Political Institutions

Islam, Religious Outlooks, and Support for Democracy

Despite a wealth of studies examining Muslim religiosity and democracy, uncertainty regarding Islam and attitudes toward democracy remains. Although the claims concerning the incompatibility of Islam and democracy are generally discarded, public opinion scholarship has yet to build much further from this important first step or incorporate a strong theoretical framework for analysis beyond this basic foundation. This paper seeks…

Muslim Attitudes Towards the European Union

“How do Muslim citizens across the globe perceive the European Union? And what factors influence their EU attitudes? This book offers the first systematic theoretical and empirical analysis of Muslim citizens’ EU attitudes in and outside the European Union. Using the best empirical data available, the book demonstrates that Muslim citizens’ attitudes are not shaped by their denomination and religious…

Islamism, Arab Spring, and the Future of Democracy. World System and World Values Perspectives

“This book provides an in-depth analysis of public opinion patterns among Muslims, particularly in the Arab world. On the basis of data from the World Values Survey, the Arab Barometer Project and the Arab Opinion Index, it compares the dynamics of Muslim opinion structures with global publics and arrives at social scientific predictions of value changes in the region. Using…

Are Bouteflika’s Shake-Ups a Sign of Shifting Civil-Military Ties in Algeria?

… The army has now firmly entrenched itself as an integral feature of the political system—a system in which the legitimacy of the military’s political influence is hardly questioned by Algerians. It goes beyond popular acquiescence about the generals’ role in politics. In Algeria, the military constitutes the most trusted state institution, and by a wide margin. According to a 2017…

Maghreb Report

News article cites survey stating 83 percent of Algerians said they are either not interested or not at all interested in politics due to their expectation that the army will select the winner. Read full article at Morocco on the Move.

Public Trust in Arab Armies

Recent wars in Iraq, Libya, Syria, and Yemen have helped push regional defense spending—already the highest in the world—to new heights. Led by the oil-rich monarchies of the Persian Gulf, enormous new weapons acquisitions pushed military spending in the Middle East to 6 percent of GDP in 2016, compared to the global average of just 2.2 percent. While the military’s…

Arab Citizens Are Disenchanted with Politics

Across the Middle East and North Africa, citizens have become disenchanted with politics and government, according to a new report on civic engagement from the Arab Barometer, an independent research network that includes Arab universities and seeks to gauge Arab public opinion. Fifty percent of Arabs feel they have a guaranteed right to protest and two thirds believe they can…

Spineless: The Real Meaning of Smoothing-Over Khashoggi’s Murder

…Mr. Khashoggi’s words were echoed by prominent journalist and political analyst Rami Khouri. “We are heading to the law of the jungle if big power and Mideast state autocracy is not held accountable,” Mr. Khouri said. In a similar vein, a survey by the Arab Barometer survey concluded that public institutions in the Arab world, including the judiciary enjoyed little,…

No Taxation without Representation? On Tax Reforms in Jordan

…Secondly, the government should fight corruption, tax avoidance (which according to the Income and Sales Tax Department in 2016 cost the budget JD 3 billion), mismanagement, and cronyism to make Jordanians feel their taxes are being put to a good use. One study, conducted by the University of Jordan Strategic Studies Center and NAMA Consultants, argues that only 35% of…

Exploring Support for Democracy Across the Globe

This report is the first comprehensive analysis on the state of support for democracy across the globe using data from the Global Barometer Surveys. The focus is on support for democracy both because democracy is at the core of the GBS surveys, and because, as a political system, it is currently facing an uphill battle to defend its legitimacy. By exploring the state of support for democracy…

What Money Can’t Buy: Wealth, Inequality, and Economic Satisfaction in the Rentier State

How do perceived inequalities in allocation impact citizen satisfaction with state-distributed benefits in rentier societies? Resource-rich rentier regimes are widely theorized to maintain the economic and political satisfaction of subjects through wealth distribution. Yet, while qualitative research in the rentier states of the Arabian Peninsula has identified unequal distribution as a source of discontent, the relative importance of objective versus…

Tunisia’s first post-uprisings local elections are Sunday. Can they bolster citizens’ belief in governance?

…. What voters want Economic justice was a central demand of the 2011 uprising, and public opinion data from the Arab Barometer collected in 2011, 2013 and 2015demonstrate that the economy remains at the forefront of Tunisians’ minds. When asked, “What are the most two important challenges your country is facing today?” nearly 75 percent of respondents listed the economic…