Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
×
Home

Democratizing Potential of the ‘Arab Spring’: Some Early Observations

  • Malik Mufti
Abstract

An influential approach in the scholarship has stressed the ‘robustness of authoritarianism’ in the Arab world. While this approach has generated a rich research programme yielding valuable insights, it has also contributed to a widespread tendency to downplay the significance of the 2011 uprisings. A perspective that is broader both temporally (going back to the aftermath of the Ottoman Empire’s collapse) and spatially (to include Turkey, another successor state to that same empire which may serve as a useful negative case) can illuminate not only variations between regional states, but also convergences – such as the expansion of political mobilization and participation, or the emergence of Islamism versus secular nationalism as a key axis of ideological conflict – that suggest less pessimistic conclusions about the prospects for democracy in the longer-term future.

Copyright
Footnotes
Hide All
*

Malik Mufti is Professor in the Department of Political Science at Tufts University. Contact email: malik.mufti@tufts.edu.

Footnotes
References
Hide All
Ağaoğlu, A. (1994), Serbest Fırka Hatıraları (Istanbul: İletişim Yayınları).
Altunışık, M.B. (2005), ‘The Turkish Model and Democratization in the Middle East’, Arab Studies Quarterly, 27(1–2): 4563.
Angrist, M.P. (2005), ‘Party Systems and Regime Formation: Turkish Exceptionalism in Comparative Perspective’, in M.P. Posusney and M.P. Angrist (eds), Authoritarianism in the Middle East: Regimes and Resistance (Boulder, CO: Lynne Rienner): 119141.
Beblawi, H. (1990), ‘The Rentier State in the Arab World’, in G. Luciani (ed.), The Arab State (Berkeley: University of California Press): 8598.
Bellin, E. (2002), Stalled Democracy: Capital, Labor, and the Paradox of State-Sponsored Development (Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press).
Bellin, E. (2004), ‘The Robustness of Authoritarianism in the Middle East: Exceptionalism in Comparative Perspective’, Comparative Politics, 36(2): 139157.
Bellin, E. (2012), ‘Reconsidering the Robustness of Authoritarianism in the Middle East: Lessons from the Arab Spring’, Comparative Politics, 44(2): 127149.
Birand, M.A. (1986), Emret Komutanım (Istanbul: Milliyet Yayınları).
Blaydes, L. (2011), Elections and Distributive Politics in Mubarak’s Egypt (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press).
Brownlee, J. (2007), Authoritarianism in an Age of Democratization (New York: Cambridge University Press).
Brownlee, J. (2012), Democracy Prevention: The Politics of the U.S.–Egyptian Alliance (New York: Cambridge University Press).
Brownlee, J., Masoud, T. and Reynolds, A. (2013), ‘Why the Modest Harvest?’, Journal of Democracy, 24(4): 2944.
Brumberg, D. (2002), ‘The Trap of Liberalized Autocracy’, Journal of Democracy, 13(4): 5668.
Brumberg, D. (2005–06), ‘Islam is Not the Solution (or the Problem)’, Washington Quarterly, 29(1): 97116.
Cappocia, G. and Ziblatt, D. (2010), ‘The Historical Turn in Democratization Studies: A New Research Agenda for Europe and Beyond’, Comparative Political Studies, 43(8/9): 931968.
Çarkoğlu, A. and Toprak, B. (2006), Değişen Türkiye’de Din, Toplum ve Siyaset (Istanbul: TESEV Yayınları), http://research.sabanciuniv.edu/5851/1/DegisenTRdeDin-Toplum-Siyaset.pdf.
Cillov, H. (1974), ‘The Structure of the Turkish Population’, in F. Karadayı et al. (eds), The Population of Turkey (Ankara: Hacettepe University Institute of Population Studies): 5784.
Haddad, B. (2012), ‘Syria, the Arab Uprisings, and the Political Economy of Authoritarian Resilience’, in H. Clement and J. Ji-Hyang (eds), The Arab Spring: Will it Lead to Democratic Transitions? (New York: Palgrave Macmillan): 211226.
Herb, M. (1999), All in the Family: Absolutism, Revolution and Democracy in the Middle Eastern Monarchies (Albany: State University of New York Press).
Heydemann, S. (2007), Upgrading Authoritarianism in the Arab World, Analysis Paper 13 (Washington, DC: Brookings Institution).
Jamal, A.A. (2007), Barriers to Democracy: The Other Side of Social Capital in Palestine and the Arab World (Princeton: Princeton University Press).
