The problem of democracy: Islam, liberalism, and American foreign policy

Monday, October 17, 2022, 4:00 – 5:30 p.m. EDT

What happens when democracy produces "bad" outcomes? Is democracy good because of its outcomes or despite them? This "democratic dilemma" is one of the most persistent, vexing problems for America abroad, particularly in the Middle East — we want democracy in theory but not necessarily in practice. In his new book, "The Problem of Democracy: America, the Middle East, and the Rise and Fall of an Idea," Shadi Hamid explores these questions and more.

On October 17, 2022, the Center for Middle East Policy at Brookings will host a virtual panel event to launch Hamid’s new book and discuss potential resolutions to democratic dilemmas and implications for U.S. policy.

Viewers can submit questions for the speakers via email to or on Twitter using #DemocracyProblem.

Register to watch online:

The Brookings Institution, 1775 Massachusetts Ave NW, Washington, DC 20036

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