Rethinking Arab Democratization: Elections without Democracy (Oxford Studies in Democratization)

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Each score ranges from 0 to 2, with 0 being nonexistent and 2 being the highest measurement. On this basis, Arab states were ranked according to performance, with Morocco at the top, with 11 points, and Saudi Arabia at the bottom, with 2. In the rankings, Saudi Arabia was given 4, but still remained at the bottom, while Morocco was downgraded to 8, leaving Jordan and Lebanon at the top spot with Again, many of the rankings display anomalies, ranking Libya, Bahrain, Oman and Qatar on the same level 5 points; Qatar was raised to 6 in , while Tunisia is given a score of 10 9 in , well above UAE 6 and one point above Kuwait 9, downgraded to 8.

Clearly, there is also something fundamentally wrong with this classification Sarsar, However, the overall picture cannot be mistaken. Its score in rejecting authoritarianism is also the highest, significantly higher, in fact, than the population of Western Europe in both scores AHDR, The report conducted surveys of its own that confirmed this inclination AHDR, 89— The correlation between support for [democracy] as a very good way of governance and religiosity is insignificant although slightly positive.

Predominantly Islamic societies show very high levels of support for [democracy] as a very good way of governing their countries, while simultaneously showing high levels of religiosity. Al-Braizat goes further, finding a strong correlation between the Human Development Index HDI and the actual progress to democratization. While support for democracy in most Muslim countries remains high, actual democratization as measured in years of uninterrupted democracy correlates positively with HDI and negatively with religiosity Al-Braizat, — Al-Braizat takes this to reflect a correlation between actual democratization and modernization, since he assumes a correlation between modernization and decline of religious observance, in line with classical modernization theory.

A similar stance in support of modernization theory is taken by Epstein et al. Using polity scores, Epstein et al.

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However, another study using the same polity scores has concluded that, regardless of its merits, the modernization hypothesis does not work in the Arab world Elbadawi and Makdisi, In fact, the richer oil-producing Arab countries, whose per capita GDP is topped only by the OECD income levels, have consistently obtained the lowest polity scores, with some scoring —10 for prolonged periods.

Ironically, while income levels in most Arab countries were higher than the median income in developing countries worldwide, Arab countries lagged behind developing countries in democracy as reflected in polity scores, while the sporadic spells of democratization occurred mainly in the poorer Arab countries Elbadawi and Makdisi, —2. This important insight takes us back to the Napoleon—Saddam Syndrome, the persistent pathology specific to the Arab region in particular and the Middle East in general.

If we observe democratic norms and human rights, their argument goes, all will be lost. Enemies of the people or civilization or religion or freedom will take over Zakaria, The convergence in attitudes between the alien invaders and occupiers Israelis, Americans in Iraq and the local despots in advancing the claims that the Arab region is a brutal jungle where violence and repression are needed to keep order, betrays deeper structural similarities between the forces of alien occupation, and the indigenous post-colonial state which has inherited the colonial legacy and sought to perpetuate it.

As the Tunisian activist Moncef Marzouki see below and others argue, the current despotic Arab state has come to resemble an alien occupation. While there is clearly a difference in the degree of alienation between foreign colonial forces in particular, Israeli settler colonialism and home-grown despotism, there are also some significant parallels.

If Israel believes itself to be an alien entity facing rejection, the state in the Arab world is equally alien and at war with society Ayubi, —4. It jealously safeguarded its autonomy from society and has sought to rely more and more on foreign support. This character of the state has made it precarious and vulnerable. The fact that a number of Arab states have come to resemble occupation powers is dialectically related to the tendency of some opposition groups to seek foreign support and even court foreign occupation or presence in their counties.

In Libya and later in Sudan, the opposition sought foreign support to topple the regime and, in the case of Sudan, supported the presence of foreign troops to protect civilians. It thus appears that for at least certain opposition groups the regimes they oppose are seen as worse than foreign occupation. At the very moment when Soviet troops were leaving Eastern Europe to pave the way for independence and democratization, foreign troops were pouring into the region to back authoritarian regimes.

More troops have since arrived and vast funds have also been deployed to support favoured regimes. The aftermath of September 11 reinforced these trends. Everything pointed to system meltdown. In view of all this, it can be argued that the reason why the Middle East remains inhospitable to democracy is the same reason why it also remains inhospitable to the rise of an autonomous and influential bourgeoisie. The indigenous bourgeoisie bears the stamp of this war environment.

