The second wave of the Arab Barometer reveals strong and steady support for democracy in the Arab World but a deficit in democratic culture.
Do young democracies have to "deliver the goods" economically in order to win political legitimacy in their citizens' eyes? Public opinion data from Asia, Africa, Latin America, and the Arab world suggest some fascinating answers.
Findings from the Arab Barometer say little about whether there are likely to be transitions to democracy in the Arab world in the years ahead, but they do offer evidence that citizens' attitudes and values are not the reason that authoritarianism has persisted.
There is a widespread desire for democracy among the Iraqi public, but when it comes to the roles of religion, ethnicity, and gender equality in Iraq's new democracy, attitudes are more varied.
Despite some moves toward liberalization in the past three decades, all Arab-majority countries remain authoritarian. Nonetheless, opinion surveys show that popular support for democracy in this part of the world is high.