Title

Are Muslim Countries Less Democratic?

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

Fall 2007

Published In

Middle East Quarterly

Abstract

Scholars and theoreticians have long argued about the compatibility of Islam and democracy. Bush administration support for export of democracy to the Middle East has brought the debate to the forefront of policy circles. As the discussion continues, statistical models can be useful to interpret the historical record. While recent studies have reached contradictory conclusions, as more data is considered, a nuanced relationship between Islam and democracy emerges: In all but the poorest countries, Islam is associated with fewer political rights.