Otherwise, it stands no chance. In most Arab countries the state manipulates economic measures for political ends. The phenomenon is akin to internal colonialism, with the privileged rich acting like a settler community. More significantly, the new regimes appear to have in fact almost abolished the public—private distinction, leaving the state elite to treat both as a legitimate domain.

In any case, the rentier state has less need of the bourgeoisie than the latter has of the state. Political structures and cultural orientations which could oversee and underpin the atomization of society, the dissolution of feudal or traditional bonds, a massive urbanization, relative indifference to religious strictures, the pauperization and uprooting of farm labourers, etc. In particular, a relatively impartial state which is not also a private business enterprise is absolutely essential.

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Secularization does not bring about indifference to religious issues; it is widespread indifference to religious issues that enables secularization. A disenchanted world, by contrast, is a bland universe of acts which are indifferently alike. In the case of the Middle East, the trend has been moving in the other direction. It is true that in some countries economic liberalism has made some progress. In places like the United Arab Emirates, and in particular its thriving emirate of Dubai, the system has witnessed some reform and streamlining.

However, Dubai has been criticized for having achieved its success by becoming a site of runaway globalization where the creation of wealth is deliberately de-linked from citizenship rights Devji, The nearby state of Qatar is also moving in the same direction of the liberalized bourgeois state, but has additionally institutionalized the distinction between the private wealth of the rulers and state revenues. It has also taken tentative steps towards institutionalizing democratic citizenship.

However, in all these countries, some very important taboos remain, most significantly with regard to political action. Governments regard any unsanctioned attempts at political or civil society organization as a very serious matter. In recent decades, the region has also witnessed twin processes of Islamization and traditionalization. The first phenomenon is now well known and has been extensively studied.

It has been reflected both in increased personal religious observance and also in membership of Islamic activist groups. Such groups tend to endow more and more social activities with religious meaning, and either encourage or oppose them on this basis. Most of these activities relate to sexual mores and the public conduct of women Islamic dress, mixed dancing, etc. Simultaneously with this, and even prior to it, some governments adopted a reverse attitude of investing personal and social acts such as the wearing of head-scarves by women with utmost political significance, and treating them as a most serious threat.

This contagion has now moved to Europe and beyond with the headscarves and niqab controversies. At the same time, regimes in the area began to deliberately revive and exploit traditionalist social structures, such as tribes, clans, sects and rural dignitaries and heads of families, in their bid to strengthen their hold on power and to further marginalize the rebellious intelligentsia from which came most of the opposition to their rule. Opposition groups also resorted to the mobilization of sectarian, ethnic and tribal identities in order to fight back, while ordinary citizens sought protection from the threat of the expanding authoritarian state in these traditional bonds, a process made more imperative by the deliberate weakening of any viable civil society mechanisms of defence or solidarity.

We point here to the huge rents emanating from oil, aid, strategic assets, etc. The regimes that participated in the —1 war on Iraq, for example, received massive foreign funding vital for their longevity at a time when dictatorships in Eastern Europe and elsewhere were unravelling. The resulting strong and modernized economy helps to subsidize a host of unproductive or counterproductive activities and make it financially attractive enough for bourgeois families to abandon the bastions of McWorld in Europe and the USA for a life on the frontline settlements on the hills of Judea.

The generous flow of external resources has helped this extraordinary juxtaposition of jihad and McWorld. In the subsidized settlements, the profit motive and religious activism are satisfied in one move, and the salvation ideology meshes beautifully with the bourgeois economy. The USA, which has had its own contingent of militias, Armageddonites and other jihadists since the s Barber, ; El-Affendi, b , has been a long-term contributor to jihadism in the region. It funds and backs extremist settler groups in Israel as it had earlier backed jihadists in Afghanistan.

American jihadism in the region has triggered a powerful defensive reaction in the Muslim world, further undermining the prospects for democracy. One can thus argue that the central issue relating to democratization in the Arab world pertains to the robustness of authoritarian regimes and their sources of power, given the nature of the alien state and the widespread opposition to despotism and alien control. As Eva Bellin perceptively put it:. Thus, the solution to the puzzle of Middle Eastern and North African exceptionalism lies less in the absent prerequisites of democratization and more in present conditions that foster robust authoritarianism, specifically a robust coercive apparatus in these states.

The robustness of the coercive apparatus of the Arab state is derived from ample resources put at its disposal by the states and their foreign backers ; the reassurance and legitimacy provided by international networks of support; the patrimonial nature of the state; and its security apparatus, where private links of kin and patronage reinforce loyalty and demobilize the opposition.

