Author Archive

Abdelwahab El-Affendi

Abdelwahab El-Affendi is Reader in Politics, Centre for the Study of Democracy, University of Westminster, and ESRC/AHRC Fellow in RCUK’s Global Uncertainties Programme. He is also currently Visiting Fellow at the Centre of Islamic Studies, University of Cambrdige.

The Arab world shocked us twice in recent months, once with the eruption of the revolutionary spring, and again with the sweeping to power of Islamist parties. The revolutions have radically shifted the political map of the region and transformed the world’s perception of its politics, and even transformed the world. But the equally unanticipated, and very decisive, ascendancy of the Islamists, from Morocco to Kuwait, has confused many observers. Already some are repeating the old adage, voiced most provocatively by Elie Kedourie in 1992, that the Arabs do not comprehend, let alone desire or deserve democracy. It is interesting that Kedourie was responding to the results of an opinion poll which showed that the majority of Egyptians supported democracy, …