The Introduction explains the book’s research problem: how and why an electoral democracy with a constitution (adopted in 2008) that has many liberal features yet institutionalized ‘Islam’ and limited certain rights, especially denying religious freedom, emerged in the Maldives by 2009. It provides an overview of the central argument which is based on extensive analyses of the political institutional and discursive developments in the Maldives from around the 1930s till 2009, when the Maldives transitioned to an electoral democracy. It explains why the Maldives is an important yet under-researched case study in the literature on Islam’s relationship to democratization and politics. The Introduction also presents the book’s main theoretical approach of discursive institutionalism, and outlines the methodological tools, data sources, and the layout of the chapters.