Paradigm choices are an everyday personal occurrence. A decision about getting married or having children is either done automatically and without reflection or evaluated according to contrasting religious, social or other systems. In the latter case, alternative "paradigms" are consciously compared and a choice is made. Even if the decision is made quickly on the basis of "common sense," the decision is still governed by a paradigm of internalized values.1 U.S. development policy around the world shows a long history of similar "common-sense" or instinctive decisions that have in fact been paradigm choices involving complex ideas. The common-sense decision is to assume that what is valued in America is, in fact, universal and can be applied to other peoples and cultures.
This common-sense perspective on development, based on "the American way," has an additional complex dimension. Beginning in the 1960s with President John F. Kennedy, liberalism became the watchword of the American crusade against communism. The Foreign Assistance Act of 1961 enshrined the concept. Thus, the common-sense choice of the liberal, pluralist American Way to development was politically intensified. What is further complicating. however, is that while the political context within which development policy has operated has been assertively liberal, the policy itself and its implementers have been cloaked in the additional rhetoric of universal humanitarianism. This was also the case with approaches to implementation such as community development, the learning-process approach and others . These approaches, sometimes adopted from the international development community, also carry with them liberal assumptions that reflect the European Enlightenment Thus, what are being universalized are the values of individualism, secularism, materialism, the pluralist dispersion of political power and utopian futures. As Toqueville noted in his Democracy in America, the absence of a historical experience of feudalism and monarchy has contributed to the "exceptionalism" of American democracy and political culture. The effect of this "exceptionalism" upon the above-mentioned values is one of ethnocentric parochialization, i.e., the special inappropriateness of the cross cultural transference of the American-way version of the Enlightenment The problems of American development policy noted here, however, are also expressive of the broader bias of Western, so-called universal, principles of development
The American-way, common-sense paradigm remains, by and large, unexamined. The insufficiencies and failures of American development policy in the Middle East suggest the enduring impact of the non-decision approach to U.S. policy making. American development-policy makers characteristically value common sense and often resist scholarly or academic challenges in their understandable desire to get on with the daunting practical difficulties of policy formulation and implementation. In doing so, as is argued below, they have been employing American assumptions in order to develop Middle Eastern societies.
Moreover, in lockstep with the practitioners, scholars writing on development have themselves often been uncritical of the process and have tended to rationalize and legitimize common-sense decisions. Whether it is the political-development literature of the 1960s, the Comparative Administration Group (CAG), also of the 1960s, or academic advocates of community development, localism or, currently, democracy or economic reform and privatization ("marketization"), nearly all have subscribed to the same implicit liberal, pluralist, American-derived paradigm.2 Theirs has been a failure of independent and critical liberal intellectualism. In short, American scholarship generally, and often specifically, has uncritically legitimized official development policy.
For scholars writing on international affairs and for practitioners, the first line of defense in the Cold War was the superiority of American troops and American weaponry. The second line of defense was the "superiority" of American values, concepts and institutions in the quest for American domination via development and, far less assertively but nonetheless similarly, the "superiority" of American social-science scholarship. Practitioners and scholars thus unconsciously stood shoulder to shoulder in the social foxholes of the Third World against the communist enemy. During the Vietnam War, development officials and scholars in many cases joined in the war itself.
The liberal-pluralist paradigm of American development policy and social science scholarship was the implicit approach in the period 1945-1989. The adoption of the American way was obscured to a degree by the jargon of development policy: technical assistance, community development, basic needs, etc. The American way in scholarship was even more obscured by abstract claims of "scientific objectivity" and concepts like systems theory, structural/functional ''theory," and political development This collusion of policy and scholarship can be termed the old orthodoxy.3 After the American-declared victory over Communism in 1989, what was implicit became explicit In its moment of triumph, liberal pluralism emerged from its policy/scholarship closet and declared The End of History, the universal triumph of liberalism.4
Thus, since 1989, development policy and uncritical liberal scholarship have again been standing shoulder to shoulder but now within a new framework of "democracy," "civil society'' and "the market." This new orthodoxy is now dictating the terms of victory-democratization and "marketization."5 American policy may be yielding to the Imperial Temptation.6 In the Middle East, however, the new orthodoxy is now encountering a rejuvenated ideological conservatism and structural "corporatism" emanating from an emerging, increasingly triumphant Islamism as seen in Turkey, Sudan, Iran, Yemen and Jordan. The likely outcome will be a dialectical tension between a culturally adapted democracy and capitalism. In the short term, one result may be a diminishing American influence in the region, the exact opposite of what American development policy has long sought to advance.
THE CONSERVATIVE-CORPORATIST PARADIGM
The conservative-corporatist paradigm is a more appropriate framework for analyzing Middle Eastern politics than those typically employed by scholars, which contain liberal pluralist assumptions that are at variance with the realities of the region. It originates in the West in the counter Enlightenment thought of such philosophers as Burke, de Maistre and - the most important - Hegel.7 In the Muslim world and in the Middle Eastern context, such conservative thought and culture are embodied in Islam and nationalism: the family and the community take precedence over the individual; good moral behavior is valued over materialism; and the past and not untested utopian principles serve as guides to improvement and progress.8
Corporatism (takafaliyya) involves a set of structures related to one another organically.9 These structures include a monarch or strong executive, a political class (ayan) and groups licensed by the state whose functions (e.g., law, medicine, labor, business) are necessary for the maintenance of the state. These groups do not generally compete with one another but instead are accorded monopolies over their own spheres of influence as long as they do not engage in activities directed against the state. Along with the political class, these groups are consulted (shura) by the executive as part of the governing process. This political role, and the space within which it occurs, constitute what could be called a non-liberal, corporatist democracy.10
An example of a non-liberal, corporatist democracy is Egypt There, to a significant degree, the Muslim Brethren have emerged as the moderate institutional voice of the Islamic revival. They have not only been denied a voice in the parliament, but the state has also challenged their rise to leadership positions by means of elections in such corporatist groups as the associations of law, medicine and engineering. They have been denied the right of consultation. The lack of congruence between these qualities of Middle Eastern societies and American development policies, which operate on the assumptions of individualism, pluralism, egalitarianism, electoral competition and non-state-dominated economic policies, poses great difficulties.
THE OLD ORTHODOXY
The American involvement in foreign economic assistance began with the Marshall Plan and the American-led economic recovery of war-torn post-World-War-II Europe. Essentially what occurred was the massive transfer of money and technology from one liberal, democratic, advanced capitalistic state to its European counterparts. These counterparts may have been economically destitute, but their political structures, cultures and human-resource capacities remained largely intact. The explosive growth followed of the Wirtschqftwunder, of Germany, regaining its democratic heritage under American tutelage, and of an already democratic French Fourth Republic. The liberal tenets of the Marshall Plan were congruent with those of European aid recipients. Thus encouraged, the unexamined liberal-pluralist tenets of U.S. development policy were die-cast for the next half-century.11
This demonstrated success of the old orthodoxy was tested in the period after 1950 by the competitive requirements of the Cold War. U.S. foreign assistance became an instrument of anti-communist foreign policy. Thus, the liberal development paradigm of the Marshall Plan was applied nearly everywhere in the world. The paradigm was so slavishly followed that the decade of the 1950s became one of technology transfer, on the assumption that technology was the only requirement for economic growth, which was needed to thwart the lure of communism.
As had been the case in Europe, development-policy makers assumed the presence of the human resources for whom a minimal amount of additional technical training was required.12 Furthermore, capitalist trickle down economics would benefit all segments of the population because liberal democratic practices would restrain abuses. In fact, however, neither technology transfer nor democratic practices were successful. These failures of the development decade of the 1950s were followed by those of the 1960s and the Vietnam War.
President Kennedy and the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961 formally reoriented the objectives of U.S. development policy toward a greater liberal explicitness. The 1960s became known for a policy of community development This represented a liberal tenet of localism at the expense of the state, towards which it was hostile. Economic growth was envisioned as "bottom up" rather than "top down." At the same time, the community was envisioned as a localized collectivity of individuals; the approach was both liberal and pluralistic. As one prominent development professional and scholar of the time noted, the state and the local elites were ignored, and, as a result, development efforts failed. That is, the liberal assumptions of Western development policy were at odds with the conservative values and the corporatist hierarchy and elitism of the non-Enlightenment societies to which such policy was being applied.13
The liberal-oriented policies of the 1960s were increasingly directed towards ameliorating the conditions of the masses and less towards promoting economic growth. While this is consistent with a liberal approach, there is an additional point to be observed. This policy direction also reflected the political objectives of the "hearts and minds" strategy of the Cold War, which was directed not just toward helping the masses but toward winning them over to the American side. This suggests that the liberalism of development policy was also calculated. That is, the anti-communist crusade was seeking converts to liberalism. As a consequence, U.S. development policy has long had an adversarial quality about it, seeking conversion as much as development
The 1970s signaled a stronger policy emphasis on improving the conditions of the poor. Development policy was guided by the new "sectoral management'' model, which emphasized team and cooperative approaches to problem solving (i.e., patron-client relationships were viewed as horizontal competitions in the liberal mode, rather than vertical, in the corporatist mode). This policy focused on agriculture and food production, nutrition and health, population and family planning, and education and human-resource development.14 The teaching methods used were not drawn from the community itself but were taken from the experiences of the American business world.
The sectoral-management approach anticipated the basic-needs philosophy of the mid- and late-l970s. There was a sea change in global development circles when it became evident that, after decades of international development efforts, the world's poor were worse off than ever before.15 The liberal assumptions of development policy became very evident - the new goal was social change in which the poor were expected to claim the direction of their own lives. For the previous two decades, the Middle East had not experienced U.S. development policy, except for a brief excursion into community development in Egypt in the early 1960s. The basic-needs approach, however, was applied throughout the Middle East including Jordan, Syria, Morocco and, most notably, Egypt In Egypt especially, development money began to flow in proportion to American foreign-policy interests, which sought the security of Israel and the establishment of a U.S. regional hegemony after the 1979 Iranian revolution. The amounts of aid were initially modest but by 1979 reached $1 billion with the conclusion of the bilateral peace treaty with Israel.
The political reward characteristic of assistance to Egypt has always had an unreal quality to it For example, the government of Egypt has always shown a patient attitude toward U.S. aid while it would often frustrate project development efforts. Egypt understood that legal guidelines in congressional legislation regrading basic needs had to be respected, but when USAID would occasionally hold up the release of aid money in order to get the government of Egypt's compliance on some development project, it would wait patiently until the money was inevitably released. The result was many frustrated USAID officer.; who attempted to take their development responsibilities seriously but were thwarted in their efforts to do so.
Indeed, projects with liberal assumptions fared far less well than those desired or needed by the Egyptian government, such as large scale infrastructure(e.g., power plants, sewage systems). For example, in a liberal-inspired attempt to equalize power, the Organization for the Development of the Egyptian Village (ORDEV) was created in the late 1970s. ORDEV, however, violated two corporatist principles that ensured its failure. First, ORDEV challenged the ministerial division of labor at the village level by attempting to reassign responsibilities to a new entity. Second, it attempted to increase the representation of ordinary peasants at the local level.
For U.S. foreign policy, the basic-needs period of assistance to Egypt had a number of successes. First, by providing economic resources, it has perhaps indirectly strengthened Egypt's hegemonical role in Middle Eastern affairs and this has benefited U.S. foreign policy, particularly with regard to Israel, the peace process and the Gulf War. Second, U.S. aid has undoubtedly contributed to the macroeconomic strength of Egypt in the form of hard-currency earnings. Third, Egypt's developmental infrastructure has been improved. Yet, in the final analysis, the nutritional and health needs of the Egyptian population show little positive change. Not surprisingly, Mubarak's Egypt of the 1980s and 1990s shows dramatic declines in sector growth rates compared to the 1970s.16
THE NEW ORTHODOXY
The 1980 election of President Ronald Reagan and the Reagan Doctrine signaled a change in development policy toward an even stronger ideological adherence to democracy as a developmental goal and towards market solutions to economic growth. The 1989 ''victory'' over communism has only amplified the message. In fact, this victory appears to have reinforced the original liberal "crusade" feature of Cold War development policy.
