The prospects for democratization in the Middle East
ByHeather S. Gregg
Pages 21

This chapter discusses the prospects for democratization in the Middle East and North Africa and offers a working definition of democracy. It then focuses on three sets of indicators for democratic transition: the creation of elected bodies, such as legislatures and councils; the development of civil society and political culture; and the presence of Islamic organizations and their effects on democratic trends. Another critical component of a healthy functioning democracy is a country's political culture. Political culture usually involves formal and informal education on required and permissible forms of popular participation. The Middle East and North Africa currently have several types of government, including monarchies, republics and one Islamic republic (Iran). Several types of civic organization are important for their role in democratizing the Middle East. Finally, it is important to consider the prospects for continued Islamization throughout the region and what that might mean for democratization.