The beleaguered opposition is, in turn, weakened and discouraged from mounting campaigns due to the harsh measures deployed against it Bellin, —7. It can thus be concluded that neither a presumed cultural aversion to democracy nor an underdeveloped class structure can be said to be responsible for the turbulent politics of the Middle East. Nothing here is permitted to be trivial or mundane. Every actor, including the USA and Israel, has a messianic project, a sacred cause, a vital interest.

Nothing is treated as trivial or neutral. On the contrary, everything here, from food to dress, from language to cities, is invested with an irreplaceable value. This has little to do with ingrained cultural traits and a lot to do with conscious political choices. The entrenched despotic regimes have deliberately and sometimes inadvertently engineered modes of polarization that would make their despotic ways look as if they are the last bulwark against the total disintegration of their countries.

Like a terrorist with an explosive belt, the despot makes sure that, if he goes, the whole house will go up in flames. The USA, Israel and other intruders have acted in the same way. These foreign actors also emulate local despots in creating and fostering, in their desperation, polarized identities that end up holding them and everyone else hostage. This can be seen in the way sectarianism has been fostered in Iraq and encouraged in Lebanon. It is not only that we are faced here with a durable coalition of opportunist and messianic actors who believe that too much is at stake for one to bother about such mundane concerns as majority opinion, the rate of profit, budget deficit, bourgeois pleasures or even life itself.

What is more alarming is that, in the shadow of these coalitions, extremely dangerous and disturbing structures of domination and disenfranchisement are becoming so entrenched and so alien that the amount of violence required to dislodge them will be phenomenal. The guillotine is sure to follow. Had it been so, then there would have been no need for the extreme violence being deployed by regimes to maintain their grip on power.

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As Bellin rightly pointed out, the issue here is not the preferences of the locals, but the ability of the regimes to defy these preferences. This happens due to the patrimonial nature of the repressive apparatus, which combines sectarian and clannish links to isolate itself from the polarized society, and the ample resources and international support it enjoys. It is this extreme situation, and the mounting resistance to it, that fosters the polarization and extremism infecting the region.

From Napoleon to Bush, and the numerous local despots in between, the modern state in the Arab world and its allies and adversaries, including Israel is at war with the people. As Ayubi and others rightly pointed out, this has also shaped opposition to these regimes. The polarization and rising tension has become self-reinforcing. There are nevertheless, positive signs. Arab intellectuals, politicians and civil society actors are realizing more and more that this situation is no longer tenable.

Nascent coalitions of democrats, including moderate Islamists, are emerging to challenge authoritarian regimes. In spite of brutal crackdowns and deliberate attempts to sow divisions, the movements persist, and others are emulating their action. That is where the future of the Arab world lies.

Allah has prescribed Hajj for you, so you must perform it. Some people who lived before you were destroyed because they asked too many questions and disagreed with their Prophets. Abdalla, I. Abu-Rabi, I. Adam, C. Al-Braizat, F. Al-Din al-Albani, N. Almond, G. Anderson, L. Aslan, R. Ayubi, N. Barak, E. Beetham, D. Bellin, E. Binder, L. Blondel, J. Brynen, R. Bulliet, R.

Dimugratiyya wa Huquq al. Cole, J. Crick, B. Dahl, R. Devji, F. Diamond, L. El-Affendi, A. Tauris: — Held and M. Perspectives on U. Khan ed. Elbadawi, I. Elhadj, E. Epstein, D. Farazmand, A. Flower, R. Hamoudi, A. Hanafi, H. Hersh, S. Hilal, A. Hudson, M. Huntington, S. Inoguchi, T. Ismael, S. Kerr, M. Lewis, B.

Linz, J. Mamdani, M. Manji, I. Marzouki, M. Miller, J. Norton, R. Parekh, B. Plattner, M. Przeworski, A. Rajiva, L. Sadiki, L. Sarsar, S. Sluglett, P. Schlumberger ed. Tessler, M. Umaymur, M. Waines, D. Waterbury, J. Wedeen, L. Zakaria, F. The role of oil and conflicts 1. The Arab world initiated a short-lived move toward democratic practices in the s that was reversed in the s. While there was some limited progress on democratization in a few Arab states during the s, the Arab world has generally failed to catch up with the rest of the world, falling further behind in the period following the breakup of the Soviet Union and the ushering in of the current era of globalization.

Arab autocracies have tended to survive much longer than the median length of regime of their type in the world, suggesting that there is something unique about the process of democratization in the Arab world. Beyond the untold human suffering due to the denial of political rights and restrictions on civil liberties associated with authoritarian governance, there are also questions of whether lasting economic growth and equitable, sustainable development are possible in autocratic regimes.

