Islam and Democracy in the Middle East


"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

The Case for Democratic Persistence

January 2018

A review of Democracy: Stories from the Long Road to Freedom by Condoleezza Rice.

Democracy Aid at 25: Time to Choose

January 2015

From small beginnings, democracy aid has become a sizeable enterprise. Today it is beset by problems, however, as it must operate in a less friendly environment. Hard decisions will need to be made to maintain its relevance.

External Influence and Democratization: The Revenge of Geopolitics

October 2014
Advancing the democratic cause is threatening to autocrats, and they will fight back.

External Influence and Democratization: Structure vs. Choice

October 2014
Linkage and leverage largely reflect long-term structural factors, and only in certain situations can they be affected by policy choices.

External Influence and Democratization: Gatekeepers and Linkages

October 2014
Levitsky and Way’s account of linkage and leverage leaves out the key role of “gatekeeper” elites.

Mandela’s Legacy at Home and Abroad

April 2014

Nelson Mandela, who died in late 2013, fought for freedom for all the people of South Africa and masterfully guided his country’s transition to a nonracial democracy. His record on foreign policy is more ambiguous, but also instructive.

Defunding Dissent: Restrictions on Aid to NGOs

April 2013

A number of countries including Russia and post-Mubarak Egypt are taking aggressive steps to limit or stop foreign funds from flowing to domestic NGOs that promote human rights and democracy. What is driving this trend, how far will it go, and what can be done to counter it?

How Poland Promotes Democracy

April 2012

Among a new generation of international democracy promoters—often former recipients of democracy assistance themselves—Poland stands out. Its efforts, though mostly in its own neighborhood, show the importance of combining direct assistance with quiet diplomacy.

Democracy Assistance: What Recipients Think

January 2012

A groundbreaking new survey shows that democracy assistance is highly valued by its recipients but that there remains room for improvement.