Date: December 1995
Creator: Al-Olimat, Muhamad S. (Muhamad Salim)
Description: This comparative study assesses the state of democracy and examines the process of democratization in the Arab World between the years 1980-1993. It addresses shortcomings in the mainstream democracy literature that excluded the Arab World from the global democratic revolution on political cultural grounds. To fulfil the objectives of this study, I employ both the qualitative and quantitative research approaches to test a number of hypothesized relationships. I hypothesize that transition to democracy is negatively associated with economic development, militarism, U.S. foreign policy, the political economy of oil, and dependency. I contend that emerging civil society institutions so far have had no significant effect on democratization in the Arab World. Finally, I hypothesize that the level of democracy in the Arab World is influenced greatly by the issue of civil rights. In order to investigate the hypothesized relationships, the following data sets have been used: Gastil's Freedom House Data set, "Repression and Freedom in the 1980s" data set, and Vanhanen's 1990 data set. The findings of this study support the aforementioned hypothesized relationships. I find that Arab countries, in general have made modest progress toward democracy, making the Arab World part of the global revolution.
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