Party Building in the Modern Middle East

Michele Penner Angrist

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  • Published: 2006
  • Subject Listing: Middle East Studies; Politics
  • Bibliographic information: 224 pp., 2 line drawings,, 6 x 9 in.
  • Territorial rights: World Rights
  • Series: Publications on the Near East
  • Contents

Why was Turkey - alone of all the modern states that emerged from the Ottoman Empire - the only Middle Eastern country to evolve lasting competitive political institutions? While democratic processes grew steadily in Turkey during the twentieth century, its neighbors turned to forms of authoritarian rule that reinforced the powers of armies, families, single parties, or monarchs. Michele Angrist argues that democracy and dictatorship in the Middle East can be understood by studying the nature and status of political parties operating at the moment of independence.

Looking carefully at Muslim-majority states where parties played a crucial role in state formation between the 1940s and the 1960s, Angrist challenges the idea that Islam, class structures, levels of development, and/or international factors dominated domestic politics in the region. She writes across the regional divides that have isolated Turkish, Arab, and Persian studies from each other. Comparative political scientists, Middle East social scientists, and scholars of Turkey will find here a compelling account of party building and democratization in the modern Middle East.
Michele Penner Angrist is associate professor of political science at Union College in Schenectady, New York.

"This work is magisterial both in its command of a variety of theoretical literatures and in its treatment of a large number of empirical cases. With elegance, it makes important contributions to the field of comparative politics generally and to scholarship on the Middle East in particular."
-Marsha Pripstein Posusney, Bryant University

"Just when all the conversation about the Middle East starts to revolve around issues of democracy and democratization, we have here a volume that tackles the subject head on. Angrist provides fresh insights and suggests new ways of understanding democratization in the Middle East and beyond."
-Resat Kasaba, University of Washington

Introduction: Party Systems and Regime Formation in the Middle East
Part I: Explaining Party System Characteristics
1. The Emergence of the Preponderant Single-Party Systems
2. The Emergence of the Multiparty Systems
3. The Emergence of Bipartism in Turkey
Part II: The Impact of Party Systems on Regime Formation
4. Preponderant Single Parties and Immediate Authoritarian Rule
5. Polarization, Mobilization Asymmetry, and Delayed Authoritarian Rule
6. Depolarization, Increased Mobilizational Symmetry, and the Consolidation of Competitive Politics in Turkey
Conclusion: The Arguments in Middle East and Comparative Perspective