Liberalism in an Illiberal Region

  By Justin Kempf A review of Quest for Democracy: Liberalism in the Modern Arab World by Line Khatib Liberalism in the Modern Arab World On July 25th, 2021 Tunisian President Kaïs Saïed suspended parliament and dismissed Prime Minister Hichem Mechichi. It marked the collapse of the last remaining democracy to emerge from the Arab Spring.... Continue Reading →

Change is in the Air: The Protests in Iran

By Prof Shahram Akbarzadeh, Convenor of Middle East Studies Forum, Deakin University. He is the author of Middle East Politics and International Relations: Crisis Zone. You can follow him on Twitter at @S_Akbarzadeh Widespread protests against the ruling regime in Iran have raised serious questions about the future. Will the regime survive this popular expression of dissent?... Continue Reading →

Zoltan Barany on the Ineffectiveness of the Gulf Militaries

Zoltan Barany is the Frank C. Erwin, Jr. Centennial Professor of Government at the University of Texas at Austin. He is the author of Armies of Arabia: Military Politics and Effectiveness in the Gulf.    The last time, and luckily this hasn't really happened since 1990, there was minimal resistance from the Kuwaiti and the... Continue Reading →

Why the Armies of Arabia Remain Weak Institutions

Armies of Arabia Early in the book, Armies of Arabia, Zoltan Barany writes, “Perhaps the most important and conspicuous attribute that all Arab armies in republics and monarchies share is their remarkable ineffectiveness on the battlefield.” This is where most of us need to start. Barany seeks to understand why the Gulf monarchies field ineffective... Continue Reading →

Mike Hoffman on How Religious Identities Influence Support for or Opposition to Democracy

Mike Hoffman shares his research on how religious identities shape support for and against efforts to democratize. He is a professor of political science at Notre Dame and the author of Faith in Numbers: Religion, Sectarianism, and Democracy. This is the 44th episode of the Democracy Paradox podcast.    Doctrine is actually often a lot looser and... Continue Reading →

Polarization, Democratization, and the Arab Spring Podcast #39

Elizabeth (Liz) Nugent discusses how polarization affects the process of democratization through her experience in Tunisia and Egypt. Her recent book After Repression: How Polarization Derails Democratic Transition. Her work considers how legacies of repression create the conditions for polarization.    The focus on the individual people involved in this moment and their preexisting relationships for... Continue Reading →

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