Gauging Arab Support for Democracy

Issue Date July 2005
Volume 16
Issue 3
Page Numbers 83-97
file Print
arrow-down-thin Download from Project MUSE
external View Citation

The Arab world stands out as a region for its limited progress toward democracy. At the same time, eight national surveys in six Arab countries between 2000 and 2004 show that 90 percent or more of those interviewed would like to see a democratic political system in their country. This does not necessarily imply support for secular democracy, however. Roughly half of the respondents who support democracy also believe that Islam should play an important role in political affairs. It remains to be seen whether popular support for democracy, coupled with recent, albeit limited political openings in some Arab countries, will lead to sustained democratic transitions.

About the Authors

Mark Tessler

Mark Tessler is Samuel J. Eldersveld Collegiate Professor in the Department of Political Science at the University of Michigan and co-director of the Arab Barometer Survey.

View all work by Mark Tessler

Eleanor Gao

Eleanor Gao is a doctoral student in political science at the University of Michigan.

View all work by Eleanor Gao