The dire consequences of the lack of participatory governance for protection of property rights, investment, growth and, hence, for the overall development agenda of the region, have been emphasized by several Arab writers. In particular, the apparent difficulty of managing the consequences of frequent oil shocks — which affect all Arab countries, oil and non oil-producing alike — has been linked to the lack of political institutions for mediating the conflicting interests of various social groups in a way that ensures sustainability of growth-promoting policies and maintenance of a basic social development agenda.

This chapter brings together results from two previous papers Elbadawi and Makdisi, and Elbadawi, Makdisi and Milante, and the most current research on democratization to explore these questions. Then we consider three different measures of democracy section 3 and introduce the variables associated with measuring democracy section 4. In section 5 we present some tests to assess the impact of these variables and discuss the results of the tests.

This phenomenon suggests that, while economic progress may be necessary for political liberalization, it has not been a sufficient condition in the Arab world. In the Arab environment, history, conflicts and ideology appear to be more important in determining political progress. For example, it can be argued that during the s and s legitimacy was not necessarily derived from political liberalization but instead from ideologies associated with Arab nationalism, socialism and the declared struggle to liberate Palestine.

These ideologies were promoted by the charisma of Egyptian President Gamal Abdel Nasser and other pan-Arab political forces, providing potent sources of legitimacy for many authoritarian Arab regimes. However, the rise of oil as a dominant influence in the Arab economies and the partial peace with Israel ushered the region into a new era of political pragmatism that lasted into the s and, arguably, to the present day. While the oil-rich Arab states were able to enjoy prosperity without extension of the political franchise, 6 this also created unprecedented economic integration of the oil-producing countries in the global economy.

Meanwhile, Egypt, the most populous and historically most influential Arab country, became a close strategic and military ally to the United States, along with Saudi Arabia and other traditionally conservative Arab monarchies. The new oil era that resulted in increased wealth and prosperity for countries in the region, along with the greater political dependence of Egypt and the Arab monarchies on the USA, has been accompanied by a major paradigm shift away from the ideals of Arab nationalism that dominated previous decades.

Despite this paradigm shift in the political discourse since the s, there has been no change in the popular legitimacy of the Arab autocracies. While limited forms of political liberalization in some of the Arab countries may be noted, such as formal but controlled parliamentary elections, and a greater but still small degree of freedom in political expression, Arab autocracies have continued to rely on various forms of oppression, legitimacy by default, the engineering of crisis politics and, more recently, the pretext of containing fundamentalist Islamic movements.

In our view, two decades later, this assessment remains, for the most part. Despite the demise of the Soviet Union, the end of the oil boom, the Gulf wars, the worsening Palestinian crisis, as well as civil wars and other internal conflicts, no regime in the Arab world has extended the political franchise to the point where citizens could exercise effective control over public policy. In virtually all Arab countries, the prospect of a regime losing power in an election is inconceivable.

During this same period, democracy in other regions of the world has been steadily increasing, as demonstrated by trends in the Polity IV index, which provides ratings from —10 strongly autocratic to 10 strongly democratic for all countries from to In Figure 2. Figure 2. During the s, a general downward trend in average polity scores is witnessed for all regions, except OECD countries, and the Arab world is no exception. However, for Latin American and other states in the s and in East Asian and Sub-Saharan African states in the s, when, on average, they experienced increasing levels of democracy, the Arab world saw little or no improvement.

Of course, as the foregoing statistics are averages, is it possible that there are outliers driving these results? Unfortunately, for the citizens of the Arab world, the only outliers are the occasional attempts at democracy see Table 2. While the median world polity was low throughout most of the second half of the twentieth century, it increased dramatically in the late s and the s, resulting in the median polity score for the world actually exceeding the average score in In contrast, the median for the Arab world is consistently below that of the mean for the Arab world, suggesting that the average is being brought up by the few Arab countries with better than median polity scores.

The historically differing trends in democratization between the Arab world and other regions are the basis of much conjecture. Following the Second World War and the withdrawal of foreign troops from most of the Arab countries, some of the states that gained their independence at that time experienced certain aspects of democratic progress.

However, during the s Arab states witnessed a reversionl to authoritarian rule, with one or two exceptions. Part of this trend observed in the averages can be attributed to the emergence of newly independent states e. However, the number of countries in the international community has been increasing steadily over the past 50 years. Democratization among new countries, especially following the collapse of the Soviet Union, has been witnessed almost universally, except in the Arab world.

