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9783895005398

Hartmann, Christof

Wandel durch Wahlen?

Wahlen, Demokratie und politischer Wandel in der arabischen Welt

2007
12.0 x 16.8 cm, 128 p., 1 maps, 5 charts, paperback / softback
9,90 €

ISBN: 9783895005398
Table of Contents
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Short Description

In stark contrast to most other world regions democracy has not taken root as a form of government in the Arab World. Hardly any of the Arab states can be considered a democracy in the sense of a regime where the population has a chance of deciding who is going to govern them. Free and fair elections are indeed one of the main criteria for the establishment of a democratic system of government.
The book presents an overview over the electoral experiments in all Arab countries since their independence and analyses the main reasons for the absence of democratic elections.
Three problem areas limit the relevance of elections for political change in the Arab world: Universal Suffrage and citizenship is still denied to parts of the population, especially to women; some political actors are hindered by legal means or by repression from standing as candidates or parties in elections (especially the Islamists); the elections are not decisive for the access to government, but only for the composition of parliament and other consultative bodies with limited competencies.

Description

Regime Change via the Ballot Box? Elections, Democracy and Political Change in the Arab World

In stark contrast to most other world regions democracy has not taken root as a form of government in the Arab World. Hardly any of the Arab states can be considered a democracy in the sense of a regime where the population has a chance of deciding who is going to govern them. Free and fair elections are indeed one of the main criteria for the establishment of a democratic system of government.

The book presents an overview over the electoral experiments in all Arab countries since their independence and analyses the main reasons for the absence of democratic elections.
Three problem areas limit the relevance of elections for political change in the Arab world: Universal Suffrage and citizenship is still denied to parts of the population, especially to women; some political actors are hindered by legal means or by repression from standing as candidates or parties in elections (especially the Islamists); the elections are not decisive for the access to government, but only for the composition of parliament and other consultative bodies with limited competencies.

The book outlines both the real electoral change that has occurred over the last decade in some Arab countries but remains sceptical with regard to the substantial improvements in democratic rule which have been obtained from elections. It is also critical of attempts by foreign democracy promoters to push towards a rapid electoral democratization of Arab countries. In the absence of strong political parties and a democratic civil society most elections will indeed lead or to a legitimization of autocratic regimes or to the victory of non-democratic forces at the ballot box.

Biographical Note

Prof. Dr. Christof Hartmann ist Politikwissenschaftler und arbeitet als Juniorprofessor für Transformationsforschung mit Schwerpunkt Afrika/Asien am Institut für Entwicklungsforschung und Entwicklungspolitik der Ruhr-Universität Bochum.
Er ist u. a. Herausgeber von „Elections in Asia and the Pacific“, 2 Bände, Oxford University Press 2001 (mit D. Nohlen und F. Grotz) und Verfasser zahlreicher Beiträge zu politischen Reformen in Entwicklungsregionen. Seine derzeitigen Arbeitsschwerpunkte sind die vergleichende Analyse von Demokratisierungsprozessen in afrikanischen und arabischen Ländern, sowie Möglichkeiten ihrer externen Steuerung.

Keywords

Arabian peninsula (60) || Comparative politics (7) || Demokratie (2) || Elections & referenda || Islam (47) || Middle East (364) || North Africa (238) || Political structure & processes (15) || Political structures: democracy (3) || Politics & government (65) || Politik (14) || Zeitgeschichte (12)