Degrees of democracy
More education does not necessarily lead to greater enthusiasm for representative politics
Jun 23rd 2011 | from the print edition
ON JUNE 20th Zine el-Abedine Ben-Ali, Tunisia’s former ruler, was sentenced in absentia to 35 years in prison. Many trace the origins of the popular rebellion that forced him from office to frustration over the treatment by the police of a young man with few job prospects. That combustible mixture of authoritarianism, unemployment and youth has played a big role in sparking many of the popular uprisings across the Middle East and north Africa that followed Tunisia’s. But some argue that increased education should also take credit for the Arab spring.
6月20号，前突尼斯总统Zine el-Abedine Ben-Ali在其未出席的情况下被判35年监禁。许多人探求这场大规模的反抗的根源，由于警察部门过分的对待一个没有就业前景的年轻人导致的反抗迫使他从当政者变为了阶下囚。即突尼斯之后，包括独裁主义、失业和年轻人的易冲动的混合体在中东和北非引起许多大规模的暴动。但是一些人认为增加的教育也应该为这场阿拉伯承担责任。
Many of the countries where disaffection with strongmen rulers has spilled over into revolt have seen their education levels rise sharply in recent decades. Young people in these countries are far better educated than their parents were. In 1990 the average Egyptian had 4.4 years of schooling; by 2010 the figure had risen to 7.1 years. Could it be that education, by making people less willing to put up with restrictions on freedom and more willing to question authority, promotes democratisation?