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Islam, Islami politik dhe Amerikë

Arabe Insajt

Është "Vëllazëria" me Amerikën mundshme?

Khalil al-Anani

"Nuk ka mundësi për të komunikuar me çdo SHBA. administratës për sa kohë që Shtetet e Bashkuara mban qëndrimin e saj të gjatë në këmbë të Islamit si një rrezik real, një pamje që i vë në Shtetet e Bashkuara në të njëjtën barkë si armiku sionist. Ne nuk kemi nocione të para-konceptuar në lidhje popullin amerikan apo U.S. shoqëria dhe organizatat e saj qytetare dhe mendoj tanke. Ne nuk kemi asnjë problem komunikimin me popullin amerikan, por jo përpjekjet e duhura janë duke u bërë për të na sjellë më afër,"Tha Dr. Issam al-Iryan, Shefi i departamentit politik të Vëllazërisë Myslimane në një intervistë telefonike.
Fjalët al-Iryan të përmbledhur pikëpamjet e Vëllazërisë Myslimane së popullit amerikan dhe të U.S. qeveri. Anëtarët e tjerë të Vëllazërisë Myslimane do të pajtoheshin, siç do vonë Hassan al-Banna, i cili e themeloi grupin në 1928. Al- Banna shikuara Perëndimin kryesisht si një simbol i prishjes morale. Selefite tjera - një shkollë islame të mendimit që mbështetet në paraardhësit si modele shembullore - kanë marrë të njëjtin mendim e Shteteve të Bashkuara, por nuk kanë fleksibilitetin ideologjik përqafuar nga Vëllazëria Myslimane. Ndërsa Vëllazëria Myslimane beson në angazhuar amerikanët në dialog civil, grupe të tjera ekstremiste nuk shoh asnjë pikë në dialog dhe për të ruajtur se forca është e vetmja mënyrë për të që kanë të bëjnë me Shtetet e Bashkuara.

islamizmi rishqyrtohet

Maha Azzam

Ka një krizë politike dhe të sigurisë përreth atë që është përmendur si islamizmit, një krizë paraardhes cilit gjatë paraprijë 9/11. Ne te shkuaren 25 vjet, ka pasur emphases të ndryshme se si për të shpjeguar dhe për të luftuar islamizmin. Analistët dhe politikëbërësit
në vitet 1980 dhe 1990 foli për shkaqet rrënjësore të militantizmit islamik si gjendje e sëmurë ekonomike dhe margjinalizimit. Kohët e fundit ka pasur një fokus në reformën politike, si një mjet për të minuar ankesën e radikalizmit. gjithnjë sot, aspektet ideologjike dhe fetare të islamizmit duhet të adresohen, sepse ata janë bërë tiparet e një debati më të gjerë politik dhe të sigurisë. Qoftë në lidhje me terrorizmin Al-Kaedës, reforma politike në botën myslimane, çështjen bërthamore në Iran apo zonat e krizës të tilla si Palestina apo Libani, ajo është bërë e zakonshme për të fi nd atë ideologji dhe fe janë përdorur nga palët kundërshtare si burime të legjitimim, frymëzim dhe armiqësia.
Situata është e komplikuar edhe më tej sot nga rritje antagonizmi ndaj dhe frika e Islamit në Perëndim për shkak të sulmeve terroriste e cila nga ana cenojë qëndrimet ndaj emigracionit, feja dhe kultura. Kufijtë e ummetit apo komunitetin e besimtarëve kanë shtrirë përtej vendeve myslimane në qytete evropiane. Ummeti potencialisht ekziston kudo që ka komunitete muslimane. Ndjenja e përbashkët e përkatësisë në një besim të përbashkët rrit në një mjedis ku ndjenja e integrimit në komunitetin përreth është e paqartë dhe ku diskriminimi mund të jenë të dukshme. Sa më e madhe refuzimi i vlerave të shoqërisë,
qoftë në Perëndim apo edhe në një shtet mysliman, më e madhe konsolidimin e forcës morale të Islamit si një identitet kulturor dhe të vlerës së sistemit.
Pas shpërthimeve në Londër 7 Korrik 2005 ajo u bë më e qartë se disa të rinj kanë pohuar përkushtimin fetar si një mënyrë për të shprehur përkatësinë etnike. Lidhjet mes myslimanëve në të gjithë globin dhe perceptimin e tyre se muslimanët janë të pambrojtur kanë çuar shumë në pjesë shumë të ndrysh erent të botës të bashkojë predicaments e tyre lokale në një më të gjerë myslimane, duke identifi ed kulturore, ose kryesisht ose pjesërisht, me një Islamin gjerësisht defi shkarko Pa.

