The Vulnerability of the Arab State
Reflections on the Ayubi Thesis
By Timur Kuran
This article appeared in the Summer 1998 issue of The Independent Review
Why have none of the twenty-two Arab countries participated in the worldwide move toward liberalization? In his important but frustrating book Over-Stating the Arab State, Nazih Ayubi argues that, paradoxically, some Arab states might move toward liberalizationif they were strong enough to overcome the political and cultural forces that favor authoritarianism.