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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Democratization in developing countries: 1980-1989
Author:Abootalebi, A.R.
Periodical:Journal of Developing Areas
Geographic terms:developing countries
Politics and Government
External links:https://www.jstor.org/stable/4192495
Abstract:This paper examines the prospects for the emergence of democratic regimes in the less developed countries (LDCs) in general and in Muslim countries in particular. It argues that the society-State relationship is of paramount importance in understanding the process of democratization in the LDCs, both Muslim and non-Muslim. Furthermore, the proposition that Islam has somehow hindered democratization in Muslim countries is proved invalid through a cross-national empirical analysis of 87 developing countries in the 1980s. The paper argues that the prospect for democratization in LDCs is a function of socioeconomic and political, not cultural, variables. A certain level of social, economic and political development is necessary before a successful inauguration of democracy can take place. Elites in charge of the State machinery do not voluntarily relinquish their hold on power unless they are challenged by rising social, economic and political organizations. What is important is the distribution and balance of power among these groups vis--vis the State. Islam as a religion per se neither encourages nor hinders democratization. Finally, the power of labour could be a formidable source of opposition to the State. App., notes, ref.