Political Institutions

A Way Forward for U.K.-Jordan Security Cooperation

Jordan and the U.K. are set to renew security cooperation with a new three-year phase of U.K. support to the Public Security Directorate (PSD) and the Gendarmerie. The support is likely to exceed £10 million. Based on prior programming and the U.K.’s priorities for the region, support areas will likely include counterterrorism, public order management, and core policing. When the…

A Way Forward for U.K.-Jordan Security Cooperation

Jordan and the U.K. are set to renew security cooperation with a new three-year phase of U.K. support to the Public Security Directorate (PSD) and the Gendarmerie. The support is likely to exceed £10 million. Based on prior programming and the U.K.’s priorities for the region, support areas will likely include counterterrorism, public order management, and core policing. When the…

Between inequality and sectarianism: who destroys generalised trust? The case of Lebanon

In 2015, a new wave of protests erupted in Lebanon. These protests were the result of a lengthy period of political instability in the country. The informality of the sectarian political system in Lebanon has reached the point where the country has not had a president for more than two years. The aim of this paper is to examine the…

Cartelization, Neoliberalism, and the Foreclosure of the Jasmine Revolution: Democracy’s Troubles in Tunisia

While frequently hailed as the sole success story of the Arab Uprisings, the consolidation of Tunisia’s Jasmine Revolution has in fact proven deeply problematic. This paper will argue that the frailty of Tunisia’s democratic present is a direct function of liberal democratization, specifically implicating this practice of democratization in the hollowing and cartelization of the political system. In insulating policymaking…

Perceived linkages to politicians and group deprivation sentiment

The political reasons for why individuals perceive their group to be deprived are not well understood. This article proposes that individuals who perceive having linkages to political leaders are less likely to feel group deprivation. It is posited that such perception stems from politicians’ efforts to attract support through either credit-claiming or clientelism. Results from a survey in Lebanon show…

Do Female Local Councilors Improve Women’s Representation?

Tunisia’s 2018 municipal elections, in which a legislated quota was implemented and women won 47 percent of seats, raises questions about whether electing female councilors improves women’s representation in clientelistic settings. Using data from the Local Governance Performance Index (LGPI), an original survey of 3,600 Tunisians conducted in 2015 by the Program on Governance and Local Development (GLD), this article…

Determinants of Arab public opinion on the Caliphate: Islamist elites, religiosity and socioeconomic conditions

What are the determinants of public opinion on the issue of the Caliphate in the Arab world? My answer to this question outlines the key role played by Islamist elites, religiosity and age in influencing Arab opinion on the issue of the Caliphate in three countries during the early Age of Islamism (1980s–1990s). I do so by using Binary Logistic…

Lebanese protesters don’t trust their government to reform. Here’s why.

In Lebanon, mass anti-government protests that started last Thursday are now a multiday general strike. These demonstrations appear to be the largest and widest-reaching in the country’s history. On Monday, Prime Minister Saad Hariri responded with proposed concessions, saying that protesters have shaken the political parties and challenged blind loyalties to sect. But protesters aren’t buying it. And while Hariri…

Autocratic checks and balances? Trust in courts and bureaucratic discretion

An emerging literature in political economy focuses on democratic enclaves or pockets of quasi-democratic decision-making embedded in non-democracies. This article first explores the factors that may lead to the emergence of such institutional checks and balances in autocratic politics. I use the comparative analysis of courts in Morocco and Tunisia, and argue that interest group mobilization and the centrality of…

Judges, bribes, and verdicts: How court experience reshapes attitudes about judicial corruption among Morocco’s most marginalized

When do citizens believe in corruption’s effectiveness? Using an original, nationally representative survey of 1201 Moroccan respondents, this article highlights the conditions under which citizens affirm (or deny) the importance of corruption to getting favourable decisions from public officials. Specifically, the survey centres on judicial corruption, finding that 76 per cent of citizens agree that bribing judges produces favourable verdicts….

The impact of the Arab Spring on democracy and development in the MENA region

In evaluating the consequences of the Arab Spring 8 years later, this paper not only focuses on the short‐term consequences of the uprisings that swept through a number of countries in the Middle East and North African region but also analyzes the long‐term prospects for democratization and development in the MENA region. The impact of the Arab Spring, despite its…

Infrastructure Provision, Politics and Religion: Insights from Tunisia’s new democracy

This paper analyzes the relationship between access to infrastructure services and support for religious parties based on the evidence produced by a recent democratic experience in Tunisia in which a religious political party, Ennahdha, governed from 2011 to 2014. The experience points to a complex relationship. In the 2011 election, areas with higher access are associated with higher support for…