The Stumbling Democracy in the Middle East: Challenges and Prospects.A talk by Aseel AlawadhiMonday, March 24th at 6pm in the Tahoma Room (Commencement Hall.)
Following the attacks of Sep 11, democratization in the Middle East became a demand of national security. Attempts have been made in Western academia to reconcile Islam and Muslim societies with political liberalism and democracy, while foreign policy makers supported regime changes led by “moderate Islamists” to replace authoritarian regimes with democracy. Such attempts don’t seem to succeed. In this lecture, I will explain what I think to be the crucial factors that hinder democratization in the Middle East, and will shed light on the problematic assumptions that arguments for “Islamic Liberalism” or “non-secular democracy” rest upon.