionable appropriateness to political and economic conditions in developing countries. "7 NGOs selected and funded by USAID may be perceived as imperialist lackeys. CIA efforts to promote associational development in Latin America in the 1960s at least had the dubious merit of being clandestine, until, inevitably, they were exposed. Particularly in MENA, efforts to promote a "secular" alternative of CSOs to counterbalance Islamist oppositions are likely not only to be ineffective but to backfire. USAID excludes not only trade unions but middle-class professional syndicates from working definitions of CSOs in MENA because the most dynamic of them have been taken over by Islamist political forces committed to working within the legal order,8 and they are opposed and suppressed by incumbent regimes. In Algeria, Egypt, Tunisia and Yemen, the most viable potential CSOs are associations sympathetic to or associated with the FIS, the Muslim Brotherhood, the Nahda and Isiah, respectively. USAID is constrained by official U.S. policies geared to propping up some of these regimes and to ignoring. If not helping to eliminate, their oppositions.
If promoting civil society means supporting voluntary associations, then the Agency will obviously be taking sides. A better conceptualization of civil society, however, could offer USAID an escape from the dilemma of supporting either associational appendages of repressive regimes- fake civil societies- or the real civil societies articulated by their respective political oppositions.
Supporting real civil society would indeed promote democracy in these countries, but not on terms that current U.S. foreign policy finds acceptable.
CIVIL SOCIETY AND POLITICAL ISLAM
Conceiving civil society as a set of secular civic associations puts the cart before the horse and confuses historical effects with underlying causes. It reflects a misunderstanding of the genesis of civil society in the West, and notably in America, which comes from a very selective reading of Alexis de Tocqueville's Democracy in America. Indeed, USAID's misunderstanding of civil society is very much in the mainstream of American political science, for the academics who developed the Agency's working consensus drew heavily upon this tradition. It is best articulated in Robert Putnam's outstanding work on Italy, Making Democracy Work, which was published in 1993, just as the Agency was completing its internal deliberations about civil society. USAID keeps good intellectual company because whether or not Putnam was actually consulted, their respective views of civil society are very similar.
In brief, Putnam argued that democratic institutions have functioned most effectively in those parts of Italy that were most densely populated by voluntary associations. Through them citizens acquired Tocqueville's art of association and accumulated over generations a kind of "social capital" that makes democracy work independently of economic development Almost three-quarters of the associations in question turned out to be football clubs,9 and Putnam deliberately excluded political parties and trade unions from his analysis on the ground that he was examining people's proclivities for association independent of politics. He also excluded associations connected with the Church, on the ground that they would be hierarchical and hence not conducive to public engagements among equals. For Putnam, as for USAID officials laying plans for MENA, civil society is supposed to be secular as well as distinct from political society. And it seems largely reducible to apolitical associations like football clubs.
While Putnam built a statistically compelling case for civil society operationalized in this way (making democracy work in Italy), his reading of Tocqueville, the classic expositor of the art of association, is highly selective. Tocqueville indeed singled out the extraordinary ability of Americans to associate for public causes as a principal bulwark against potential tyranny by the majority in a democracy. But the civil society he and Beaumont observed in their fieldwork conducted over nine months in 1831- 32 was hardly secular. Their America was brimming with puritanical religiosity. And while the art of association protected Americans from political tyranny, it definitely discouraged independent thinking. In Tocqueville's words, "I know of no country in which there is so little independence of mind and real freedom of discussion as in America. Freedom of opinion does not exist in America."10 He continues,
While the law permits the Americans to do what they please, religion prevents them from conceiving, and forbids them to commit. what is rash and unjust....l do not know whether all Americans have a sincere faith in their religion - for who can search the human heart? - but I am certain that they hold it to be indispensable to the maintenance of republican institutions. 11
Today American mainstream political science, while inspired by Tocqueville, dismisses or forgets these dissonant observations when, faced with ''traditional" Catholic or Islamic societies, it reifies civil society into secular forms of voluntary association.
A careful reader of Tocqueville should not be surprised that Islam drives the art of association in Muslim societies just as puritanism once drove the American. The logic behind this driving force is the same: the believers are equal before God, Whose divine scriptures are equally accessible to all readers independent of any earthly religious authority. Moreover, personal salvation requires a zealous concern for the public good of the community of believers.12 Whether in seventeenth century England, eighteenth- and early nineteenthcentury America, or contemporary MENA, these puritans have often been a cantankerous, illiberal lot, meddling in each other's private affairs out of religious zeal, but they have constituted the backbone of civil society because of their ability to articulate public meanings in God-centered communities.
