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Date of Graduation
Bachelor of Arts (BA)
Department of Political Science
Manal A. Jamal
Shah Mahmoud Hanifi
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.
Al Tayara, Maher, "Minorities and authoritarianism in the Middle East: A case study of Muslim Alawites in Syria" (2021). Senior Honors Projects, 2020-current. 133.