HISTORIA

Classified in History

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4. WHY ARE THERE NO ARAB DEMOCRACIES? Larry Diamond starts by observing Hungtinton’s third wave. As a result of the third wave globalization is now for the first time a global phenomenon. We have democracies all around the world with one exception: the MENA (Middle East and North Africa) region. There are 16 countries in the MENA region including Egypt, Mauritania, Morocco, Tunisia etc and only one has ever been a democracy: Lebanon. But we can’t fully trust this because they have christian population that is big even being controlled by the Government and they might had influenced in the creation of a democracy. Moreover, today Lebanon’s democracy is not a good example ( going down). // In his article published in 2012 he tries to answer the question: why is the MENA region the only one that is not democratic? He gives 2 possible explanations: because of the underdevelopment which results in an uneducated and illiterate society with no existence of the middle class or because they’re rentier state (oil rich states). // He doesn’t think that it is a cultural or religious factor but he analyses both of them: // Islam: there are 29 Muslim democracies in the world and 8 fully democratic, some African, some Asian but none are Arab so there’s no empirical evidence to say that Islam is not compatible with democracy. The democracy gap is an Arab gap. // Arab culture: the problem is the Arab political culture. Because of its Muslim roots it’s incompatible with democracy. But Diamond says that some regions were able to do it. What makes it unsustainable is tribalism and sectarianism. Sectarianism is so strong that it’s impossible to deal with a democracy BUT sectarianism made it possible in Lebanon. // Maybe it’s democracy itself: maybe Arabs are not democratic. But 80% of the people from the MENA region say they want democracy. The important question here is: what do you mean by democracy? Because the level of electoral participation is not a good indicator of support for democracy. // Diamond admits that the relation between Islam and democracy is complex. Most people understand by democracy the rule of the majority. If there’s a majority there’s a minority too and we should think about minorities because one day 

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