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.
"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
A review of Tunisia: An Arab Anomaly by Safwan M. Masri.
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.
A review of Democracy in Iran: Why It Failed and How It Might Succeed by Misagh Parsa.
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?
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.
Despite all its flaws, Iran’s May 2017 presidential balloting amounted to another small but genuine advance for the cause of democracy.
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?
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?