Of Empires and Citizens: Pro-American Democracy or No Democracy at All?

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9780691149653: Of Empires and Citizens: Pro-American Democracy or No Democracy at All?
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In the post-Cold War era, why has democratization been slow to arrive in the Arab world? This book argues that to understand support for the authoritarian status quo in parts of this region--and the willingness of its citizens to compromise on core democratic principles--one must factor in how a strong U.S. presence and popular anti-Americanism weakens democratic voices. Examining such countries as Jordan, Kuwait, Morocco, Palestine, and Saudi Arabia, Amaney Jamal explores how Arab citizens decide whether to back existing regimes, regime transitions, and democratization projects, and how the global position of Arab states shapes people's attitudes toward their governments.


While the Cold War's end reduced superpower hegemony in much of the developing world, the Arab region witnessed an increased security and economic dependence on the United States. As a result, the preferences of the United States matter greatly to middle-class Arab citizens, not just the elite, and citizens will restrain their pursuit of democratization, rationalizing their backing for the status quo because of U.S. geostrategic priorities. Demonstrating how the preferences of an international patron serve as a constraint or an opportunity to push for democracy, Jamal questions bottom-up approaches to democratization, which assume that states are autonomous units in the world order. Jamal contends that even now, with the overthrow of some autocratic Arab regimes, the future course of Arab democratization will be influenced by the perception of American reactions. Concurrently, the United States must address the troubling sources of the region's rising anti-Americanism.

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"This original book adds to the substantial research concerned with domestic factors and the persistence of authoritarianism in the Arab world. It also opens a new line of inquiry by demonstrating the role of international factors in relationships between the Arab governments and the United States. An impressive and rich work."--Mark Tessler, University of Michigan

"This book shows that democracy in the Middle East threatens the interests of the middle classes who rely heavily on American aid. They fear that democracy will bring to power populists wishing to undermine American regional hegemony resulting in a loss of their aid lifeline. The book's compelling argument and its relevance to current policy concerns are significant."--David Laitin, Stanford University

"Arguing that the lack of democratization in the Middle East is tied to the critical role the United States plays in the region, this strong book extends our understanding of how international relations affects citizens' perceptions and engagement with the state."--Ellen Lust, Yale University

"Jamal makes a persuasive case for an important but never-before tested argument: U.S. policy in the Arab world has been one of the principal obstacles to democratic development in the region. A wonderful addition to debates about impediments to democracy, the sources and consequences of anti-Americanism, and the character of U.S. foreign policy, this book is essential reading."--Lisa Anderson, American University in Cairo

About the Author:

Amaney A. Jamal is associate professor of politics at Princeton University and the author of Barriers to Democracy (Princeton).

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9780691149646: Of Empires and Citizens: Pro-American Democracy or No Democracy at All?

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Book Description Princeton University Press, United States, 2012. Paperback. Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. In the post-Cold War era, why has democratization been slow to arrive in the Arab world? This book argues that to understand support for the authoritarian status quo in parts of this region--and the willingness of its citizens to compromise on core democratic principles--one must factor in how a strong U.S. presence and popular anti-Americanism weakens democratic voices. Examining such countries as Jordan, Kuwait, Morocco, Palestine, and Saudi Arabia, Amaney Jamal explores how Arab citizens decide whether to back existing regimes, regime transitions, and democratization projects, and how the global position of Arab states shapes people s attitudes toward their governments. While the Cold War s end reduced superpower hegemony in much of the developing world, the Arab region witnessed an increased security and economic dependence on the United States. As a result, the preferences of the United States matter greatly to middle-class Arab citizens, not just the elite, and citizens will restrain their pursuit of democratization, rationalizing their backing for the status quo because of U.S. geostrategic priorities. Demonstrating how the preferences of an international patron serve as a constraint or an opportunity to push for democracy, Jamal questions bottom-up approaches to democratization, which assume that states are autonomous units in the world order. Jamal contends that even now, with the overthrow of some autocratic Arab regimes, the future course of Arab democratization will be influenced by the perception of American reactions. Concurrently, the United States must address the troubling sources of the region s rising anti-Americanism. Seller Inventory # AAH9780691149653

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Book Description Princeton University Press, United States, 2012. Paperback. Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. In the post-Cold War era, why has democratization been slow to arrive in the Arab world? This book argues that to understand support for the authoritarian status quo in parts of this region--and the willingness of its citizens to compromise on core democratic principles--one must factor in how a strong U.S. presence and popular anti-Americanism weakens democratic voices. Examining such countries as Jordan, Kuwait, Morocco, Palestine, and Saudi Arabia, Amaney Jamal explores how Arab citizens decide whether to back existing regimes, regime transitions, and democratization projects, and how the global position of Arab states shapes people s attitudes toward their governments. While the Cold War s end reduced superpower hegemony in much of the developing world, the Arab region witnessed an increased security and economic dependence on the United States. As a result, the preferences of the United States matter greatly to middle-class Arab citizens, not just the elite, and citizens will restrain their pursuit of democratization, rationalizing their backing for the status quo because of U.S. geostrategic priorities. Demonstrating how the preferences of an international patron serve as a constraint or an opportunity to push for democracy, Jamal questions bottom-up approaches to democratization, which assume that states are autonomous units in the world order. Jamal contends that even now, with the overthrow of some autocratic Arab regimes, the future course of Arab democratization will be influenced by the perception of American reactions. Concurrently, the United States must address the troubling sources of the region s rising anti-Americanism. Seller Inventory # AAH9780691149653

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