January 12, 2006

The Arab Public Sphere

Over at the Mother Jones site, I have a fairly long (and interesting!, of course) interview with Marc Lynch, of Abu Aardvark fame, about his just-released book, Voices of the New Arab Public.

The book's much recommended, by the way: Marc's looking at the public sphere that has emerged in the Arab world over the past decade, thanks in part to al-Jazeerah and the internet, where people can actually debate politics and agitate for change rather than listen to state-run propaganda 24 hours a day—and has a lot to say about it. He's pretty convincing, I think, that this stuff is shaking up the region just as much if not more so than the Iraq war is, though this might be one of those debates that never gets resolved, much like the causes of the fall of the Soviet Union (some say it was Ronald Reagan's cast-iron resolve, I say it was oil prices, etc. etc.). Oh well.
-- Brad Plumer 8:46 PM || ||