Authoritarianism in the Middle East - Essay Example

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Authoritarianism is a form of governance characterized by absolute disregard to the rule of law or due process executed against citizens’ freedom and associated with the expectation of unquestioning obedience. Authoritarianism contrasts democratization, which involves a system…
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Authoritarianism in the Middle East
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itarianism in the Middle East itarianism in the Middle East Introduction itarianism is a form of governance characterized by absolute disregard to the rule of law or due process executed against citizens’ freedom and associated with the expectation of unquestioning obedience. Authoritarianism contrasts democratization, which involves a system of governance in which citizens have absolute freedom to elect their leadership that typically represents them.
Causes of Persistence of Authoritarianism in the Middle East
The political culture and Islam is a major cause of the persistence of authoritarianism in the Middle East1. Islam has the tendency of legitimizing leadership to enforce Islamic laws proving powers to the rulers such as the Saudi Royals2. By disguising to advocate Islamic teachings, the royal family tends to justify monopolization of power that promotes authoritarianism. Islam, therefore, is an obstacle to transition from authoritarianism to democracy in the Middle East3. Further, Middle East states lack the prerequisites to enforce the principles of democratization. Lack of a strong civil society, a market driven economy, low income among a great part of the population, and literacy levels and regressive culture contribute to derail development of democratization in the Middle East4.
Inputs External Powers Could Do To Bring Further Democratization
External powers play a fundamental role in instilling ideal and democratic governance in the Middle East5. Strategic guidance and control of the Middle East states by the external powers steers is a key input to help them in the constituting democratic rules and institutions. In addition, external powers precipitate in promoting investments and economic growth needed to expand all the middle class or citizens in the Middle East to enhance economic and social independence that are a prerequisite for democratization. In the process of expansion, external powers increase regime legitimacy and dampening Islamic radicalization. The strategies aid in steering further democratization.
Anderson, Lisa. “Absolutism and the resilience of monarchy in the Middle East.” Political Science Quarterly 106.1 (1991): 1-15.
Bellin, Eva. “The Robustness of Authoritarianism in the Middle East: A Comparative Perspective.” Comparative Politics 36.2 (2004): 139-157.
Fish, Steven. “Islam and Authoritarianism.” World Politics 55 (2002): 4-37.
Herb, Michael. “Princes and Parliaments in the Arab World.” The Middle East Journal 58.3 (2004): 367-384.
Ross, Michael. “Does Oil Hinder Democracy?” World Politics 53.3 (2001): 325-361. Read More
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