Kadıoğlu, A. (1996), ‘The Paradox of Turkish Nationalism and the Construction of Official Identity’, Middle Eastern Studies, 32(2): 177193.
Kalyvas, S.N. (2012), ‘The “Turkish Model” in the Matrix of Political Catholicism’, in A.T. Kuru and A. Stepan (eds), Democracy, Islam, and Secularism in Turkey (New York: Columbia University Press): 189198.
Karpat, K.H. (1985), Ottoman Population, 1830–1914: Demographic and Social Characteristics (Madison: University of Wisconsin Press).
Kerwin, R.W. (1956), ‘Etatism and the Industrialization of Turkey: A Study of Turkish National Economic Policies and Attitudes (1933–1950)’, unpublished PhD thesis, Baltimore, Johns Hopkins University.
Kılınç, T. (2014), ‘Mısır’a Laik Bir Anayasa Tavsiye Ediyorum’, USA Sabah, 27 August.
Kirişci, K. (2011), ‘Turkey’s “Demonstrative Effect” and the Transformation of the Middle East’, Insight Turkey, 13(2): 3355.
Kuru, A.T. and Stepan, A. (2012), ‘ Laïcité as an “Ideal Type” and a Continuum: Comparing Turkey, France, and Senegal’, in A.T. Kuru and A. Stepan (eds), Democracy, Islam, and Secularism in Turkey (New York: Columbia University Press): 95121.
Langohr, V. (2005), ‘Too Much Civil Society, Too Little Politics? Egypt and Other Liberalizing Arab Regimes’, in M.P. Posusney and M.P. Angrist (eds), Authoritarianism in the Middle East: Regimes and Resistance (Boulder, CO: Lynne Rienner): 193218.
Lawrence, A.K. (2014), ‘Collective Protest and the Institutional Promise of Monarchy’, paper presented at the Association for Analytic Learning about Islam and Muslim Societies Conference on the Political Economy of Muslim Societies, Princeton University.
Lust-Okar, E. (2005), Structuring Conflict in the Arab World: Incumbents, Opponents, and Institutions (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press).
Mahoney, J. and Rueschemeyer, D. (2003) (eds), Comparative Historical Analysis in the Social Sciences (New York: Cambridge University Press).
Mardin, Ş. (1975), ‘Center–Periphery Relations: A Key to Turkish Politics?’ in E.D. Akarlı and G. Ben-Dor (eds), Political Participation in Turkey: Historical Background and Present Problems (Istanbul: Boğaziçi University Publications): 732.
Mardin, Ş. (2005), ‘Turkish Islamic Exceptionalism Yesterday and Today: Continuity, Rupture and Reconstruction in Operational Codes’, Turkish Studies, 6(2): 145165.
Menaldo, V. (2012), ‘The Middle East and North Africa’s Resilient Monarchs’, Journal of Politics, 74(3): 707722.
Messaoudi, K. (1995), Unbowed: An Algerian Woman Confronts Islamic Fundamentalism, tr. A. Vila (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press).
Moore, P.W. (2004), Doing Business in the Middle East: Politics and Economic Crisis in Jordan and Kuwait (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press).
Muasher, M. (2014), The Second Arab Awakening and the Battle for Pluralism (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press).
Mufti, M. (1996), Sovereign Creations: Pan-Arabism and Political Order in Syria and Iraq (Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press).
Mufti, M. (1999), ‘Elite Bargains and the Onset of Political Liberalization in Jordan’, Comparative Political Studies, 32(1): 100129.
Mufti, M. (2010), ‘The Many-Colored Cloak: Evolving Conceptions of Democracy in Islamic Political Thought’, American Journal of Islamic Social Sciences, 27(2): 127.
Munck, G.L. (2015), ‘Building Democracy . . . Which Democracy: Ideology and Models of Democracy in Post-Transition Latin America’, Government and Opposition, 50(3) (in this issue).
O’Donnell, G. and Schmitter, P.C. (1986), Transitions from Authoritarian Rule: Tentative Conclusions about Uncertain Democracies (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press).
Okyar, A.F. (1987), Serbest Cumhuriyet Fırkası Nasıl Doğdu, Nasıl Fesh Edildi? (Istanbul: n.p.).
Pekesen, B. (2012), ‘Expulsion and Emigration of the Muslims from the Balkans’, European History Online, www.ieg-ego.eu/pekesenb-2011-en.
Pew Research Center (2012a), ‘The World’s Muslims: Unity and Diversity’ (Washington, DC: Pew Research Center), www.pewforum.org/files/2012/08/the-worlds-muslims-full-report.pdf.
