Since the start of Iran’s Green Movement in 2009 and the ‘Arab Spring’ revolutions that began in December 2010, scholars have attempted to critically approach these events in light of continuing processes of democratization. Too often, however, discussions of these and other events related to the Middle East and North Africa ignore the historical contexts and on-the-ground realities surrounding these events.

In the wake of recent and continuing protest movements in Syria, Turkey, and Egypt, a critical understanding of democracy and the role of local and international actors in democratization processes is more important than ever.

In this Special Issue, our contributors provide in-depth analysis on democratization trends in the Middle East, western democracy promotion policies, and the role of indigenous institutions and movements in supporting and producing democracy.

Democratization in the Middle East and North Africa

U.S. Democracy Promotion in the Arab World: an Undemocratic Project

by Ashley Barnes

Theories of Democratic Transition: The Case of Egypt

by Sara Salem

Egypt: This is Not Graffiti

by Elisa Pierandrei

Institutionalism in Egypt’s Transition to Democracy

by Sally Roshdy

Syria’s Democrats Need Support

by Alex Innes

The Struggle for Democracy in Palestine

by Jed Ober

The Aborted Revolution in Morocco

by Mohammed Masbah

Turkey: Elections Don’t Mean Democracy

by Zeynep Kosereisoglu