Therefore, changes in sample size and composition cannot explain why the global wave of democratization that started in the late s has had such a limited impact on Arab states. This brings us to the present day and the current challenges to Arab ruling establishments, brought by an unprecedented and sweeping interventionist strategy by the United States.

Whatever the real intent of US policy in the region, and even if we assume that the promotion of democracy in the region is the aim of the US agenda, the record of Western and in particular US intervention does not point in this direction. To describe the state of democracy in the Arab world, we consider three measures of democracy: the Gastil concept of political rights and civil liberties embodied by the Freedom House Index; a classification system of political regimes proposed by Przeworski; 10 and the Polity IV Index of democracy.

The Freedom House Index measures both political rights and civil liberties. Political rights refer to the extent to which the people in a regime are able to participate in the electoral process, including voting in free and fair elections, participation in political parties and organizations, competition for accountable public office, and the impact of those offices on public policies.

The measure ranges from 1 high level of political rights to 7 political rights absent or virtually non-existent. The civil liberties score is a broader concept, covering four types of rights: freedom of expression and belief; association and organization rights; and rule of law and human rights, including personal and economic rights. This score ranges from 1 high standard of civil liberties to 7 virtually no freedom.

Countries with an average score in the range of 1 to 2. Only Lebanon among the Arab states qualified as free in any of the years observed, and even then only for 9 per cent of the country years —4. All other Arab countries are partially or not free for the entire sample period, many of them are not free for a majority or all of the period Iraq, Libya, Mauritania, Oman, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Sudan and Syria. In comparison, the East Asian and Sub-Sahara African countries were free over 9 and 12 per cent of the country years, respectively.

In addition, Latin American countries were free for 41 per cent of the country years and other developing countries were free for 32 per cent. Admittedly, the Freedom indices are subjective to some extent, dependent as they are on research by a team on the broad concepts defined above. However, effort is made to ensure that the evaluations are not culturally biased and that they are comparable across countries as well as consistent across time.

This approach provides one commonly accepted measure of political freedom. A global classification of political regime types for countries between and using more objective criteria was compiled by a team led by Przeworski and detailed in Democracy and Development Przeworski et al.

According to this system, a regime is classified as a dictatorship if any of the following conditions holds: the chief executive is not elected; the legislature is not elected; there is no more than one party; or if the incumbents unconstitutionally closed the legislature and rewrote the rules in their favour. Even if the regime passed these rules, it will be classified as a dictatorship if the incumbents hold office continuously by virtue of elections for more than two terms. This last rule ensures that, in democratic regimes, opposition has a real possibility to win and assume office.

Classifications of Arab countries from Freedom House and the democracy and development approaches are listed side by side in Table 2. The nature of these Arab autocracies is fairly constant. Referring to the Freedom House classification, we see that a few countries are never free over the sample period: Iraq, Libya, Saudi Arabia and Somalia. In fact, freedom is quite rare, with only two countries free or partly free over the entire sample — Lebanon and Tunisia.

There are many countries that are classified as one type for the duration of the sample, including the bureaucracies of Djibouti, Egypt and Tunisia and the autocracies of Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. Periods of partial and no freedom lasted on average Of course, these statistics are affected by truncation, depending on the beginning and end of the sample as defined in both classification systems.

Still, they provide some useful background into the nature of freedom and political systems in the Arab world. For our present analysis we rely upon the widely used Polity IV Index as a measure of democracy. This measure is somewhat more objective than the Freedom House Index because it uses objective questions with a wider range of measurement and more current data than the democracy and development classifications.

The DEM score is coded according to four measures of regime characteristics: competitiveness of executive recruitment; openness of executive recruitment; constraints on the chief executive; and competitiveness of political participation. These measures, along with regulation of participation, contribute to the AUT score.

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As previously demonstrated in Figures 2. Delving deeper, the paradox of the Arab democracy deficit grows when comparing annual mean changes in polity in and outside the Arab world see Figure 2. Mean change in polity was negative for the non-Arab developing world during the s, whereas there was less negative and even some positive change in average polity for the Arab world in the early s.

In , Morocco changed from —5 to —2, and in Sudan changed from —7 to 0 and in from 0 to 7. This was followed by a large average decrease in polity in The trends in the polity scores cohere with the more detailed country-specific assessments of the status of democracy in the Arab world. For example, el-Sayyid argues that even for those countries that have experienced democratic progress in the region, this progress has been neither as deep nor as wide in scope as that in the rest of the world, 12 citing the limited and carefully crafted transitions to multi-party systems in Morocco in and in Egypt in , followed by similar transitions in Tunisia, Algeria, North Yemen, Jordan and Somalia.

