Rules and Rights in the Middle East
In a series of essays by an international group of scholars and policy makers, this book provides the first sustained look at democracy and democratic movements in the Middle East. Moving beyond a concern with the growth of Islamicist movements and nationalist states, the authors probe the historical experiences of the last hundred years and the social conflict over the past decade centering on democratic structures and processes from North Africa to Turkey, Iraq, and Iran. The essays explore from theoretical, descriptive, and political perspectives questions of democracy, freedom, and rule of law in a region that is usually thought of as lacking in all these respects.
In recent years there has been a marked growth in the number and influences of social movements and organizations working to expand social, political, and civil rights, and to constrain the power of the states in many countries in the Middle East. At the same time many of the regimes in the area have introduced practices and institutions designed to make their rule more democratic in order to enhance their domestic and international standing and legitimacy, as well as to spur economic growth.