Civil Society in the Middle East

Eberhard Kienle

in The Oxford Handbook of Civil Society

Published in print August 2011 | ISBN: 9780195398571
Published online May 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks

 Civil Society in the Middle East

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This article explores the history of civil society in the Middle East. It suggests that the fate of civil society in the region has been closely tied to the political regimes in place and their transformation, or lack of it, over time, a fate crucially affected by the strong autocratic features that have characterized the exercise of state power in most of the region. It argues that in most Arab states and Iran, authoritarian rule and strong non-voluntary forms of social organization continue to impose significant limits on independent associational life and the strength of public spheres.

Keywords: civil society; Middle East; political regimes; state power; Arab states; Iran; authoritarian rule; social organization; associational life; public spheres

Article.  6014 words. 

Subjects: Politics ; Comparative Politics ; Public Policy

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