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Attitudes in the Arab World

From: Journal of Democracy
Volume 19, Number 1, January 2008
pp. 97-110 | 10.1353/jod.2008.0004


The Arab Barometer finds widespread support for democracy in Arab world. Definitions of democracy vary considerably, however, with some citizens emphasizing government accountability and political freedoms and while others stress instrumental considerations, including effectiveness in meeting economic needs. The Arab Barometer also finds that support for pluralism, tolerance and other democratic values are present to the same degree among those who favor secular democracy and those who favor a political system that is both democratic and Islamic. Finally, in contrast to some popular misconceptions, personal religiosity does not account for variance in support for democracy, in a preference for secular rather than Islamic democracy, or in attitudes toward authoritarian political formulae.

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