Pew Research Center (2012b), ‘Most Muslims Want Democracy, Personal Freedoms, and Islam in Political Life: Few Believe U.S. Backs Democracy’ (Washington, DC: Pew Research Center), www.pewglobal.org/files/2012/07/Pew-Global-Attitudes-Project-Arab-Spring-Report-FINAL-Tuesday-July-10-2012.pdf.
Pierson, P. (2004), Politics in Time: History, Institutions, and Social Analysis (Princeton: Princeton University Press).
Posusney, M.P. (2005a), ‘Multiparty Elections in the Arab World: Election Rules and Opposition Responses’, in M.P. Posusney and M.P. Angrist (eds), Authoritarianism in the Middle East: Regimes and Resistance (Boulder, CO: Lynne Rienner): 91118.
Posusney, M.P. (2005b), ‘The Middle East’s Democracy Deficit in Comparative Perspective’, in M.P. Posusney and M.P. Angrist (eds), Authoritarianism in the Middle East: Regimes and Resistance (Boulder, CO: Lynne Rienner): 118.
Roos, L.L. and Roos, N. (1971), Managers of Modernization: Organizations and Elites in Turkey, 1950–1969 (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press).
Ross, M.L. (2001), ‘Does Oil Hinder Democracy?’, World Politics, 53(3): 325361.
Schmitter, P.C. and Karl, T.L. (1994), ‘The Conceptual Travels of Transitologists and Consolidologists: How Far to the East Should they Attempt to Go?’, Slavic Review, 53(1): 173185.
Simon, R.S. (1986), Iraq between the Two World Wars: The Creation and Implementation of a Nationalist Ideology (New York: Columbia University Press).
von Sponeck, H.C. (2006), A Different Kind of War: The UN Sanctions Regime in Iraq (New York: Berghahn Books).
Stacher, J. (2012), Adaptable Autocrats: Regime Power in Egypt and Syria (Stanford: Stanford University Press).
Taşpınar, Ö. (2003), An Uneven Fit? The ‘Turkish Model’ and the Arab World, Analysis Paper 5 (Washington, DC: Brookings Saban Center).
Tessler, M. and Gao, E. (2005), ‘Gauging Arab Support for Democracy’, Journal of Democracy, 16(3): 8397.
de Tocqueville, A. (2000), Democracy in America, tr. H.C. Mansfield and D. Winthrop (Chicago: University of Chicago Press).
Ülgen, S. (2011), From Inspiration to Aspiration: Turkey in the New Middle East (Washington, DC: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace).
United Nations (2004), World Urbanization Prospects: The 2003 Revision (New York: United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs/Population Division), www.un.org/esa/population/publications/wup2003/WUP2003Report.pdf.
UNESCO (2005), Education for All Global Monitoring Report 2006: Literacy for Life (Paris: UNESCO), www.unesco.org/education/GMR2006/full/chapt8_eng.pdf.
UNESCO (n.d.), UNESCO Institute of Statistics website, http://data.uis.unesco.org/#m.
de Waal, T. (2011), transcribed comments on paper presented by S. Ülgen, ‘Can the Turkish Model Gain Traction in the New Middle East?’, 19 December (Washington, DC): 11–12, http://carnegieendowment.org/2011/12/19/can-turkish-model-gain-traction-in-new-middle-east.
Weyland, K. (2012), ‘The Arab Spring: Why the Surprising Similarities with the Revolutionary Wave of 1848?’, Perspectives on Politics, 10(4): 917934.
Yavuz, M.H. (2004), ‘Is There a Turkish Islam? The Emergence of Convergence and Consensus’, Journal of Muslim Minority Affairs, 24(2): 213232.
Yeşilada, B.A. and Noordijk, P. (2010), ‘Changing Values in Turkey: Religiosity and Tolerance in Comparative Perspective’, Turkish Studies, 11(1): 927.
Yom, S.L. (2005), ‘Civil Society and Democratization in the Arab World’, Middle East Review of International Affairs, 9(4): 1433.
Yom, S.L. and Gause, F.G. (2012), ‘Resilient Royals: How Arab Monarchies Hold On’, Journal of Democracy, 23(4): 7488.
Zogby International (2005), ‘Six Arab Nation Survey Report’, www.angusreidglobal.com/wp-content/uploads/archived-pdf/Zogby_Arab_2k5.pdf.
Zogby International (2013), ‘Egyptian Attitudes: September 2013’, http://b.3cdn.net/aai/fe64c5aaef408b33d1_0lm6bnk0v.pdf.
Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

Government and Opposition
  • ISSN: 0017-257X
  • EISSN: 1477-7053
  • URL: /core/journals/government-and-opposition
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *
×

Metrics

Altmetric attention score

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed