Classical liberal democratic theory has provided crucial ideas for a still dominant and hegemonic discourse that rests on ideological conceptions of freedom, equality, peacefulness, inclusive democratic participation, and tolerance. While this may have held some truth for citizens in Western liberal-capitalist societies, such liberal ideals have never been realized in colonial, postcolonial and settler colonial contexts. Liberal democracies are not simply forms of rule in domestic national contexts but also geo-political actors. As such, they have been the drivers of processes of global oppression, colonizing and occupying countries and people, appropriating indigenous land, annihilating people with eliminatory politics right up to genocides. There can be no doubt that the West – with its civilizational Judeo-Christian idea and divine mission ‘to subdue the world’ – has destroyed other civilizations, countries, trading systems, and traditional ways of life and is responsible for the death of hundreds of millions of human beings in the course of colonizing the world from its Empires of trade through colonialism to settler colonialism and today’s politics of regime change. The book discusses the settler colonial regime that Israel has established in Palestine while still claiming to be a democracy. It discusses the failures of liberal democracy to overcome the structural and racist inequalities in post-Apartheid South Africa, and it presents hopeful outlooks on new ideas and forms of democracy in social movements in the MENA region.

chapter |14 pages


A ‘master-race democracy’: Myths and lies of Western liberal civilization
ByJürgen Mackert

part 1|54 pages

Democracy as a progressive force and the failure of liberal democracy

chapter 1|16 pages

The Algerian hirak

Citizenship, non-violence, and the new movement for democracy
ByJessica Ayesha Northey

chapter 3|19 pages

South Africa and the crisis of liberal democracy

Settler-colonial modernity and a dominant friend-enemy conception of politics
ByThiven Reddy

part 2|130 pages


chapter 4|19 pages

Israeli conception of ‘peace’ as indirect colonial rule

ByTariq Dana

chapter 6|18 pages

Moving mountains?

Palestinian claim making from Oslo onwards
ByRebecca Burkert

chapter 7|18 pages

Political resistance and contested citizenship

ByScott A. Bollens

chapter 8|11 pages

Municipal elections in occupied Jerusalem

Why do Palestinians boycott?
ByMunir Nueseibah

chapter 9|28 pages

How the Law of Return creates one legal order in Palestine

ByHassan Jabareen

chapter 10|14 pages

The discourse of exceptionalism

Civil and human rights in Israel
ByIlan Pappe