Islami dhe Demokracia

ITAC

Nëse dikush lexon shtypin apo dëgjon komentuesve mbi çështjet ndërkombëtare, ajo shpesh është thënë - dhe edhe më shpesh nënkuptohet, por nuk tha - se Islami nuk është në përputhje me demokracinë. Në vitet nëntëdhjetë, Samuel Huntington vendosur jashtë një stuhi intelektuale, kur ai botoi përplasjes së qytetërimeve dhe remaking e Rendit Botëror, në të cilën ai jep parashikimet e tij për botën - shkrim i madh. Në sferën politike, ai vë në dukje se ndërsa Turqia dhe Pakistani mund të ketë disa kërkesë të vogël për të "legjitimitetit demokratik" të gjitha të tjera "... vendet myslimane ishin shumicë dërrmuese jo-demokratike: monarkitë, Sistemet e një-partisë, regjimet ushtarake, diktaturat personale ose ndonjë kombinim i këtyre, zakonisht pushimi në një familje të kufizuar, fis, ose baza fisnore ". Premisa mbi të cilën argumenti i tij është themeluar është se ata nuk janë vetëm "nuk na pëlqen", ata janë kundër të vërtetë për vlerat tona themelore demokratike. Ai beson, si të tjerët, se ndërsa ideja e demokratizimit perëndimore është duke u rezistuar në pjesë të tjera të botës, konfrontimi është më i dukshëm në ato rajone ku Islami është feja dominante.
Argumenti ka bërë edhe nga ana tjetër, si dhe. Një dijetar fetar iranian, reflektuar në një krizë në fillim të shekullit të njëzetë kushtetuese në vendin e tij, deklaroi se Islami dhe demokracia nuk janë të pajtueshme për shkak se njerëzit nuk janë të barabartë dhe një trup legjislativ është i panevojshëm për shkak të natyrës gjithëpërfshirëse të ligjit fetar islam. Një pozitë e ngjashme është marrë kohët e fundit nga Ali Belhadj, një mësues algjerian të shkollës së mesme, predikues dhe (në këtë kontekst) Lideri i FIS, kur ai deklaroi se "demokracia nuk ishte një koncept islamik". Ndoshta deklarata më dramatike për këtë qëllim ishte ai i Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, Lideri i kryengritësve suni në Irak të cilët, kur të përballen me perspektivën e zgjedhjeve, denoncuar demokracinë si një "parim i keq".
Por, sipas disa dijetarëve myslimanë, demokracia mbetet një ideal i rëndësishëm në Islam, me shtojcë që ajo është gjithmonë subjekt i ligjit fetar. Theksi në vendin madhe e Sheriatit është një element i pothuajse çdo komenti islame në qeverisje, moderuar apo ekstremist. Vetëm nëse sundimtari, që merr autoritetin e tij nga Perëndia, kufizon veprimet e tij në "mbikëqyrjen e administrimit të Sheriatit", është ai që do të bind. Nëse ai e bën të ndryshme nga kjo, ai është një jo-besimtar dhe e angazhuar muslimanët janë të rebelohen kundër tij. Këtu qëndron arsyetimi për pjesën më të madhe të dhunës që ka pllakosur botën myslimane në betejat e tilla si ai që mbizotëron në Algjeri gjatë viteve '90

Kulturës islame Politike, Demokraci, dhe të Drejtat e Njeriut

Daniel E. Çmimi

It has been argued that Islam facilitates authoritarianism, contradicts the

values of Western societies, and significantly affects important political outcomes

in Muslim nations. Si pasojë, scholars, commentators, and government

officials frequently point to ‘‘Islamic fundamentalism’’ as the next

ideological threat to liberal democracies. This view, megjithatë, is based primarily

on the analysis of texts, Islamic political theory, and ad hoc studies

of individual countries, which do not consider other factors. It is my contention

that the texts and traditions of Islam, like those of other religions,

can be used to support a variety of political systems and policies. Country

specific and descriptive studies do not help us to find patterns that will help

us explain the varying relationships between Islam and politics across the

countries of the Muslim world. Prandaj, a new approach to the study of the

connection between Islam and politics is called for.
I suggest, through rigorous evaluation of the relationship between Islam,

demokraci, and human rights at the cross-national level, that too much

emphasis is being placed on the power of Islam as a political force. I first

use comparative case studies, which focus on factors relating to the interplay

between Islamic groups and regimes, economic influences, ethnic cleavages,

and societal development, to explain the variance in the influence of

Islam on politics across eight nations.

