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Democratisation, State and Society in the Middle East and North Africa

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image of Comparative Sociology
For content published from 1960-2001, see International Journal of Comparative Sociology.

Abstract The so-called “Arab spring” has swept throughout Middle East and North Africa against authoritarian forms of government, overthrowing regimes from West to East. After several aborted and repressed attempts, by Islamic parties, to access the institutions through the elections, mainly in the early 2000, the society rose in arms against the Arab State. In the forms of revolt, anger against the State repression has shaken the whole region. This article analyses the bases of confidence in the State institutions in five Arab countries in an attempt to evaluate if the current events are taking the region in the correct direction for democratic stability, according to citizens expectations about state reforms. The study is a quantitative analysis making extensive use of survey data gathered from the region. Conclusions reached indicate that, more than Islamisation of societies, citizens demand more respect for human rights and a higher participation and development of civil society.

Affiliations: 1: Political Science Department Valencia University Valencia Spain Centre for International and Comparative Politics Stellenbosch University South Africa


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