Democratization Theory and the “Arab Spring”

Issue Date April 2013
Volume 24
Issue 2
Page Numbers 15-30
file Print
arrow-down-thin Download from Project MUSE
external View Citation

What does the “Arab Spring” imply for democratization theory? In this article, we first re-examine the relationship between democracy and the “twin tolerations” in the world’s Muslim-majority countries that are democracies—Indonesia, Turkey, Senegal and Tunisia, as well as in Muslim-minority India. Second, we characterize the emergence of what we call an “authoritarian-democratic hybrid” form of regime and explore why a regime of this type has emerged in Egypt but not in Tunisia. Third, we examine Max Weber’s “sultanism” and its implications for the “military as institution,” democracy and “stateness” along a continuum of intensity from most to least sultanistic in Libya, Syria, Egypt to Tunisia.

About the Authors

Alfred Stepan

Alfred Stepan is the founding director of Columbia University’s Center for the Study of Democracy, Toleration, and Religion (CDTR), and author (with Juan J. Linz) of Problems of Democratic Transition and Consolidation: Southern Europe, South America, and Post-Communist Europe.

View all work by Alfred Stepan

Juan J. Linz

Juan J. Linz (1926–2013) was Sterling Professor Emeritus of Political and Social Science at Yale University.

View all work by Juan J. Linz