Democratization Theory and the “Arab Spring”

Issue Date April 2013
Volume 24
Issue 2
Page Numbers 15-30
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What does the “Arab Spring” imply for democratization theory? In this article, we first re-examine the relationship between democracy and the “twin tolerations” in the world’s Muslim-majority countries that are democracies—Indonesia, Turkey, Senegal and Tunisia, as well as in Muslim-minority India. Second, we characterize the emergence of what we call an “authoritarian-democratic hybrid” form of regime and explore why a regime of this type has emerged in Egypt but not in Tunisia. Third, we examine Max Weber’s “sultanism” and its implications for the “military as institution,” democracy and “stateness” along a continuum of intensity from most to least sultanistic in Libya, Syria, Egypt to Tunisia.