Rules And Rights In The Middle East

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In a series of essays by an international group of scholars and policy makers, this book provides the first sustained look at democracy and democratic movements in the Middle East. Moving beyond a concern with the growth of Islamicist movements and nationalist states, the authors probe the historical experiences of the last hundred years and the social conflict over the past decade centering on democratic structures and processes from North Africa to Turkey, Iraq, and Iran. The essays explore from theoretical, descriptive, and political perspectives questions of democracy, freedom, and rule of law in a region that is usually thought of as lacking in all of these respects. Most comparative studies find that the Middle East does not have traits of or prospects for democracy, owing to the absence of autonomous elites, a heritage of despotism, or the nature of Islam. The authors of this book call this assumption into question by taking a more inclusive and dynamic view of democracy, seeing it as an ongoing project that unfolds on two related fronts. One of these is the continuous assertion and exercise of popular sovereignty, and the other is the equally persistent declaration and protection of fundamental human rights. Many of the essays address the central question of how to make states accountable before society, and the overriding importance of such accountability as a moral principle of political organization. In recent years there has been a marked growth in the number and influence of social movements and organizations working to expand social, political, and civil rights, and to constrain the power of the states in many countries in the Middle East. At the same time many of the regimes in the area have introduced practices and institutions designed to make their rule more democratic in order to enhance their domestic and international standing and legitimacy, as well as to spur economic growth. As a whole, the book demonstrates that neither the region's ove
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Product Details

Table of Contents

Introduction 3
The Practice of Electoral Democracy in the Arab East and North Africa: Some Lessons from Nearly a Century's Experience 17
Populism and Democracy in Turkey, 1946-1961 43
Taxation without Representation: Authoritarianism and Economic Liberalization in Syria 69
State, Legitimacy, and Democratization in the Maghreb 102
Civil Society in Israel 118
Prospects and Difficulties of Democratization in the Middle East 141
American Policy toward Democratic Political Movements in the Middle East 164
Voices of Opposition: The International Committee for a Free Iraq 174
Public Confessions in the Islamic Republic of Iran 191
Obstacles to Democratization in Iraq: A Reading of Post-Revolutionary Iraqi History through the Gulf War 224
Private Goods, Public Wrongs, and Civil Society in Some Medieval Arab Theory and Practice 248
Index 272
Contributors 280
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