In a talk hosted by the Program on Arab Reform and Democracy on October 31, 2022, Hicham Alaoui, founder and director of the Hicham Alaoui Foundation, discussed his latest book – Pacted Democracy in the Middle East: Tunisia and Egypt in Comparative Perspective (Palgrave Macmillan, 2022).
During the event, co-sponsored by Stanford’s Abbasi Program in Islamic Studies and the Center for African Studies, Alaoui presented a new theory for how democracy can materialize in the Middle East, and the broader Muslim world. He explained that one pathway to democratization lays not in resolving important, but often irreconcilable, debates about the role of religion in politics. Rather, it requires that Islamists and their secular opponents focus on the concerns of pragmatic survival—that is, compromise through pacting, rather than battling through difficult philosophical issues about faith.
You can purchase the book online, and watch a recording of the event below: