Getting to Arab Democracy: What Do Iraqis Want?

Issue Date January 2006
Volume 17
Issue 1
Page Numbers 38-50
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This essay analyzes the results of a survey of Iraqi citizens’ attitudes toward governance and democracy. The survey, conducted in November and December 2004, gives particular attention to attitudes toward democracy, attitudes about the political role of religion, the relationship between political attitudes and views about the rights and status of women, and the degree to which political attitudes differ among Iraq’s ethnoreligious communities and are influenced by sectarianism. Findings reveal broad support for democracy, although there is substantial disagreement about the role that Islam should play in political affairs. This disagreement overlaps with and reinforces intercommunal differences.

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.

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Ronald Inglehart

Ronald F. Inglehart, Amy and Alan Lowenstein Professor of Democracy, Democratization, and Human Rights at the Institute for Social Research at the University of Michigan and codirector of the Laboratory for Comparative Social Research at the Higher School of Economics in St. Petersburg, Russia, directs the World Values Survey, which has surveyed representative national samples of the publics of 97 countries.

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Mansoor Moaddel

Mansoor Moaddel is professor of sociology at Eastern Michigan University. His most recent book is Islamic Modernism, Nationalism, and Fundamentalism: Episode and Discourse (2005).

View all work by Mansoor Moaddel