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  • Print publication year: 2019
  • Online publication date: June 2019

2 - Authoritarianism and Democracy

from Part I - Present


The chapter begins with a critical analysis of Western colonialism and occupations as contributing factors for authoritarianism. It then critically examines the arguments about the influence of Islam, particularly in relation to the issues of patriarchy and secularism, in sustaining authoritarianism. Next, it elaborates the role of the ulema, in terms of their alliances with authoritarian rulers and their promulgation of authoritarian ideas regarding gender relations, public order, and Muslims’ relations with non-Muslims. It also explains the impact of rentierism (particularly oil rents) in fostering authoritarianism in the Muslim world. Finally, the chapter explicates how the connections between rentierism and authoritarianism in Muslim countries are effects of not only rich oil reserves but also economic underdevelopment in these countries.

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