The democratic and liberal implications of the earlier phases of development policy have now become explicit. USAID officials now wear, as it were, symbolic democratic armbands into the daily fray of building and strengthening nongovernmental organizations in what they and cooperating scholars term "civil society."17 Civil society is seen as a necessary precondition of democracy and therefore a convenient indirect approach to the larger subject It is thus a war of position, because a more direct approach has been rejected as interference in domestic politics by the sovereign governments with whom USAID must deal. ·
Economic liberalism is now out of the developmental closet as well. The market place and its supply-and-demand principles are now advocated with perhaps more zeal than democracy itself. Contributing to this is the degree to which laissez faire principles guide international lending and investment policies. What can be viewed as the economic culture of the European Enlightenment has also been introduced into Middle Eastern economies in two phases. The first phase- structural economic reform-began in the 1980s. This was achieved to a remarkable degree in Morocco and Tunisia The international debt crises of that decade seem to have created an atmosphere of urgency that made economic sacrifice possible. Government spending was substantially reduced, and budgets were balanced in both countries and to lesser degrees in others as well.18
The second phase was characterized by public-sector downsizing through a policy of privatization, which has enjoyed far less success. In Morocco and Tunisia there has been steady but slow progress toward privatization, but in Egypt the process has hardly begun.19 This is due to the fact that privatization appears to strike at the political undergirding of the Middle Eastern corporatist state. Large segments of the political class are either the salaried beneficiaries of the public sector, or their businesses receive capital from that sector.20 Perhaps the clearest glimpse of the future of privatization can be seen in the near absence of movement towards a capital market in nearly all Middle Eastern countries, including Turkey. The economic foundations of the Middle Eastern corporatist state are being carefully guarded.
American development policy in the Middle East, and perhaps elsewhere as well, is fundamentally flawed by the contradictions between its liberal-pluralistic assumptions and the conservative-corporatist characteristics of Middle Eastern society.21 This American way of development is not simply a matter of unconscious ethnocentrism but also a consequence of the Cold War, when liberalism in policy terms, and to a certain extent in academic terms, went to war. The 1989 ''victory'' is no less intense in its effect and expresses a mood of celebration that does not bode well for the future of U.S. policy. As a consequence, explicit political advocacy has become embedded in the development enterprise. This has perhaps contributed to the inability of the agents of policy to learn from the criticism and resistance emanating from the region. Contributing to this process and reinforcing it has been the short-term use of this aid for political purposes. Viewed from this perspective, it is clear that there has been little opportunity for a dialectical process of adjustment and adaptation. While this may begin to account for why so little appears to have been accomplished, it is well to be reminded that the larger political objectives of such aid may very well have been achieved.
America, after all can claim ''victory" in the Cold War. In addition, current recipients of U.S. aid remain reasonably stable, and the governments concerned (e.g., Egypt. Morocco, Tunisia) have mutually advantageous relationships with the United States. There has been a political quid pro quo in the absence of development success.
1 The subject of alternative paradigms (liberal pluralist, Marxist-radical and conservative corporatist) is explored in L. Cantori and D. Ziegler, eds. Comparative Politics in the Post-Behavioral Era (Boulder, CO: Lynne Rienner, 1988).
2 These issues are discussed in Robert Packenham, Liberal America and the Third World: Political Development Ideas in Foreign Aid (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1973) and also Leonard Binder, Islamic liberalism: A Critique of Development Ideologies (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1988) and especially "The Natural History of Development Theory with a Discordant Note on the Middle East," pp. 24-84.
3 For a comprehensive treatment of approaches to development, see Louise White, Creating Opportunities for Change: Approaches to Managing Development Programs (Boulder: Lynne Rienner, 1987). The use of the terms "old and new orthodoxy" was developed in a preliminary fashion in L. Cantori, "The Old and New Orthodoxy in the Study of Middle Eastern Politics," Political Science, 27 (September 1994), 515-516.
4 Francis Fukuyama, The End of History and the Last Man (New York: The Free Press, 1992).
5 For a critical discussion of the two issues, see Iliya Harik, "Privatization: The Issue, the Prospects, the Fears" in I. Harik and D. Sullivan, eds. Privatization and Liberalization in the Middle East (Bloomington, Ind.: Indiana University, 1992), pp. 1-23.
6 Robert W. Tucker and David C. Henderson, The Imperial Temptation: The New World Order and America's Purpose (New York: Council on Foreign Relations, 1992).
7 Hegel's ideas are elaborated in Louis J. Cantori and Drew Ziegler eds., Comparative Politics in the Post Behavioral Era (Boulder, CO: Lynn Rienner, 1988), L. Cantori, "Islamic Revivalism: Conservatism and Progress in Contemporary Egypt" in E. Sahliyya, ed. Religious Resurgence and Politics Worldwide (Albany: SUNY Press, 1990), pp. 183-194; Cantori, "Muhafaza al-Taqaddam: Misr al-Ahya alIslamiyya," Qirat al-Siyasiyya (Beirut), 3 (1993), 8-26. (This is an expanded and updated version of the 1990 chapter. I am indebted to Dr. Ramadan Abdallah for the suggestion of the neologism "takafaliyya" for corporatism.); Cantori, "Privatization, Culture and the Moroccan Corporatist State," Conference Group on the Middle East, American Political Science Association, New York, September 2, 1994. The general line of argument developed below reflects ideas of an alternative to liberalism and Marxism underlying the Circle of Tradition and Progress (Halaqa al-Asalah al-Tuqqadum). The Halaqat consists of Western and Muslim scholars and was founded in London on October 19, 1996.
