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they can become majority. Part of the MENA states think that the Sharia should be taken into account in the democracy. But can there be a democracy that respects Islam? It could be accepted as long as it respects other minorities (other religions) but Islam doesn’t, they impose their religion, so no. Jamal and Telsser made a study on secular and muslims and both recognized themselves as democratic so this leads to the conclusion that cultural factors alone are not the problem. // So if it’s not religion and it’s not culture, what is it then? // Economic development?: if we use Lipset's theory that the better a country does the more possibilities it will sustain a democracy we see that Arab countries are quite rich (they actually equal some democracies: Kuwait=Norway) some of them are even richer than some of the democracies in the world (Egypt compare to India for example). Maybe the problem is that per capita income doesn’t show how wealth is distributed in the country (social structure, inequality). For example if we take the United Nations Human Development Index which measures urbanization and access to information most MENA countries don’t hold a high position. Nevertheless, the richest Arab states appear in the ranking as countries like Portugal. // Geopolitcs: many of these non-democratic countries receive foreign aid because of their geopolitical importance which is the equivalent of rentier: they give money to them to have them satisfy and under control. // It’s not religion, culture, economy and geopolitics themselves but how they influence and work in society and the social structure of Arab countries itself which makes it very difficult to sustain a democracy. Resource curse is one of the main problems. There are 23 rentier states worldwide and none of them are democratic (including the 11 Arab ones). The 2 factors Diamond uses are the economic structure in many cases related to the resource curse and the rentier phenomenon and in other cases related to the geopolitical curse. // After this, he concludes that it is not impossible if one of these three things are met: emerge if a single democratic policy in the region, change of US policy to encourage and press for democratic reforms or a decline in oil prizes.

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