Robert Springborg provided a glimpse into U.S. foreign policy thinking about recent revolts in the Arab World and in Egypt in particular. Springborg sees a series of structural political and economic challenges in Egypt and an unpredictable ´three-person game´ between the military, protesters and islamists, which has yet to fully play out. Egypt has severe economic problems due to what he defines as the ´Seven Demographic Deficits´: Egyptians are too young, too rural, too poor, and too poorly educated; there are too few in the middle class, the country is too insecure and Egyptians are too dependent on government. These structural problems make it difficult for democracy to take hold.
The country is at a tipping point, he argued, and the United States needs to play a more active role in supporting democratic forces in Egypt if they want to see a real transition. Egypt is the key, according to Springborg, to the success or failure of the Arab Spring. The United States´ role has been weak. Springborg called for the creation of a new ´Obama Doctrine´ to guide American foreign policy in the Middle East, which shifts American thinking from the Cold War legacy of costly ´securitized´ relationships to a relationship that de´securitizes´ and fosters real democratization.
6:00 p.m. Introduction Ellyn Toscano, Executive Director New York University Florence Marcella Simoni, Professor, New York University Florence
6:10 p.m. The Arab Spring: The Promise of Democracy One Year Later Robert Springborg, Professor, Naval Postgraduate School