Senior Honors Projects, 2020-current

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

Date of Graduation

5-7-2021

Publish

yes

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts (BA)

Department

Department of Political Science

Advisor(s)

Jamal, Manal

Hanifi, Shah Mahmoud

Lee, Hak-Seon

Abstract

Why are some minorities in the Middle East less inclined to support democratization or political liberalization efforts? Here, I examine if and how minorities differ in their support for democratization from the majority groups in the Middle East. I will analyze why some minorities prefer to support authoritarian regimes over supporting democratization. I examine how the religion of a minority affects its preference for regime type. I will also examine how historical backgrounds and international patronage affects those preferences. I will identify two historical moments in the Middle East that played a role in shaping those preferences: the post-World War One mandate period moving into the post-independence period, and the Arab Spring.

Based on a Single Case Study of Muslim Alawites in Syria, I will argue that the French Mandate period played a major role in enticing some minorities in the Middle East, in this case the Alawites in Syria, to support authoritarian regimes. My research will first analyze the post-WWI colonial period and the effects of the mandate policies on minorities, then move to the post-independence period and build a correlation between those policies and the support of minorities for authoritarianism in Syria all the way to the Arab Spring period.

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