Democratization in the Middle East : Experiences, Struggles, Challenges

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  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2003-03-01
  • Publisher: Brookings Inst Pr

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Democratization in the Middle East addresses a number of key issues determining the success or failure of sustainable democratization in the region. With the exception of Israel in certain specific ways, the constituent states have yet to reach a level of democratization that would guarantee a path towards sustainable democracy and prevent a future return to non-democratic governance, and de-secularization and de-liberalization of the economy and society. Peace dividends from sustained democratization processes in the Middle East are still years away from realization. If anything, movement towards political, economic, and cultural liberalization has thus far brought instability and violence to the region, as traditional and religious values continue to clash with secular ethics, norms, and practices. Drawing on conceptual and country analyses. This book examines patterns of democracy; costs and benefits, barriers and support; relationship between civil society and the state; internal and external factors of democracy; the relationship between Islam and Islamic movements and democratization; experiences of democratic transition processes and resulting national and regional peace dividends; and the interdependence of development, peace and democratization, and political and economic transition. The contributors to the volume come to the conclusion that, in order to advance democratization processes throughout the region, reforms must be gradual and must be organized and monitored from the top, while supplemented by a similarly gradual process towards the establishment of a broad-based and broadly supported civil society. Only such gradual reform processes will be successful in creating participatory, just and, eventually, peaceful and stable societies in the Middle East (UNU website).

Author Biography

Amin Saikal is Professor of Political Science and Director of the Centre for Arab and Islamic Studies (The Middle East & Central Asia) at the Australian National University, Canberra. Albrecht Schnabel is Academic Programme Officer in the Peace and Governance Programme of the United Nations University, Tokyo

Table of Contents

Acknowledgements ix
A rough journey: Nascent democratization in the Middle East
Albrecht Schnabel
Part I: Democratic peace, conflict prevention, and the United Nations
Democratization and peacebuilding
Albrecht Schnabel
Toward a democratic peace in the Middle East
Etel Solingen
The United Nations and the Middle East
Amin Saikal
Part II: Secularization and democracy
Disenchanted worlds: Secularization and democratization in the Middle East
Majid Tehranian
The influence of Islam on attitudes toward democracy in Morocco and Algeria
Mark Tessler
Part III: National and regional experiences
The democratic process in Syria, Lebanon, and Jordan
Kamel S. Abu Jaber
``Democratic peace'' and the Jewish political tradition
Gerald M. Steinberg
Democracy and peace in Iran and Iraq
Amin Saikal
State power and democratization in North Africa: Developments in Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, and Libya
Tom Pierre Najem
Contributors 202(3)
Index 205

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