Acclaimed Political Scientist, Francis Fukuyama, Forecasted Arab Uprising During Clinton Years

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World-renown political scientist and best-selling author of The Origins of Political Order, Dr. Francis Fukuyama, warned Clinton and Bush administrations that the spread of democracy in the Middle East was imminent in an exclusive interview with host of The Costa Report, Rebecca Costa.

World-renown political scientist and best-selling author of The Origins of Political Order, Dr. Francis Fukuyama, warned Clinton and Bush administrations that the spread of democracy in the Middle East was imminent. In an exclusive interview with host of The Costa Report, Rebecca Costa, Fukuyama said,

     “The one part of the world that did not participate in the global resurgence of democracy -that began in the 70’s and continued in the 80’s and 90’s - was the Middle East. A lot of people said that was (because of) culture – that there was something about the nature of Arab culture that made that part of the world different - and they would not embrace democracy. If you look at the situation in Tunisia and the way it spread to Egypt and other parts of the region, it turns out people there don’t like authoritarian governments that don’t respect their dignity any more than people in Eastern Europe or Latin America or India or other parts of the world. The basic impulse to live in a country that respects you by granting you basic political rights is in fact universal.”

Fukuyama claims the impetus for the democratization of the Middle East stems from the globalization of commerce and information. He comments: “As people get more educated – as they use technology to connect with the outside world – they don’t actually want to go back to a medieval Islam. They don’t want to live in a backward Afghanistan run by the Taliban. They want to join the rest of the world, and that is what we are now witnessing in these countries.”

In 1997, Fukuyama signed a letter urging President Clinton to support Iraqi insurgencies and to overthrow Saddam Hussein. Then again, in 2001, he co-signed a letter to President Bush urging him to capture Osama Bin Laden and remove Hussein. But by 2002, Fukuyama began distancing himself from the Bush administration because he felt unilateral actions by the United States were causing harm to foreign relations as well as organizations such as the United Nations and NATO.

In 1992, with the publication of his watershed work, The End of History and The Last Man, Fukuyama posited that the end of the Cold War and fall of the Berlin Wall signaled the end of humankind’s ideological struggles. In his view, these events marked the “universalization” of Western democracy as the form of governance most suited to man’s nature. It was a matter of time before democracy became the de facto standard for all nations, including those dominated for centuries by monarchies.

How does Fukuyama view dictatorial strongholds such as Saudi Arabia and recent reports that the Saudi’s have invigorated talks with Russia?
     “To the extent there have been any talks (with the Russians) it’s because the Saudis are annoyed with the United States. We dropped our support for Mubarak and seem to be uncertain about what to do about allies in Bahrain, and they’re (the Saudi’s) are probably indicating they have other options and don’t have to deal with us exclusively. But in the end, the United States –Saudi relationship is not one of great love or common cultural concern. It’s one that’s shaped by brute national interests and that will continue to dominate.”

When the host of The Costa Report asked Fukuyama what other international trends the United States should have its eyes on, Fukuyama quickly shifted his attention to Asia. “China is rising so rapidly that it’s upsetting the balance of power in Asia. The Chinese feel much more self-confident after the global financial crisis. Many Chinese express a certain amount of distain for the United States. In international politics, that is going to lead to problems. If you have a rapid change in the distribution of power it often leads to misunderstandings and the potential for conflict.”

Given Fukuyama’s early forecast of events now erupting in the Middle East, the host of The Costa Report commented that the State Department may be wise to heed Fukuyama’s warning. The full interview with Francis Fukuyama is available at, and iTunes.

About Francis Fukuyama
Dr. Francis Fukuyama is the Olivier Nomellini Senior Fellow at Stanford University’s Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies. He has previously taught at the Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies of Johns Hopkins University and at the George Mason University School of Public Policy. Fukuyama was a researcher at the RAND Corporation and served as the Deputy Director in the State Department’s policy planning staff. He is the author of The End of History and Last Man, Trust, and America at the Crossroads.

About Rebecca D. Costa
Rebecca Costa is a sociobiologist who offers a genetic explanation for current events, emerging trends and individual behavior. A thought-leader and provocative new voice in the mold of Thomas Friedman, Malcolm Gladwell and Jared Diamond, Costa examines “the big picture”– tracing everything from terrorism, crime on Wall Street, epidemic obesity and upheaval in the Middle East to evolutionary forces. Retiring at the zenith of her executive career in Silicon Valley, Costa spent six years researching and writing The Watchman’s Rattle: Thinking Our Way Out of Extinction. The success of Costa’s book led to a weekly radio program in 2010 called Rattler Radio. In 2011 the program was renamed and became nationally syndicated as The Costa Report. A former CEO and founder of one of the largest marketing firms in Silicon Valley (sold in 1997 to J. Walter Thompson), Costa developed an extensive track record of introducing new technologies. Her clients included industry giants such as Hewlett-Packard, Apple Computer, Oracle Corporation, Seibel Systems, 3M, Amdahl, and General Electric Corporation. Additional information available at


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