This Brief examines the many faces of modern Islamism. What are the main streams of political Islam? And how are they linked to both the Sunni/Shiite divide and the violence plaguing the Middle East and North Africa?
To the chagrin of many, Arab transition to democracy did not occur as expected. Then again, transitology (essentially the study of political change) never offered a straightforward formula or magical recipe for the birth, and survival, of democracy – Arab or otherwise.
Of the 90 countries which initiated transitions in the last 50 years, 46% transitioned to democracy within three years; 39% returned to autocracy; and 15% moved gradually to democracy over the course of roughly a decade. But what does this imply for the future of Arab political systems?