On the Prospects for Democracy in the Muslim World

DOI: 10.20542/0131-2227-2023-67-8-95-109
A. Malashenko
Primakov National Research Institute of World Economy and International Relations, Russian Academy of Sciences (IMEMO), 23, Profsoyuznaya Str., Moscow, 117997, Russian Federation.
Yu. Nisnevich, jnisnevich@hse.ru
National Research University Higher School of Economics, 20, Myasnitskaya Str., Moscow, 101000, Russian Federation.

Received 10.01.2023. Revised 24.03.2023. Accepted 15.05.2023.

Abstract. The democratic trend in the Muslim world is very difficult and contradictory. Its particularities need to be correctly studied what gives an opportunity to present suggestions about perspectives of democracy in Muslim states and societies. The Muslim world itself is composed of 47 states in which the majority consists of muslims added to them some other where the Muslim minority often possess a significant influence. Only several Muslim states could be classified as secular – among them Turkey, all states in Central Asia and some others. In the majority of those countries Islam isn’t accepted as source of law, clergymen don’t participate in taking key political decisions, but local administrations including of a high level evidently emphasize that their decisions are corresponding with the Islamic tradition. As far as Muslim monarchies, especially in the Persian Gulf, they carry out their politics according with religious norms but at the same time avoiding radicalization. They are opened to modernity. There are only two states – Iran and Afghanistan – whose fundamental pillars of the rule are based on Islamic law. In this article we describe how different regimes attempt to use some democratic norms (for example elections and multipartism) in order to consolidate themselves and to reach popularity. At the same time with a short number of exceptions they continue to stay authoritarian. Islam constantly influences on the social as well as on the political situation in the Muslim world. We shouldn’t exaggerate its impact but in the same time Islam’s presence in the political life shouldn’t be ignored. The Islamic factor and the Islamic tradition remain constant but they are not an absolute obstacle on the road to democratic process.

Keywords: democracy, muslim world, islamic ummah, secularism, political islam


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For citation:
Malashenko A., Nisnevich Y. On the Prospects for Democracy in the Muslim World. World Eonomy and International Relations, 2023, vol. 67, no. 8, pp. 95-109. https://doi.org/10.20542/0131-2227-2023-67-8-95-109 EDN: VCFIST

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