Democratization and Authoritarianism in the Arab World

Book

The uprisings that swept the Arab world beginning in 2010 toppled four entrenched rulers and seemed to create a political opening in a region long impervious to democratization.

Islam and Democracy in the Middle East

Book

"The more authentic Muslim modernists are those who have already taken a step across the historical threshold toward an enlightened skepticism of the whole Islamic tradition. There are many Muslim intellectuals who have done this, some of them contributors to the collection Islam and Democracy in the Middle East."—Max Rodenbeck, New York Review of Books

Islam and Democracy in Tunisia

Article
July 2018

The president of Tunisia’s Ennahdha party, Rached Ghannouchi, argues that the solution to extremism is more (not less) freedom and democracy, along with more moderate religious teachings.

Iran’s Exclusionary Republic

Article
April 2018

A review of Democracy in Iran: Why It Failed and How It Might Succeed by Misagh Parsa.

Dashed Hopes and Extremism in Tunisia

Article
January 2018

Tunisia is now one of the Arab world’s most democratic countries, but it has also been producing worrisome numbers of recruits for groups such as ISIS. How can this paradox be explained? 

Iran’s 2017 Election: The Opposition Inches Forward

Article
October 2017

Despite all its flaws, Iran’s May 2017 presidential balloting amounted to another small but genuine advance for the cause of democracy. 

Iran’s 2017 Election: Waning Democratic Hopes

Article
October 2017

Wrongly viewed by many media sources as a victory for “reform” and “openness,” the recent presidential election in Iran actually reflected the demoralization and disengagement of the country’s prodemocratic opposition.

Jordan and Morocco: The Palace Gambit

Article
April 2017

Two of the Arab world’s more liberal regimes, the kingdoms of Jordan and Morocco, are sometimes said to be evolving toward democracy. Is this true, and what are the longer-term prospects for these two monarchies?

Tunisia’s Islamists and the “Turkish Model”

Article
January 2017

Ennahda has long felt an especially strong kinship with Turkey’s AKP, which has seen as representing a combination of piety, prosperity, and democratic credibility. How might their relationship be affected by the AKP's more recent authoritarian turn?

Iraq’s Year of Rage

Article
October 2016
Iraqis of all ethnic and sectarian stripes are fed up with the ineptitude and corruption of their political leaders, parties, and government institutions.

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