Politics and Government

Classifying and explaining democracy in the Muslim world

The purpose of this study is to classify and explain democracies in the 47 Muslim countries between the years 1998 and 2008 by using liberties and elections as independent variables. Specifically focusing on the context of the Muslim world, this study examines the performance of civil liberties and elections, variation of democracy practised the most, the elections, civil liberties and democratic transitions and patterns that followed. Based on the quantitative data primarily collected from Freedom House, this study demonstrates the following aggregate findings: first, the “not free not fair” elections, the “limited” civil liberties and the “Illiberal Partial Democracy” were the dominant feature of elections, civil liberties and democracy practised in the Muslim world; second, a total of 413 Muslim regimes out of 470 (47 regimes x 10 years) remained the same as their democratic origin points, without any transitions to a better or worse level of democracy, throughout these 10 years; and third, a slow, yet steady positive transition of both elections and civil liberties occurred in the Muslim world with changes in the nature of elections becoming much more progressive compared to the civil liberties’ transitions

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