Since 11 September 2001 ('9/11') the international spotlight has been more firmly than ever on the Muslim world, and its Middle East heartland in particular. All aspects of life in Muslim societies - history, educational system, attitudes towards the West, gender relations, cultural underpinnings, political and economic systems, demography, foreign relations - have been pored over by policy commentators and analysts in attempts to unearth the root causes of Islamist militancy against the West. Using the tools of political economy and social movement theories this analysis will debate the complex set of issues underlining many aspects of the 'Islam and democracy' debate, which today is very much about the relationship between Islam and governance. Indeed, as the debate itself since '9/11' has been increasingly shaped by priorities of western actors, whose traditional interests in the Muslim Middle East are now being driven by concerns about international stability, Muslims have tended to adopt an even more sceptical posture. Whether forced democratization can be effectively administered adds a new and interesting twist to the debates surrounding Islam and democracy, adding new dimensions to the already tangible impact of geopolitical factors on Muslim polities.
Ehteshami, A. (2004). 'Islam, Muslim Polities and Democracy'. Democratization, 11(4), 90-110. https://doi.org/10.1080/1351034042000234549