Illiberal Moderates


Years will pass before we shall know what kinds of regimes will emerge out of the uprisings that swept through the Middle East in early 2011. Observers are quick to project onto them their fondest dreams (expecting to see rising democracies) or their worst fears (expecting to find Jihadists lurking behind every palm tree). In short, no one can say for certain what kind of governments will emerge from post-autocratic Islamic societies.

In Security First, we made the argument at great length and presented data that most Muslims are “illiberal moderates”: they do not support a Westminster form of democracy nor the full plethora of human rights, but do reject violence in general, and terrorism in particular. Please read some of our pieces on this topic:

Academic Pieces

“Should We Support Illiberal Democracies?” The Political Quarterly, 82.2 (October-December 2011), p. 567-573.

“Toward a Nonviolent, Pluralistic Middle East.” Middle East Quarterly. 18:4 (Fall 2011) p. 27-38

American Behavioral Scientist, vol. 51, no. 9 (May 2008) p. 1283-1463.
A special issue devoted to examining Amitai Etzioni’s “Security First” argument (including his argument on illiberal moderates).

“The Global Importance of Illiberal Moderates.” Cambridge Review of International Affairs (Vol. 19, No. 3, September 2006) pp. 369-385

The global importance of ‘illiberal moderates’, an exchange: partners in peace to precede a concert of democracies,” Cambridge Review of International Affairs 21, no. 2 (June 2008)
Amir Hussain, Mohammad H Fadel, Jean Bethke Elshtain, Stephen Schwartz, Joergen Oerstroem Moeller, and Amitai Etzioni participated in a symposium based on the 2006 article “The Global Importance of Illiberal Moderates.”

Non-Academic Articles

Illiberal Moderates: The Global Swing Vote,” The Huffington Post, June 12, 2007

The fault line: within each civilization,” TPMCafe, August 12, 2008

Obama Greatly Changes the Litmus Test,” The Huffington Post, January 30, 2009
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