In all of these cases only the minimum necessary political rights were ceded by the ruling elites in these countries, resulting in stalled political progress or even occasional setbacks, reflected in continuing negative polity scores see Figure 2. Despite some progress from extreme autocracy of —9 and —10 polity, the upper bound for these reformers is still —2, and there were relapses in Algeria in the early s and Tunisia in The positive relationship between levels of development and democracy was advanced by Seymour Lipset and expanded upon by Robert Barro Lipset, ; Barro, In this worldview, increases in the level of income result in pressures for democratization because a growing middle class demands political representation to ensure that their interests are met through the provision of public goods by the state.

Despite the lack of a rigorous theoretical foundation to support the modernity view, empirical cross-country evidence lends strong support to the Lipset hypothesis, where measures of standard of living — real per capita GDP, life expectancy and educational attainment — are strongly associated with democratic polity. Moreover, experiences of democratization without economic development, such as those imposed by colonial powers at independence and those imposed through intervention in domestic politics by foreign democracies, tend to be short-lived.

It is important to note that, from the perspective of modernity theory, democracy is not an end in itself but instead a means to the end of responsive public policy. This leaves open the question of why there would be pressures for democratization in those autocratic states where there is sufficient provision of public goods.

Mancur Olson argues that sufficiently long-lasting and credible autocracies that provide opportunities for investment, both in human and productive capital, can deliver returns in economic and social progress as effectively as any democracy. As we will show empirically, the modernization hypothesis fails to explain the lack of democratic progress in the Arab world, even accounting for measures of social development such as level of education, in addition to economic development.

Despite the limited progress made in reforms described above and the abortive attempts at democracy in Sudan and Somalia, we have shown that average and median polity in Arab countries consistently lag far behind the rest of the world Figure 2. Perhaps most telling was the divergence between Arab and East Asian countries over the period to Figure 2.

Despite similarities in level of development, the average polity score of East Asian countries in was —0. These competing theories for the absence of democratic progress in the Arab world include:. The results that follow are based on original empirical tests developed in our earlier works and compiled here Elbadawi and Makdisi, ; Elbadawi, Makdisi and Milante, To explain the democracy deficit in the Arab world, we employ a pooled panel maximum likelihood estimator accounting for the left and right censored nature of the data using Tobit estimation.

To avoid endogenous effects of time in the independent variables and to accommodate small gaps in data, we use nine five-year periods between and , with the last period being only four years. Before presenting the results, we describe the independent variables that will be used to test the competing theories above. Among the modernization variables suggested by Barro, income and education are employed here. Life expectancy is not used because it is highly correlated with both income and education and is more limited in availability of data.

In earlier versions of the chapter, urbanization was also included as a modernization variable; however, data on urbanization are very limited in availability and is highly correlated with income, so it is excluded here. Economic development is proxied by the average of per capita gross domestic product GDP in US dollars base year over each period. Measures of education are often disparate, interrupted and limited in scope. Use of a single measure could mean a halving of the available sample size. Therefore, an education index is constructed from normalizing and averaging three available measures of educational development.

The three source measures are average level of school attainment for the population, average literacy of the adult population and secondary school enrolment. These three measures are normalized, and then the average of all normalized measures available for each period contributes to the education index.

Correlation between these variables and the education index is presented in Table 2. The education index is lagged when used as an independent variable: Education t—1. Female percentage of the labour force further reflects the modernity of the economy.

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In addition, we include this measure as a proxy for political access afforded to women. Better data would reflect suffrage for women and minorities to more accurately measure the extent of the extension of the democratic franchise, however, such measures are not available for the time period. Indeed, female percentage of the labour force is only available after , therefore the value is used for all periods before Table 2.

Note All measures are averages for 5-year periods. The Education Index is the average of all normalized scores for the period. Life expectancy is included as a comparator and to demonstrate the correlation with education. Neighbour polity is included as a modernization variable to capture spillover effects from political change in neighbouring countries.

Alternatively, from a citizen consumer perspective, neighbour polity might be a reservation level of democracy to which citizens could defect if autocracy were too oppressive in the home country; even in the presence of some switching costs this could place pressure on democratization in the home state. In coding neighbour polity, note that island countries do not have neighbours. Since a missing variable would drop all island countries from the sample, the relevant question is: how should neighbour polity be coded for island countries?

