Hvad står i vejen for arabisk demokrati?

Her er et bud fra Professor Joshua Muravchik fra American Enterprise Institute (AEI) – læs det hele her


Economic backwardness explains the problem in part. Generally, the most powerful correlate of democracy is higher per capita income. The overwhelming majority of countries where citizens enjoy an annual income of $5,000 or more are democracies. Few Arab countries have reached this level. But this factor still falls short as an explanation. For one thing, while a few Arab countries with wealth from oil or commerce have passed the $5,000 mark, none of them are electoral democracies (although a few, including Bahrain and Kuwait, as well as non-oil countries such as Jordan, are ranked among the “partly free.”) Furthermore, although much of the Arab world is poor, it is not as poor as sub-Saharan Africa, where per capita income is less than half of that of the Arab states. Yet democracy has begun to take hold in sub-Saharan Africa, where half of the 48 countries are electoral democracies.

Islam may be a second explanatory factor. Of the 47 states in the world with Muslim majorities, only nine, or 19 percent, are democracies. On the other hand, of 146 non-Muslim states, 114, more than three-quarters, are democratic. The impression of tension between Islam and democracy is reinforced by the fact that the only historic example of an Arab democracy is Lebanon, between the time it achieved independence in 1945 and the time it imploded into civil war in 1975, largely due to the pressure of foreign forces. What distinguished Lebanon in the Arab world was that, during its democratic era, it was largely a Christian-led nation.

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