There are examples to show that the government acts to moderate the wishes of the population at large. In case of a democracy, the religious mindset of the people would translate into policies that would destabilize the region... further.

We saw this in the election of Muslim brotherhood in Egypt, Saudi nationals(not the government) funding extremist terror groups, and in Kuwait there are bills in Parliament that aim to establish shariah based punishments. The bill being eventually blocked by the amir.

The empty anti-Israel rhetoric from the Saudi government would likely be acted upon in a democratic state, perhaps along the lines of what we see in Iran.

Should foreign governments push for enfranchisement of the citizens of Saudi Arabia as their basic human right, considering the possible implications of doing so?

What is the stance of policy makers in the west in this regard?

  • You classify Iran as a democratic state? And what evidence is there that Saudi arabia would go to war against Israel as a democratic state when it actually has fought Israel while not a democratic state and history shows democratic states don't fight one another. – A.fm. Aug 17 '17 at 15:31
  • @A.fm. - even Fukuyama admitted that The End of History is not the case anymore :) – user4012 Aug 17 '17 at 17:08
  • @A.fm. - I classify Iran as being a theocratic democracy. And its not about the likelihood of declaring war on Israel, so much as the current influence clerics hold over society in Saudi Arabia translating into policy in a democracy. – Gold Nile Aug 17 '17 at 17:11
  • That 'we' is still really broad even if you take it (as narrowly as I can imagine) to mean only heads of state of the major western nations. – user9389 Aug 17 '17 at 17:52
  • @user4012 I know, but until reality bears itself out to be vastly different, I'm sticking with it! – A.fm. Aug 17 '17 at 18:12

Democracy is just a good tool to organize a government. It gives the government a "political mandate" to do what it wants. It is not an "absolute good" the way Liberty is - just the way we ensure Liberty in the West.

Remember that nazis came to power in a democratic way and proceeded to dismantle the very democratic institutions that brought him to power. Remember that the democratic elections that followed the Arab Spring led to Islamist governments in every case. Remember the Turkey's slide to Islamism as the army relinquished the control over the government.

Thus democratic election can lead to an internally stable government (Weimar-->3rd Reich, secular dictator-->islamist democracy) which would, in turn, lead to an international instability (ww2, islamists attacking each other, Israel, US, Europe &c).

I wish we had a silver bullet answer to our problems, but, I am afraid, the is none. We would have to stick with the old drudge of promoting secular education (especially for women!)

PS. See also https://politics.stackexchange.com/a/3400/1663

  • "for forms of government let fools contest; whatever is best administered is best." --Pope. – user9389 Aug 17 '17 at 19:13
  • The pope really says that? – user4951 Jan 1 '19 at 22:49
  • @user4951: Alexander Pope, apparently, did. – sds Jan 4 '19 at 18:47
  • he's not a pope. he's a satirist – user4951 Jan 4 '19 at 19:46
  • No one said that Alexander Pope was a pope. You are misinterpreting the original comment. – sds Jan 4 '19 at 19:47

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