To avoid this issue, the average world polity per annum is calculated and the world is used as a neighbour to all countries, ensuring that every country has at least one neighbour. The average neighbour polity per annum can then be calculated for the sample. The median for the period is calculated for the country and lagged to measure neighbour polity effect: Median Neighbour Polity t—1.

Four dummy variables are constructed to capture region-type effects. These variables are coded according to geographical location: 1 if in the region, 0 otherwise. The historical variables reflect the influence of previous colonial interventions in the political development of the country. These include a dummy variable coded 1 for countries that were former colonies, 0 otherwise.

Additionally, former colonies are identified by their colonial masters, Britain, Spain, France and Portugal; countries with other colonial masters are therefore the default and the effect of lineage from these four major colonial powers is the marginal effect beyond that of the dummy variable for being a former colony. Finally, colonial legacy is the inverse of the age of the country since independence for all former colonies. Two variables are constructed to capture the effect of dominant religion on the political system adopted.

The variables Muslim and Christian are each coded as 1 if more than 50 per cent of the population practises the respective religion, and 0 otherwise. Because the cut-off of 50 per cent is employed, there are no countries coded as both Muslim and Christian. Countries coded as 0 for both are either not dominated by one of these two religions or have a population where more than 50 per cent practise another religion e. Hinduism, Buddhism, etc. These variables are used to test the hypothesis that religion serves as the foundation for a political system. These variables are time invariant, like the Arab dummy variable, so they can only capture baseline effects of the dominant religion on level of democracy.

Social cohesion is measured predominantly as ethnic fractionalization. This measure is squared to capture the non-monotonic effects of extreme fractionalization, where beyond a certain threshold high fractionalization could have corrosive effects on democracy. Fractionalization is also interacted with lagged average polity to allow for the possibility that building democracy might be more challenging in socially diverse societies i.

Additional measures of polarization and fractionalization are employed to test these effects for robustness. These social variables are used to test the effect that social cohesion might have on the formation of political systems. The choice of these variables is based on the political discourse of major scholars of the Arab world who argue that oil and the creation of the state of Israel are probably the two factors that have influenced the contemporary Arab world more than any other. Both have spurred considerable conflicts in the region as well as attracted intense, sustained and mostly adversarial interests by global powers.

It may be conjectured that the immense oil resources commanded by several Arab countries have facilitated the emergence of repressive militaristic regimes or protected undemocratic, traditionally authoritarian regimes, especially through the lack of citizen oversight or expectations that accompany the collection of taxes.

Expectations on public good provision, including political rights, may increase with the level of taxation, suggesting that citizens in oil- and primary resource-dependent countries would have lower expectations of their governments because they pay little to no taxes. Furthermore, we cannot ignore the fact that control of the largest share of global oil reserves is concentrated in the Gulf, among a handful of small countries, ensuring the presence of tremendous foreign influence, which by and large has not favoured democratization.

For example, the three major Gulf wars —8, and to present are all linked to the interests of global powers in the oil-rich region and were concurrent with positive changes in global democratization that were not seen in the Arab world. On the other hand, the ongoing Palestinian crisis has affected the entire region, especially the immediate Arab neighbours of Israel.

In particular, the Arab—Israeli conflict and the perceived adversarial global power interventions in the region have provided potent arguments for an authoritarian brand of Arab nationalism for most of the last 50 years or so. Political and civil liberties were violated, in many cases egregiously, and military coups were mounted in the name of Arab nationalism and Palestine. Measures of these variables are rare and often highly contentious.

The variables chosen are used to approximate these effects without sacrificing the scope of the sample. For example, measures of oil production are often interrupted or nonexistent, especially for developing countries or those involved in conflict. An alternative measure that is more widely available and which we use is the net export of fuel as a percentage of total trade. This variable is more widely available because trade statistics can be reported by both parties to the trade. However some measures of net exports of fuel are still missing from the observations of observations.

For countries with missing observations of net fuel trade, a value of 0 is used and assumed not to bias the results. To capture the effect of wars in the Arab states, the number of Arab states involved in wars is counted per period. This is similarly used for the other regions identified above. The number of major civil or international wars, according to the International Peace Research Institute of Oslo PRIO Armed Conflicts Database, is then added up for all countries in the region and divided by the total number of countries in the region to account for the different size of regions.

This returns a measure of region at war which is lagged to avoid issues of endogeneity Regional Wars t—1. The dummy variables for each region are then interacted with regional war to identify specific regional war effects, coded for the Arab countries and the three control groups: Sub-Saharan Africa, Latin America and East Asia. A summary of the non-binary variables is provided in Table 2. In addition, summary statistics are provided for the Arab countries. As expected, the average level of democracy reflected by polity score is much lower in Arab states —6.

Social development is reflected by level of education, and the average Arab state scores much lower —0. Clearly the Arab countries lag behind the average country in the sample in terms of social development, suggesting that the modernity hypothesis might hold if modernity is defined in terms of social development though this is shown not to be the case in the analysis that follows.

Neighbour polity is much lower for the average Arab state —4. Since the Arab dummy variable is time invariant, a significant neigh-bour polity effect would suggest that the Arab democracy deficit is actually larger, since Arab states must overcome the persistent autocratic pressures in their environment. The other explanatory variables listed in Table 2. As shown in the table, there is little difference in ethnic fractionalization between the average, minimum and maximum values for Arab states and those of the entire sample. As expected, net fuel exports are much higher for the average Arab state Negative values of net fuel exports reflect fuel imports.

For the Arab states the percentage of countries in the region engaged in war 31 per cent is a little higher approximately 1 standard deviation than the regional wars for the entire sample 21 per cent , reflecting the increased volatility of the Middle East. This section discusses the results of the Tobit analysis presented in Tables 2.

The estimation begins with the modernity variables posited by Lipset and Barro. Column a of Table 2. The empirical evidence supports the modernity hypothesis, as all modernity variables, except for education, are positively and significantly associated with higher levels of democracy. Additionally, the female percentage of the labour force is positive and significantly associated with higher levels of democracy. The evidence also suggests that a legacy of democratic traditions has a positive effect on the future of democracy, though past democracy does not ensure future democratic progress since the coefficient on lagged polity is less than 1 in this basic regression.

Moreover, the coefficient on neighbour polity shows that a country surrounded by neighbours with higher levels of democracy is likely to be more democratic, confirming that neighbourhood matters. Despite the general success of the modernity variables, the basic model fails to explain the Arab democracy deficit. This is evidenced by the significant and negative coefficient on the Arab variable in column a.

To comprehend this unique Arab effect we look beyond modernization theory through successive additions of other explanatory variables represented by columns b to g of Table 2. Notes Standard errors in parentheses. Column b of Table 2. Colonial legacy is significant and negative, not just because of the preponderance of countries that became authoritarian regimes immediately after independence, but also because of the overall trend in democratization over time inversely related to the year since independence, colonial legacy is by construction inversely correlated with year.

Interestingly, the introduction of the historical effects makes the East Asian and Latin American regional dummies significant and negative and strengthens the coefficient of the Arab dummy. This seems to be at the expense of the impact of the income variable, suggesting that the modernization variables may be broadly capturing regional or shared historical factors.

As the Arab dummy remains negative and significant, there is little evidence that historical factors can explain the Arab democracy deficit. Column c of Table 2. Both Muslim and Christian dummy variables are found to be insignificant and small in scale, suggesting that they have no influence on polity.

Additionally, as none of the region-type dummy variables change in significance or scale with the inclusion of the religion variables, religion is rejected as an explanation for the difference between Arab and world democracy. Next, measures of social cohesion are included to attempt to explain the Arab democracy deficit. As column d of Table 2. Ethnic fractionalization interacted with polity from the previous period is found to have a negative and significant effect on the democratization process. This is particularly interesting because polity ranges from —10 to In highly fractionalized autocracies, this interaction effect is positive, suggesting that the high degree of fractionalization puts pressures on autocratic regimes to democratize.

In highly fractionalized democracies, this interaction effect is negative, suggesting that highly fractionalized societies are less likely to experience continuing democratic progress. In other words, ethnic fractionalization reduces the persistence of polity. Get to Know Us. Allow this favorite library to be seen by others Keep this favorite library private.

English Choose a language for shopping. To this end, it situates the discussion of such transitions firmly within their local contexts, but without losing sight of the global picture, namely, the US drive to control and 'democratize' the Arab World. The book rejects 'exceptionalism', 'foundationalism', and 'Orientalism', by showing that the Arab World is not immured from the global trend towards political liberalization. But by identifying new trends in Arab democratic transitions, highlighting their peculiarities and drawing on Arab neglected discourses and voices, the book pinpoints the contingency of some of the arguments underlying Western theories of democratic transition when applied to the Arab setting.

Oxford Studies in Democratization is a series for scholars and students of comparative politics and related disciplines. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use for details see www. University Press Scholarship Online. Publications Pages Publications Pages. Elections without Democracy Larbi Sadiki Abstract This book unpacks and historicizes the rise of Arab electoralism, narrating the story of stalled democratic transition in the Arab Middle East.

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