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Are FDI and Islam in conflict with one another in the eyes of Tunisians? Does support for globalization fall or increase when it embraces or challenges Islamic dress, prayer, and other practices? We examine through different experimental tests how Tunisians react to foreign direct investment when it accommodates or conflicts with Islamic norms. Using three original sources of data, including a large representative survey (N = 4,986), a conjoint survey experiment (N = 1,502), and an original survey experiment with experimental social vignettes (N = 504), we examine how threats (and non-threats) from FDI to Islamic norms affect support for FDI. We find strong support for FDI, but these levels of support are not stable. We find the support for FDI falls by almost 32% if it is seen to clash with female Islamic dress. Support is highest when it accommodates Islamic practices, especially the female hijab and lowest when it is perceived to disregard these practices.
The title of the book needs no explanation: Why Muslim Integration Fails in Christian-Heritage Societies. It marks an issue of widespread and obvious current relevance, especially in Europe and in the United States in the age of Donald Trump. It registers a claim that is surely controversial and that also perhaps blends empirical and normative judgments. The book is thus a perfect candidate for a Perspectives symposium because it opens itself to so many different perspectives.
Recent developments in the Arab world have shattered the feeble equilibrium that once existed. Uprisings in Egypt, Libya, Syria, and elsewhere have undermined long-established dictators and created an ever-present threat of violence in many parts of the region. In many cases, religious minorities are particularly endangered. The conflict in Syria has taken an increasingly sectarian tone in lockstep with its increasing level of violence. Conditions have become so severe that some Arab Christian observers outside Syria believe that this conflict “will likely be the final blow for Syria's embattled Christians.” Electoral victories for Islamist parties in Tunisia and Egypt (albeit a short-lived victory in the latter case) have certainly not comforted Christians and other non-Muslims in the Arab world. It seems that the birthplace of several of the world's largest faith traditions is still a hotbed of conflict between religious groups, and the outcome remains as uncertain as ever.
The growing uncertainty in the region – particularly for religious minorities – creates a vital need for understanding the social forces that shape relations between the faiths in these countries. If the Arab Spring revolutions were to bring about a more “popular” form of government, in contrast to the dictatorships that preceded them, then it is crucial to examine what popular demands might be. Popular rule does not necessarily mean tolerance. As Tocqueville famously warned, rule by the majority can result in highly unequal treatment of minority groups. There is thus no logical necessity that elections, however free and fair, will lead to improved conditions for non-Muslims in the Arab world; in fact, many observers have predicted just the opposite.
This chapter remedies some of the uncertainty regarding Arab attitudes toward religious minorities and religious freedom. Using recent original data from the Arab Barometer, it examines the attitudes of Arab citizens toward religious minorities through a number of different religious and political lenses. Furthermore, it considers the origins of these attitudes. Views about non-Muslims (and political policies relevant to them) were collected in ten Arab societies, providing valuable insight into the minds of everyday citizens in this important part of the world. In order to understand the plight of Christians and other religious minorities in the Arab world, we must consider the beliefs and attitudes of the Muslim citizens who make up the majority of the population in these countries.
Systematic investigation of attitudes expressed in Arabic on Twitter towards the United States and Iran during 2012–13 shows how the analysis of social media can illuminate the politics of contemporary political discourses and generates an informative analysis of anti-Americanism in the Middle East. We not only analyze overall attitudes, but using a novel events-based analytical strategy, we examine reactions to specific events, including the removal of Mohamed Morsi in Egypt, the Innocence of Muslims video, and reactions to possible U.S. intervention in Syria. We also examine the Boston Marathon bombings of April 2013, in which the United States suffered damage from human beings, and Hurricane Sandy, in which it suffered damage from nature. Our findings reinforce evidence from polling that anti-Americanism is pervasive and intense, but they also suggest that this animus is directed less toward American society than toward the impingement of the United States on other countries. Arabic Twitter discourses about Iran are at least as negative as discourses about the United States, and less ambivalent. Anti-Americanism may be a specific manifestation of a more general phenomenon: resentment toward powerful countries perceived as interfering in national and regional affairs.