In seventeenth-century England and Holland were built the first mass-based parties of the modern world, reflecting the rise of the nation state. The political Islamists of MENA operate within a different religious tradition, but the structural similarities between Protestantism and Sunni Islam are sufficiently similar to produce the same effects. Like the Puritans of seventeenth-century England, Egypt's Islamists have mobilized the most "sociologically competent"13 professionals and middle-class activists into a mass party with solid local roots. Across much of MENA, in fact, the Islamists have captured virtually the entire field of popular public discourse and are making steady inroads into official state media and educational systems. Like their English ancestors, they display a rich diversity of political tendencies because no single individual or organization has the exclusive right or authority to interpret God's word. Consequently the quest of any faction or tendency for ideological hegemony is doomed to failure, as most Islamists, including the late Sayyid Qutb, seem to understand.14 There is no reason why contemporary Islamists need repeat the sad experience of Cromwell's England. Despite traditional Christian and Western fears of Muslim fanaticism the mainstreams of political Islam seem committed to working out their internal differences through institutional means expressed in laws and constitutions. Repressive responses of the incumbent regimes, however, threaten to radicalize or undermine these mainstreams in favor of the Islamist fringes advocating violent means to achieve political change.
USAID can only observe, it cannot become directly involved in these struggles between incumbent regimes and political Islam. But the Agency needs to rethink the concept of civil society. The current consensus of working with NGOs as if they were ships at sea in effect leaves the Agency at sea, trying to be non-partisan yet favoring some over others and, in effect, intervening in favor of host regimes against the major forces behind civil society. At a theoretical level the working consensus reifies associational effects rather than getting to the root causes of civil society and its relationship to democracy. The principal advantage of the official consensus is that it allows USAID to interpret the new mandate of building civil society in ways that fit and build upon its organizational experience. USAID has often integrated NGOs into its traditional development programs and is presumably still in need of the domestic political support that the American NGO community can offer in return for a share in overseas civil-society projects to mentor foreign counterparts.
RETHINKING CIVIL SOCIETY
In contemporary America, as well as in MENA, it is more useful to imagine civil society, following Jürgen Habermas,15as a public discursive space than as a set of voluntary associations. The space is the set of arenas in which people debate issues of public concern including norms of legitimation or governance. The arenas define the publics, and in any given society there may be many of them, corresponding to different policy concerns and geographic localities. Writing in the late 1950s, Habermas was concerned with the growing concentrations of mass-media power that had displaced earlier publics defined in the eighteenth century by the commercial newsletters, political clubs and drawing rooms of emerging bourgeoisies (emulating the salons of enlightened aristocrats). Viewed in this context, Putnam's associations constitute only a small part of civil society. Putnam also includes newspaper readership as one of his measures of civic community,16 just as USAID includes the media in its working definition of civil society, but the art of association is more central to Putnam's argument In other work he has observed a decline in America's social capital, evidenced by relative declines of membership in bowling leagues and other associations.17 If, however, civil society is viewed as public discursive space rather than samples of formal voluntary associations that help to fill it, then there may be more hope for both Putnam's America and Habermas's Germany. This space is being filled with virtual communities which exhibit new arts and alternative form of association.
New information technologies indeed seem to be reversing the tendencies toward the concentration, dull conformity and corporate manipulation of public discourse noted by Habermas and many other observers. Anyone with an inexpensive computer and modem may publish on the World Wide Web, and alternative news agencies have greater opportunities to capture attention and market share from the media giants. New publics, in the form of newsgroups and list serves, are proliferating across national boundaries and transforming the world into a global village. While the MENA countries have lagged behind much of the world in assimilating the new information technologies, they, too, are becoming connected to the Internet despite a variety of cultural, economic and political obstacles.18 USAID could assist them in their endeavors and thereby make a distinctive contribution to civil society in the region.
Traditionalists may immediately object that virtual communities can never replace "real" associations as the incubators of civic virtues that make democracy work. Virtual communities lack the concrete face-to-face presences of real public meetings. But is the virtual participation offered in most formal public meetings any more real than the tangible messages exchanged through electronic media? A more critical objection is that computers serve only a select educated and affluent elite in MENA. But most of the region's politically relevant CSOs display equally narrow social bases, whereas the new technologies may be expected to become more widely available and transform patterns of public interaction just as transistor radios altered them in the 1950s and 1960s. USAID could already be helping its hosts adapt to the new technologies. It needs to rearrange its priorities to fit a more dynamic conception of civil society driven by the new forces of the twenty-first century.
TOWARD A NEW ENABLING ENVIRONMENT FOR CIVIL SOCIETY
Despite the vast theoretical gap that separates Habermas from Putnam or me from the Blair Report, operationalizing the new concept of civil society into the Agency's portfolio of projects could be relatively easy. In fact, the Agency's consensus document already speaks of two possible strategies for "supporting civil society to promote democratic development," namely "endeavoring to improve the enabling environment" and "supporting specific organizations within civil society."19Unfortunately the first of these strategies, added to the final version of the Blair Report at the behest of some USAID officials and outside academic consultants, is not yet fully integrated into programs for developing civil society. Country documents, however, emphasize as the major subgoal of USAID Governance and Democracy programs "an improved environment for the growth of democracy." In Egypt, for instance, this subgoal is the rationale for USAID's two major track-one projects: strengthening the legislature and the judiciary. USAID officials are also aware of the need to improve the enabling environment of civil society-through policy dialogues, for instance, to alter existing legislation concerning NGOs.
