A map of a divided Kashmir. (Courtesy: openDemocracy.net) In the wake of the Arab Spring, many have looked at the Middle East Region with amazement and genuine hope for a better future for the plagued Arabs. Giants such as Mubarak and Qadaffi have fallen, and as transition governments prepare for transition to democracy, the culprit lies in the detail. For the last hundred years or so, the Middle East has not demonstrated functional democracies. With the exception of Israel (and perhaps the Palestinian Authority), the Middle East is one of the least democratic and most repressive regions in the world.