Islam and Authoritarianism

  title={Islam and Authoritarianism},
  author={M. Steven Fish},
  journal={World Politics},
  pages={37 - 4}
  • M. Fish
  • Published 1 October 2002
  • Political Science
  • World Politics
Are predominantly Muslim societies distinctly disadvantaged in democratization? If so, why? The article presents a straightforward cross-national examination of the link between Islam and political regime. The evidence strongly suggests that Muslim countries are in fact democratic underachievers. The nature of the causal connection between Islam and political regime is investigated. Many conventional assumptions about Islam and politics do not withstand scrutiny. But one factor does help… 

Tables from this paper

Islam, Authoritarianism, and Female and Empowerment: What Are the Linkages?

In a path-breaking cross-national statistical analysis, M. Steven Fish contends that Islamic culture inhibits democracy and represses women's rights and that authoritarian government and suppression

Modernization, Islam, or Social Capital: What Explains Attitudes Toward Democracy in the Muslim World?

This article explains the determinants of individual support for democracy in 10 Muslim-majority countries. Starting with economic and cultural interpretations of modernization theory, the author

Secular-Islamist Cleavage, Values, and Support for Democracy and Shari’a in the Arab World

Public opinion polls demonstrate that Arab citizens support both democracy and shari’a. I argue that individual values related to the secular-Islamist cleavage are instrumental in explaining this

Support for Women Officeholders in a Non-Arab Islamic Democracy: The Case of Indonesia

Recent work argues that the relationship between Islamic faith, the lack of support for gender equality and democratization is spurious. This paper analyzes the correlates of individual support for

Religious Regulation and the Muslim Democracy Gap

Abstract This article argues that high levels of government regulation of religion help to explain the “democracy gap” in majority Muslim countries. Controlling for previously hypothesized

Islam and Exceptionalism in American Political Discourse

  • P. Mandaville
  • Political Science, Sociology
    PS: Political Science & Politics
  • 2013
The phenomenal success achieved by Islamic political parties in the wake of the Arab uprisings of 2011 is one of the most significant and frequently noted developments to follow from those momentous

Religion and Support for Democracy: A Comparative Study for Catholic and Muslim Countries

Abstract This article presents a cross-country empirical analysis of the relationship between religion and political attitudes among the Catholic and Muslim publics, using the most recent data from


Most theories about the negative relationship between Islam and democracy rely on an interpretation of the Islamic political tradition. More positive accounts are also anchored in the same tradition,

The Political Economy of Women's Support for Fundamentalist Islam

Why do some Muslim women adopt fundamentalist islamic value systems that promote gender-based inequalities while others do not? this article considers the economic determinants of fundamentalist

Democracy and Development in the Muslim World

Highlighting the fact that only 18 of the 47 Muslim majority countries (MMCs) have democracy (or ‘semi-democracy’), Chap. 14 uses three theses (the culturalist thesis, the modernization thesis, and



Islam and democracy in the Middle East: The impact of religious orientations on attitudes toward democracy in four Arab countries

Discussions about democracy in the Arab world often include attention to the political orientations of ordinary men and women. In particular, questions are raised about whether popular attitudes and

Feminists, Islamists, and Political Change in Turkey

  • Y. Arat
  • Sociology, Political Science
  • 1998
This paper examines how some feminist and Islamist women in Turkey helped bring about change in political values during the past decade. The traditional political culture upheld statist, corporatist

In the Path of God: Islam and Political Power.

The attention of Americans suddenly focused on Islam and Muslims in the aftermath of September 11, 2001, and to many in the United States this felt unprecedented. But Islam and Muslims had dominated

Islam and the extension of citizenship rights to women in Kuwait : Islam and women

This paper examines the compatibility of Islam and the extension of women's rights, one element of democratization, with attention to social complexities within Muslim societies and to religious

Islam and Democracy

Religious resurgence and democratization have been two of the most significant developments of the last quarter of the twentieth century. Frequently they work together; other times they are at odds.

Civil Islam: Muslims and Democratization in Indonesia

  • R. Hefner
  • Political Science
    The Journal of Asian Studies
  • 2002
Foreward vii Preface xi Acknowlegments xxi List of Abbreviations xxiii Chapter One: Democratization in an Age of Religious Revitalization 3 Chapter Two: Civil Precedence 21 Chapter Three: Contests of

Liberal Islam : a sourcebook

"Liberal Islam" is not a contradiction in terms; it is a thriving tradition and undergoing a revival within the last generation. This anthology presents the work of 32 Muslims who share parallel

Master and Disciple: The Cultural Foundations of Moroccan Authoritarianism

In the postcolonial era, Arab societies have been ruled by a variety of authoritarian regimes. Focusing on his native Morocco and building on the work of Foucault, the author of this text explores

Arab Voices: The human rights debate in the Middle East

Although many Westerners claim human rights as a major achievement of Western civilization, Muslims argue just as sincerely that human rights are central to Islam. They argue as well that the West's

Price of Honor: Muslim Women Lift the Veil of Silence on the Islamic World

An American journalist provides insights into women's lives, and the traditions imposed on them, from arranged marriages to a husband's right to take his wife's life, in many Islamic countries. The