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Explaining Middle Eastern Political Authoritarianism II: Liberalizing Transitions

Marcus Noland ()

Review of Middle East Economics and Finance, 2008, vol. 4, issue 1, 31-40

Abstract: Long-lived undemocratic political regimes are ubiquitous in the Arab world. The likelihood of a transition declines as a country liberalizes and approaches the democratic asymptote. Worldwide democracy waves are positively associated with the likelihood of transition. Adherence to Islam among the population is uncorrelated with the likelihood of a liberalizing episode, but the Arab population share is negatively correlated with the likelihood of a liberalizing transition. For the Arab countries of the Middle East, the odds on liberalizing transitions occurring are low but rising, and alternative interpretations of the Arab population share variable are important in this regard.

Date: 2008
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DOI: 10.2202/1475-3693.1112

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