In a perfect world, democracy and economic growth would be mutually reinforcing. But in many corners of the globe -- from Latin America, to Africa, to the former Soviet bloc -- the reality has proven to be more complex. Whether the Arab world can have both democracy and prosperity is a question that will play out for months and years. But for now, all we can do is measure the attitudes and aspirations of Arab citizens themselves.
Solid majorities in Egypt, Lebanon, Jordan, and Tunisia say that democracy is the best form of government, according to a recent survey by the Pew Research Center. At the same time, at least seven-in-ten respondents from these countries say that that their national economy is performing poorly.