Do voters regard male and female candidates equally? Does apparent religiosity of candidates help or hurt their electoral chances? Where biases exist, what explains them? We present a novel explanation of political bias, drawing from role congruity theory. It posits that political contexts shape citizens' perceptions of qualities that make a “capable leader,” which subsequently drives their willingness to vote for candidates. Evidence from a survey experiment embedded in the 2012 Tunisian Post-Election Survey demonstrates that this theory explains biases based on gender and religiosity better than dominant modernization and social identity theories. Moreover, these mechanisms are also likely to drive political biases related to other features and in other countries. This has important implications for policymakers aiming to reduce political biases in Tunisia, the MENA, or globally. It should encourage them to pay careful attention to stereotyped traits of underrepresented groups and successful leaders, and to use institutional solutions (e.g., electoral quotas) to shape expectations about underrepresented groups and leadership.
Did religion promote or discourage participation in protest against authoritarian regimes during the Arab Spring? Using unique data collected in Tunisia and Egypt soon after the fall of their respective regimes, we examine how various dimensions of religiosity were associated with higher or lower levels of protest during these important events. Using these original new data, we reach a novel conclusion: Qur’an reading, not mosque attendance, is robustly associated with a considerable increase in the likelihood of participating in protest. Furthermore, this relationship is not simply a function of support for political Islam. Evidence suggests that motivation mechanisms rather than political resources are the reason behind this result. Qur’an readers are more sensitive to inequities and more supportive of democracy than are nonreaders. These findings suggest a powerful new set of mechanisms by which religion may, in fact, help to structure political protest more generally.
Studies of political culture have long emphasized the importance of generalized trust for effective democratic governance. Individual-level models continue to treat generalized trust as a crucial predictor of more democratic political cultures, leading some scholars to suggest that building generalized trust is an important means of developing democratic prerequisites, like the appreciation of democratic values, in the nondemocratic world. In this paper we refute this conventional wisdom, arguing that the democratic utility of trust varies cross-nationally depending on existing levels of democracy within a country. Seldom have existing studies looked at the ways in which levels of generalized trust relate to microlevel indicators of support for democracy while controlling for overall institutional contexts. We argue existing government institutions play an important role in promoting levels of generalized trust because, in democracies and nondemocracies alike, political confidence in existing political institutions is linked to higher levels of generalized trust. The democratic utility of trust therefore is not consistent across the globe. The degree of democracy determines the extent to which generalized trust becomes meaningfully linked to support for democracy. We offer evidence from a multilevel model using World Values Survey data to support these claims.
This essay describes two very different survey projects that
investigate the political attitudes, values, and behavior patterns of
ordinary men and women in the Arab world. One is the Arab Democracy
Barometer, an American-Arab collaborative project being carried out in
five countries. The other is a survey in Palestine conducted as part of
the fieldwork for a doctoral dissertation. These projects illustrate the
emerging opportunities for political attitude research in the Arab world.
The essay begins, however, with a brief reflection on the history of
political surveys in the Arab world, which is necessary to appreciate the
significance of the opportunities now emerging.
While it is hard to predict where the Palestinian-Israeli conflict
will be in ten years, one thing is certain: a peaceful reconciliation
between Israel and Palestine, based on a two-state solution that
guarantees Palestinians and Israelis territorial integrity and security,
would have a positive impact on economic and democratic developments in
the Arab world. These developments, however, will not occur easily; such
transitions are often chaotic, shocking, and painful.Amaney Jamal is assistant professor of politics at Princeton
Islamic Politics in Palestine charts the evolution of political Islam's
responses to the changing political environment in Palestine from the 1920s through the mid
1990s. Through extensive fieldwork based on oral evidence, ethnographic interviews, and an
impressive compilation of primary source material, Milton-Edwards provides her readers with
perhaps the most detailed, comprehensive, and informative account of Palestinian Islamic politics
in recent years.