Democracy, Development and Political Islam: Comparing Iran and Turkey

Mohammed Ayoob

in Development Models in Muslim Contexts

Published by Edinburgh University Press

Published in print September 2009 | ISBN: 9780748639687
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780748653171 | DOI:
Democracy, Development and Political Islam: Comparing Iran and Turkey

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This chapter discusses Iran and Turkey from a comparative perspective. Iran and Turkey are interesting comparisons in the political and economic arenas. In the political arena, while democratic and authoritarian impulses as well as secular and religious elements exist in both countries, they are however present to different degrees. Similarly, in the economic arena, while both countries possess statist and liberal impulses, these however are again present in different combinations and to different degrees. The operation of the variable referred to as political Islam, in both contexts, makes the comparisons and contrasts between Iran and Turkey even more interesting, especially for scholars and analysts engaged in unravelling the relationship between Islam on the one hand, and democracy and development on the other. The two cases clearly demonstrate that Islam does not prescribe a single political or economic model. Where Islam does seem to have some influence in shaping political systems or economic trajectories of predominantly Muslim states, this influence is mediated through a number of contextual variables that render generalisation about this relationship all but impossible. As the Iranian and Turkish cases clearly demonstrate, context matters hugely in the interaction between democracy, development, and political Islam.

Keywords: Iran; Turkey; political Islam; Islam; development; economic model; political model

Chapter.  6095 words. 

Subjects: Society and Culture

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