After the Arab Spring: Do Muslims Vote Islamic Now?

Issue Date October 2015
Volume 26
Issue 4
Page Numbers 100-109
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Read the full essay here.

“Do Muslims Vote Islamic?” asked an article by Charles Kurzman and Ijlal Naqvi in the April 2010 issue of the Journal of Democracy. The answer, at that time, appeared to be rarely. This essay presents updated data on Islamic political parties’ performance in parliamentary elections through the end of 2014, along with an expanded set of electoral platforms. Since 2011, the trend toward liberal themes has stalled, but Islamic parties have not fared much better in elections since the Arab Spring than before. As in earlier years, a handful of Islamic parties have won pluralities of the vote, especially in “breakthrough” elections after long periods of autocratic rule, while most Islamic parties received less than 2 percent of seats in parliament. The Islamic political sector as a whole—that is, the proportion of seats won by all Islamic parties in each election—has remained virtually unchanged, with a median figure of 14 percent both before and since the Arab Spring.

About the Authors

Charles Kurzman

Charles Kurzman is professor of sociology at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He is the author of Democracy Denied, 1905–1915 (2008) and the editor of Liberal Islam (1998) and Modernist Islam, 1840–1940 (2002).

View all work by Charles Kurzman

Didem Türkoğlu

Didem Türkoğlu is a doctoral candidate in sociology at the University of North Carolina–Chapel Hill.

View all work by Didem Türkoğlu