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Democracy in the Arab World: Explaining the Deficit by Ibrahim Elbadawi, Samir Makdisi

By Ibrahim Elbadawi, Samir Makdisi

Regardless of awesome socio-economic improvement within the Arab area, a deficit in democracy and political rights has endured to succeed. This booklet examines the most important purposes underlying the endurance of this democracy deficit during the last a long time and touches at the customers for deepening the method of democratization within the Arab international. Contributions from significant students within the area provide a go kingdom research of financial improvement, political associations and social components, and the impression of oil wealth and neighborhood wars, and current a version for democracy within the Arab international. Case experiences are drawn from Algeria, Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, Sudan and the Gulf quarter, construction on those cross-country analyses and probing past the model’s major worldwide variables. having a look past the impression of oil and conflicts, the chapters illustrate how particular socio-political background of the rustic involved, worry of fundamentalist teams, collusion with overseas powers and international interventions, and the co-option of the elites via the nation give a contribution to those difficulties of democratization. Situating the democratic place of the Arab international in an international context, this e-book is a vital contribution to the sphere of center japanese politics, improvement experiences, and reports on clash and democracy.

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Additional info for Democracy in the Arab World: Explaining the Deficit (Routledge Studies in Middle Eastern Politics, 27)

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Only later does commitment to democracy evolve and solidify, receiving an unequivocal and enduring commitment from main actors. However, the problem in the Arab world is that rival political groups continue to entertain the view that many things are too important to entrust to the vagaries of a democratic process and the whims of the populace. 5. The religious dimension The reluctant conversion to democracy among many former radicals coincided with the ‘Islamic revival’, which further complicated the renewed quest for democracy, and ensured that it would ‘further divide rather than unite secular and religious visionaries and polarize their polities and societies’ (Sadiki, 2004: 251).

Some intellectuals not only serve despotic regimes as propagandists and apologists, but even ‘rationalize [repression] and push for it. [One has only to] survey the huge number of intellectuals dispersed throughout newspapers, magazines, media channels, publishing houses and research centers to become aware of this shameful reality’ (Abdalla, 1998: 50–1). These criticisms notwithstanding, a number of the intellectuals participating in those debates were already officials or sympathizers of regimes that were Political culture and crisis of democracy 23 undemocratic.

The challenge posed for Arab democracy by Islamist thought and practice is probably the most important one at the moment, and it needs to be tackled at several levels. The Islamists themselves need to revise their models in order to reflect Islam’s true spirit, which is not only favourable to democracy, but is also, as we have shown above, one which finds democracy indispensable. Further, all political forces in the Arab world, including Islamists, need to build democratic coalitions constructed around mutual reassurances and understandings, with a commitment to peaceful coexistence and mutual recognition.

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