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Democratization in the Middle East - A Comparative Case Study

Larsson, Elisabeth LU (2009) SIMT07 20091
Graduate School
Master of Science in Global Studies
Abstract
One of the unsolved puzzles in democratization studies today is the prevalence of
authoritarian regimes in the Middle East. Previous comparative studies have
overlooked the region because it does not contain a single case of successful
democratization. Middle Eastern scholars, on the other hand, tend to lack the
theoretical tools on what it would take for this area to democratize. The purpose
of this study is to elucidate the factors behind the level of (non-)democratization
in the MENA-region. I will argue that democratization in the Middle East takes
place on three different levels: international, national and societal. The study
combines statistical data with process tracing analysis, in order to corroborate the
evidence.... (More)
One of the unsolved puzzles in democratization studies today is the prevalence of
authoritarian regimes in the Middle East. Previous comparative studies have
overlooked the region because it does not contain a single case of successful
democratization. Middle Eastern scholars, on the other hand, tend to lack the
theoretical tools on what it would take for this area to democratize. The purpose
of this study is to elucidate the factors behind the level of (non-)democratization
in the MENA-region. I will argue that democratization in the Middle East takes
place on three different levels: international, national and societal. The study
combines statistical data with process tracing analysis, in order to corroborate the
evidence. Twelve variables, covering a wide range of democratization theories,
are tested on four cases: Egypt, Iran, Saudi Arabia and Turkey. From this, I am
able to confirm or discard certain theories, as well as establish the factors that are
relevant for each case. Among other things, I am able to refute the claim that a
Muslim population affects democratization negatively; to confirm the validity of
the rentier state theory; to show that path dependency and political parties matter;
and that FDI and aid can play a part in the future democratization of the Middle
East. (Less)
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author
Larsson, Elisabeth LU
supervisor
organization
course
SIMT07 20091
year
type
H2 - Master's Degree (Two Years)
subject
keywords
Iran, Middle East, Case study, Saudi Arabia, Democratization, Egypt, Turkey
language
English
additional info
I am most grateful to Professor Jan Teorell at the Department of Political Science in Lund for kindly sharing his material with me before it was published.
My gratitude also extends to the following persons and institutions: The Swedish Research Institute in Istanbul, especially Professor Elisabeth Ă–zdalga for her inspiration;
Women's Federation for World Peace International in Geneva, especially Dr Yvonne von Stedingk for her friendship and support;
The Center for Middle Eastern Studies in Lund for good teaching and guidance.
Moreover, I wish to thank the administrative staff at the Faculty of Social Science in Lund for their hard work and general helpfulness and everyone else involved in the Global Studies Master's Programme 2007-2009, especially my class mates for peer review and good memories.
Special thanks to Mia Eriksson, Mia Olsson and Nanna Sundkvist for proof reading and helpful comments.
Lastly, I thank my better half Kaveh for all his love and patience and without whom I would not have written this thesis.
id
1398943
date added to LUP
2009-07-02 09:28:27
date last changed
2011-02-07 16:39:20
@misc{1398943,
  abstract     = {One of the unsolved puzzles in democratization studies today is the prevalence of
authoritarian regimes in the Middle East. Previous comparative studies have
overlooked the region because it does not contain a single case of successful
democratization. Middle Eastern scholars, on the other hand, tend to lack the
theoretical tools on what it would take for this area to democratize. The purpose
of this study is to elucidate the factors behind the level of (non-)democratization
in the MENA-region. I will argue that democratization in the Middle East takes
place on three different levels: international, national and societal. The study
combines statistical data with process tracing analysis, in order to corroborate the
evidence. Twelve variables, covering a wide range of democratization theories,
are tested on four cases: Egypt, Iran, Saudi Arabia and Turkey. From this, I am
able to confirm or discard certain theories, as well as establish the factors that are
relevant for each case. Among other things, I am able to refute the claim that a
Muslim population affects democratization negatively; to confirm the validity of
the rentier state theory; to show that path dependency and political parties matter;
and that FDI and aid can play a part in the future democratization of the Middle
East.},
  author       = {Larsson, Elisabeth},
  keyword      = {Iran,Middle East,Case study,Saudi Arabia,Democratization,Egypt,Turkey},
  language     = {eng},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  title        = {Democratization in the Middle East - A Comparative Case Study},
  year         = {2009},
}