The reform-security dilemma in democratic transitions: the Turkish experience as model?
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In considering the future of budding Middle Eastern democracies, past experience and scholarship show that a possible outcome for even the most "successful" ones is some form of imperfect democracy. Based within the literature on democratic transitions and hybrid regimes, this article explores possible factors leading to such outcomes. It focuses in particular on reform/security dilemmas, and the resulting evolution of dual state structures, in which an unelected and often authoritarian state establishment coexists with democratic institutions and practices, for example, in countries like Russia, Iran, or Pakistan. Much of the literature views such duality as an impasse, and thus considers these countries as trapped within this "hybridness" - discouraging news both for currently defined "hybrid regimes" and for countries like Egypt and Tunisia, which are now launching democratization processes. To better understand the nature and evolution of such regimes, this article looks at the case of Turkey, first tracing the rise and consolidation of the Turkish inner state, generally equated with the Turkish armed forces. It then looks at the apparent diminishing and integration of the inner state through pacts and coalitions among both civilian and military elements, and calls into question whether the pessimistic view of permanent illiberalness is inevitable. © 2013 © 2013 Taylor & Francis.