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Carlos García-Rivero and Hennie Kotzé, "Electoral Support for Islamic parties in the Middle East and North Africa," Party Politics, 13 (September, 2007), 611-636.

First paragraph:
Throughout the world, religious fundamentalism has become a major sociopolitical force. In the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region, Islamic parties have made electoral advances that, coupled with events in countries such as Algeria - where a civil war with religious undertones left thousands dead - and with the recent victories of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt and Hamas in Palestine, should not be underestimated.

Figures and Tables:
Table 1. Support for Islamic political parties in the MENA region (%)
Table 2. Islamic party support (Morocco and Algeria)

Last Paragraph:
The fundamental question that arises is: what type of democracy, if any, will emerge? Liberal democracy, Islamic democracy, or another type? Indeed, although the viability of an Islamic democracy remains to be investigated, on the surface it seems clear that it would be difficult to reconcile the restructuring of the state into a religious entity with the functioning of real and well-developed democratic institutions and practices. It could therefore be argued that secularization of society (i.e. separating the political and religious) and reform of the coercive state should be emphasized, not simply the lofty ideal of democratization processes that often result, as has been customary in the region, in unfair and constrained elections, ultimately simply leading to increased autocracy.

Last update August 2007