Thus, an administrative rationale already exists for focusing programs on improving the enabling environment at the possible expense of more programs designed to strengthen specific NGOs. USAID would then be able to apply its considerable expertise in developing information systems for legislatures and other administrative bodies to a broader field of public discursive spaces. Existing legislative programs could also enhance civil society by placing more resources into one of their stated objectives, enhancing communications between legislators and their constituencies. The common thread relating the first track of institutional development to the second track of building civil society is the free and efficient flow of information.
Installing electronic information systems has been a major component of USAID efforts to enhance existing institutions. The most promising and politically neutral way of promoting civil society is to support similar information systems for universities, research institutions and NGOs. Islamists will not object; in fact many of them are well ahead of their "secular'' counterparts in their use of the Internet USAID's support of technical infrastructures might make a more level playing field, but, of course, Islamist sympathizers will also acquire increasing access and experience in electronic networking through the virtual communities of universities and research organs that the Agency could usefully assist. Host governments are aware of the political risks, but the forces of international commerce are driving them to ever-greater acceptance of electronic networking. Indeed, just as they require active legislatures to keep up a pretense of legitimacy in the international political community, they also need free and efficient flows of electronic information to keep up their standing in international business communities. Just as historic Western civil societies originated with the emergence of classic bourgeoisies, so the new civil societies are driven by global business.
Interactions among Islamists and between them and other active participants on the Internet could in tum foster virtual institutions and rules of the game whereby different parties learn to tolerate each other's discourse. As any Internet participant in list serves and other virtual communities will know, rules of "netiquette" evolve, and participants quickly learn to obey the rules and conventions if they desire to have an impact Just as legislatures evolve procedures for political contestation, a vibrant virtual civil society can evolve its rules and procedures over the Internet Such institution building. like the development of active legislatures may offer frameworks that anticipate the exercise of real political pluralism and create a climate of civility.
By promoting virtual communities expressed in listserves and web sites, USAID can distance itself from local politics. where the balance of forces seems unfavorable to democratic development at the present time. The Agency may project the form of efficient information flow without becoming involved in content, just as it already serves legislatures. Whether or not the information superhighway will one day be submerged in competing Islamist discourses - which may have meanwhile learned to tolerate their differences and to include non-Islamists - cannot be the concern or responsibility of USAID. The Agency can only offer space to local competitors and view from a distance the development of civil society and democracy in the region.
1 Thomas Carothers, "Democracy Promotion Under Clinton," The Washington Quarterly. vol. 18, no. 4, Autumn 1995.
2 Elizabeth Bouri, The Development and Decline of Public libraries in Egypt: A Shift in National Development Priorities, PhD dissertation, University of Texas at Austin, 1993.
3 Abdo Baaklini, Comparative Assessment of the Legislatures of Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco. Tunisia and Yemen (Albany, NY: SUNY, Center for Legislative Development), with the assistance of Robert Springborg, January 13, 1994.
4 Jeff Fischer and Clement Henry, Pre-Election Technical Assessment: Tunisia. Typescript (Washington: International Foundation for Electoral Systems, 1994).
5 Harry Blair et al., Civil Society and Democratic Development: A CDIE Evaluation Design Paper, U.S. Agency for International Development, Center for Development Information and Evaluation, February 24, 1994, pp. 4-5.
6 Ibid, p. 8.
7 Cited by Eva Bellin, "Civil Society in Formation: Tunisia," in Augustus Richard Norton, ed., Civil Society in the Middle East, Volume I (Leiden: E.J. Brill, 1995), pp. 120-121.
8 Clement Henry Moore, Image, of Development: Egyptian Engineer, in Search of Industry, 2nd edition (Cairo: American University in Cairo Press, 1994) pp. 211-34.
9 Robert D. Putnam et al., Making Democracy Work: Civic Tradition, in Modern Italy (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1993), p. 92.
10 Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy in America, 2 volumes (New York: Vintage,, 1959), pp. 273,275.
11 Ibid, p. 316.
12 Ernest Gellner, Muslim Society (Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 1983), pp.15-16, 43, 62-69.
13 Michael Walzer, Revolution of the Saints (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1965).
14 Sayyid Qutb, Milestones (Malaysia: Polygraphic Press, 1980), p. 100-110.
15 Jürgen Habermas, The Structural Transformation of the Public Sphere: An Inquiry into a Category of Bourgeois Society (1962), translated by Thomas Burger (Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press, 1994).
16 Putnam, p. 96.
17 The Economist, February 18, 1995, pp. 21-22.
18 Elizabeth Bouri, Electronic Gateways: Sharing Resources Through a Virtual Library, Annual Symposium of the Center for Contemporary Studies, Georgetown University, April 20-21, 1995
19 Blair, p. 13.