Case 215 - Democracy and Islam in Arab Politics
Tessler, Mark and Laurie Brand
Long before the Arab Spring dawned in 2011, democracy and Islam—and their intersection—were already becoming critical dimensions of political life in the Middle East. This case study explores the relationship between these two trends, devoting particular attention to the origins and implications of popular support for Islamic political organizations, and the heated debates taking place in some Arab countries about whether these organizations should be recognized as legitimate political parties and permitted to participate in the political process. In examining developments in Egypt, Tunisia, Jordan, and Algeria, the case highlights not only political processes and issues that apply widely in the Arab world, but also important cross-national differences in the behavior of both governments and Muslim movements.