Latest Issue

Is Arab democracy a fantasy?

The revolutions of 2011 have proven that Arab culture is not incompatible with democracy. But the quest for freedom is far from complete, and many dangers lie ahead

By Eugene Rogan   March 2011

One for the album: Egyptians pose for photographs on an army tank in Cairo, two days after the resignation of President Hosni Mubarak

When democratic reforms swept the world after the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989, Arab countries seemed to get left behind. All of the Arab regimes that were in control then were still in power at the start of this year—with the notable exception of Saddam Hussein’s Ba’athists in Iraq. Some blamed Arab culture for this, others said that Islam was incompatible with democracy, but most agreed that the Arabs were bucking the global trend of…

Register today to continue reading

You’ve hit your limit of three articles in the last 30 days. To get seven more, simply enter your email address below.

You’ll also receive our free e-book Prospect’s Top Thinkers 2020 and our newsletter with the best new writing on politics, economics, literature and the arts.

Prospect may process your personal information for our legitimate business purposes, to provide you with newsletters, subscription offers and other relevant information.

Click here to learn more about these purposes and how we use your data. You will be able to opt-out of further contact on the next page and in all our communications.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to

More From Prospect