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Here to stay : authoritarianism in the Middle East

Document type: article
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Abstract: At the end of the Cold War, when socialism crumbled, expectations were high that authoritarian regimes would not survive the expansion of capitalism. However, in the Middle East there are strong currents that underpin authoritarianism. Trying to impose democracy from the outside will not help. Only changes in economic structures will show results in the long term. This article discusses six interrelated factors that serve to underpin authoritarianism in the Middle East. These six factors are oil (and related) rents, international competition, structural heterogeneity, outside threats, patrimonial networks, and cultural factors. It is an uncomfortable fact that, even if one of these factors is removed, authoritarianism will still prevail. Democratization policies that take these structural factors into account have to focus on the long term. Those who hope for rapid change – after an election, as a result of an economic crisis, or following a change in leadership – are likely to be disappointed.
Authors: Junne, G.
Category: Policy
End Page: 7
Serial number: 13
ISSN: 1874-2033
Journal: The Broker
Keywords: democratisation , culture
Language: eng
Organization: The Broker
Year: 2009
Region: Southwest Asia
Right: © 2009 IDP. This article has been licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 Unported license.
Subject: Social and Political Change
Start Page: 4
Title: Here to stay : authoritarianism in the Middle East