Introduction: Democratic Beauty and Electoral Ugliness in the Middle East
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Democracy is beautiful in principle, but democratic politics is often ugly in practice. The Arab world is entering a new electoral era—one that, as the contributions to this volume make clear, not only is based on the promise of democratic beauty but has also already brought much of the ugliness of democratic politics. The various chapters explore not only what is new but also how much the new is still tethered to the legacy of the past. The question in this complicated political environment is, how much of the beauty of democracy can be recovered? The definite answer will come in next few years, but there are worrying initial signs.
KeywordsArab World Electoral Politics Democratic Politics Authoritarian Rule Arab Society
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