Donald K. Emmerson contemplates recent events in Egypt and TunisiaSEAF Op-ed: Asia Times on February 22, 2011
In light of the recent ousting of the presidents of Egypt and Tunisia, Donald Emmerson, director of the Southeast Asia Forum, steps back from the continually evolving regional turbulence to consider what it may say about the future. In a February 22 Asia Times op-ed, while noting that each country's situation is unique, Emmerson argues that social networking as an aspect of globalization could trigger further transnational spread effects in years to come. Nevertheless, he warns, authoritarians will try to adapt the technology to their own purposes. Finally, noting the basically secular character of the demonstrations, he argues that the power and promise of political Islam should not be overdrawn.