8 These qualities also imbue Islamic economics, e.g., see Masudal Alam Choudry and Uzir Abdul Malik, The foundations of Islamic Political Economy (New York: Oxford University Press, 1992). See also, Louis J. Cantori, "Modernization and Development," in The Encyclopedia of the Modern Islamic World, John S. Esposito ed. (London: Oxford University Press, 1995), III, 123-126.
9 For the application of these ideas to Egypt see Cantori, "Islamic Revivalism..." and "Muhafaza...."
10 L. Cantori, "Religion and Democratization: Democratic Corporatism in Egypt," International Political Science Association, Berlin, Germany, August 24, 1994.
11 Hadley Arkes, Bureaucracy, The Marshall Plan and the National Interest (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1972).
12 Dennis A. Rondinelli, Development Administration and U.S. Foreign Aid Policy (Boulder, CO: Lynne Rienner, 1987), pp. 23-28.
13 Rondinelli, pp. 32-35. See also O.P. Dwivedi and Keith M. Henderson, "State of the Art: Comparative Public Administration and Development Administration," in O.P. Dwivedi and Keith M. Henderson, eds., Public Administration in World Perspective (Ames, IA: Iowa State University Press, I 990),pp 10-12.
14 Norman Uphoff, Local Institutional Development (West Hartford, Conn.: Kumarian Press, 1986), pp. 111-161 and Rondinelli, pp. 64-6.
15 Edgar Owens and Robert Shaw, Development Reconsidered (Lexington Mass.: D.C. Heath, 1972) and Rondinelli, pp. 69-97.
16 The figures for percentage growth of GDP in production (from the World Bank Development Report. 1995, p. 164): for Agriculture between 1970-80, 2.8 percent and between 1980-93, 1.3 percent; for Industry between 1970-80, 9.4 percent and between 1980-93, 1.6 percent; for service between 1970-80, 17.5 percent and between 1980- 93, 6.9 percent.
17 For a critical discussion of democratization, see Ghassan Salame, Democracy Without Democrats? The Renewal of Politics in the Muslim World (London: J.B. Tauris, 1994) and for a comprehensive collection of authoritative country evaluations, see A.R. Norton, ed., Civil Society in the Middle East, Vols. I and 2 (Leiden: E.J. Brill, 1995, 1996).
18 On economic restructuring, see the articles in Said El-Naggar, ed., Privatization and Structural Adjustment in the Arab Countries (Washington D.C.: International Monetary Fund, 1989).
19 On privatization, see Harik and Sullivan. On Morocco, see Cantori, "Privatization..." and the special issue, "Bilan Dicennial du Programme d'Ajustement Structurel et Perspectives de l'Economie Marocaine," Annales Marocaines D'Economie (Rabat, Morocco, 1994).
20 Cantori, "Privatization...."
21 There is an Islamic intellectual alternative to the liberal-pluralist development paradigm that expresses the priority of religious values while also attempting to address the practicalities of economic growth. See Louis Cantori, "Modernization and Development," in The Oxford Encyclopedia of the Modern Islamic World, edited by John Esposito (London: Oxford University Press, 1995), III, pp. 123-126. For a comparison between the Middle East and Asia, see Charles Issawi's "Why Japan?" in Ibrahim, ed., Arab Resources (London: Croom Helm, 1983), pp. 283-300; and Serge Leymarie and Jean Tripier, Maroc: Le Prochain Dragon? (Casablanca, Morocco: Editions Eddif, 1992). John Page, a senior economist at the World Bank, has recently raised questions about economic performance across the two civilizations. These Confucian and statist societies may possess paradigm similarities with the Middle East. The "Asian way" may have greater relevance to the developmental needs of the Middle East than the "American way." See Anwar Ibrahim, deputy prime minister of Malaysia, "Ethics and Humanism Within the Free Market System," in The Diplomat (London), October 1996, pp. 50-52.