Pseudo-Democracy in the Muslim World

Frederic Volpi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

51 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

This paper investigates the mechanisms of democratisation leading to the formation of pseudo-democratic political systems in the contemporary Muslim world. It is argued that pseudo-democracies in the Muslim world are created and strengthened by the structural opposition between three types of democratic doctrines, social practices and institutional mechanisms inspired by liberalism, republicanism and Islamism. Departing from the usual instrumentalist analyses that dominate the democratisation literature, this account emphasises that pseudo-democratic regimes are not simply an expedient fallback position from liberal democratic systems but dynamic political orders based on alternative notions of democracy. It is argued that what is specific to the Muslim world as a socio-historical construct is that pseudo-democracies are produced by the evolving stalemate between the three abovementioned political currents. In these polities liberal democratic discourses and practices are undermined by non-liberal yet demotic forms of social mobilisation and political learning that are more effective than laissez-faire models of liberal political mobilisation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1061-1078
Number of pages18
JournalThird World Quarterly
Volume25
Issue number6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2004

Keywords

  • CIVIL-SOCIETY
  • CENTRAL-ASIA
  • MIDDLE-EAST
  • COMPARATIVE PERSPECTIVE
  • POLITICAL-PARTIES
  • AUTHORITARIANISM
  • ISLAM
  • INDONESIA
  • COUNTRIES
  • PAKISTAN

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