Explaining Middle Eastern Authoritarianism
Arab political regimes are both unusually undemocratic and unusually stable. A series of nested statistical models are reported to parse competing explanations. The democratic deficit is comprehensible in terms of lack of modernization, British colonial history, neighborhood effects, reliance on taxes for government finance, and the Arab population share. Interpretation of the last variable is problematic: It could point to some antidemocratic aspect of Arab culture (though this appears not to be supported by survey evidence), or it could be a proxy for some unobservable such as investment in institutions of internal repression that may not be culturally determined and instead reflect elite preferences. Hypotheses that did not receive robust support include the presence of oil rents, the status of women, conflict with Israel or other neighbors, or Islam. The odds on liberalizing transitions occurring are low but rising. In this respect the distinction between the interpretation of the Arab ethnic share as an intrinsic cultural marker and as a proxy for some unobservable is important—if the former is correct, then one would expect the likelihood of regime change to rise only gradually over time, whereas if it is the latter, the probabilities may exhibit much greater temporal variability.
|Date of creation:||Jun 2005|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: 1750 Massachusetts Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20036-1903|
Web page: http://www.piie.com
More information through EDIRC
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Van den Berg, Gerard J., 2001.
"Duration models: specification, identification and multiple durations,"
Handbook of Econometrics,in: J.J. Heckman & E.E. Leamer (ed.), Handbook of Econometrics, edition 1, volume 5, chapter 55, pages 3381-3460
- Van den Berg, Gerard J., 2000. "Duration Models: Specification, Identification, and Multiple Durations," MPRA Paper 9446, University Library of Munich, Germany.
- Noland, Marcus, 2005. "Religion and economic performance," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 33(8), pages 1215-1232, August.
- Daron Acemoglu & Simon Johnson & James A. Robinson, 2001.
"The Colonial Origins of Comparative Development: An Empirical Investigation,"
American Economic Review,
American Economic Association, vol. 91(5), pages 1369-1401, December.
- Daron Acemoglu & Simon Johnson & James A. Robinson, 2000. "The Colonial Origins of Comparative Development: An Empirical Investigation," NBER Working Papers 7771, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Robert J. Barro, 1999. "Determinants of Democracy," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 107(S6), pages 158-183, December.
- repec:cup:apsrev:v:53:y:1959:i:01:p:69-105_00 is not listed on IDEAS
- Przeworski,Adam & Alvarez,Michael E. & Cheibub,Jose Antonio & Limongi,Fernando, 2000. "Democracy and Development," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521793797, May.
- repec:cup:apsrev:v:89:y:1995:i:04:p:882-897_09 is not listed on IDEAS
- Przeworski,Adam & Alvarez,Michael E. & Cheibub,Jose Antonio & Limongi,Fernando, 2000. "Democracy and Development," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521790321, May.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:iie:wpaper:wp05-5. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Peterson Institute webmaster)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.