The uprisings that swept the Arab world beginning in 2010 toppled four entrenched rulers and seemed to create a political opening in a region long impervious to democratization.
"The more authentic Muslim modernists are those who have already taken a step across the historical threshold toward an enlightened skepticism of the whole Islamic tradition. There are many Muslim intellectuals who have done this, some of them contributors to the collection Islam and Democracy in the Middle East."—Max Rodenbeck, New York Review of Books
Ennahda has long felt an especially strong kinship with Turkey’s AKP, which has seen as representing a combination of piety, prosperity, and democratic credibility. How might their relationship be affected by the AKP's more recent authoritarian turn?
Tunisia is a small country, but its influential Islamist party has taken a big step by separating its political wing from its religious activities.
In power since 2002, the Justice and Development Party (AKP) of Recep Tayyip Erdoğan seemed as if it might be losing its hold when Turkish voters went to the polls in June 2015. Yet that “hung election” gave way to another contest in November, and the AKP came roaring back.
Data from the Arab Barometer suggest that Arabs have not rejected democracy. In fact, they still by and large believe in it and want it.
We are still struggling to understand the mostly bitter harvest of the Arab Spring, but there are a few lessons that can be drawn.
The Arab experience shows that the same media that facilitate the toppling of dictators can make it harder to build democracy.
A close look at secular parties in the Middle East today raises doubts about whether they are ready for prime time.