Kulturës islame Politike, Demokraci, dhe të Drejtat e Njeriut

Daniel E. Çmimi

It has been argued that Islam facilitates authoritarianism, contradicts the

values of Western societies, and significantly affects important political outcomes
in Muslim nations. Si pasojë, scholars, commentators, and government
officials frequently point to ‘‘Islamic fundamentalism’’ as the next
ideological threat to liberal democracies. This view, megjithatë, is based primarily
on the analysis of texts, Islamic political theory, and ad hoc studies
of individual countries, which do not consider other factors. It is my contention
that the texts and traditions of Islam, like those of other religions,
can be used to support a variety of political systems and policies. Country
specific and descriptive studies do not help us to find patterns that will help
us explain the varying relationships between Islam and politics across the
countries of the Muslim world. Prandaj, a new approach to the study of the
connection between Islam and politics is called for.
I suggest, through rigorous evaluation of the relationship between Islam,
demokraci, and human rights at the cross-national level, that too much
emphasis is being placed on the power of Islam as a political force. I first
use comparative case studies, which focus on factors relating to the interplay
between Islamic groups and regimes, economic influences, ethnic cleavages,

and societal development, to explain the variance in the influence of

Islam on politics across eight nations.

Islami politik në Lindjen e Mesme

A Knudsen

This report provides an introduction to selected aspects of the phenomenon commonly

referred to as “political Islam”. The report gives special emphasis to the Middle East, në

particular the Levantine countries, and outlines two aspects of the Islamist movement that may

be considered polar opposites: democracy and political violence. In the third section the report

reviews some of the main theories used to explain the Islamic resurgence in the Middle East

(Figure 1). In brief, the report shows that Islam need not be incompatible with democracy and

that there is a tendency to neglect the fact that many Middle Eastern countries have been

engaged in a brutal suppression of Islamist movements, causing them, some argue, to take up

arms against the state, and more rarely, foreign countries. The use of political violence is

widespread in the Middle East, but is neither illogical nor irrational. In many cases even

Islamist groups known for their use of violence have been transformed into peaceful political

parties successfully contesting municipal and national elections. Megjithatë, the Islamist

revival in the Middle East remains in part unexplained despite a number of theories seeking to

account for its growth and popular appeal. In general, most theories hold that Islamism is a

reaction to relative deprivation, especially social inequality and political oppression. Alternative

theories seek the answer to the Islamist revival within the confines of religion itself and the

powerful, evocative potential of religious symbolism.

The conclusion argues in favour of moving beyond the “gloom and doom” approach that

portrays Islamism as an illegitimate political expression and a potential threat to the West (“Old

Islamism”), and of a more nuanced understanding of the current democratisation of the Islamist

movement that is now taking place throughout the Middle East (“New Islamism”). This

importance of understanding the ideological roots of the “New Islamism” is foregrounded

along with the need for thorough first-hand knowledge of Islamist movements and their

adherents. As social movements, its is argued that more emphasis needs to be placed on

understanding the ways in which they have been capable of harnessing the aspirations not only

of the poorer sections of society but also of the middle class.

STRATEGJITË PËR Angazhimi ISLAMI POLITIK

SHADI HAMID

Amanda KADLEC

Political Islam is the single most active political force in the Middle East today. Its future is intimately tied to that of the region. If the United States and the European Union are committed to supporting political reform in the region, they will need to devise concrete, coherent strategies for engaging Islamist groups. Akoma, the U.S. has generally been unwilling to open a dialogue with these movements. Në mënyrë të ngjashme, EU engagement with Islamists has been the exception, not the rule. Where low-level contacts exist, they mainly serve information-gathering purposes, not strategic objectives. The U.S. and EU have a number of programs that address economic and political development in the region – among them the Middle East Partnership Initiative (MEPI), the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC), the Union for the Mediterranean, and the European Neighborhood Policy (PPE) – yet they have little to say about how the challenge of Islamist political opposition fits within broader regional objectives. SHBA. and EU democracy assistance and programming are directed almost entirely to either authoritarian governments themselves or secular civil society groups with minimal support in their own societies.
The time is ripe for a reassessment of current policies. Since the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, supporting Middle East democracy has assumed a greater importance for Western policymakers, who see a link between lack of democracy and political violence. Greater attention has been devoted to understanding the variations within political Islam. The new American administration is more open to broadening communication with the Muslim world. Ndërkohë, the vast majority of mainstream Islamist organizations – including the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, Fronti i Veprimit Islamik i Jordanisë (IAF), Morocco’s Justice and Development Party (PJD), the Islamic Constitutional Movement of Kuwait, and the Yemeni Islah Party – have increasingly made support for political reform and democracy a central component in their political platforms. Veç, many have signaled strong interest in opening dialogue with U.S. and EU governments.
The future of relations between Western nations and the Middle East may be largely determined by the degree to which the former engage nonviolent Islamist parties in a broad dialogue about shared interests and objectives. There has been a recent proliferation of studies on engagement with Islamists, but few clearly address what it might entail in practice. As Zoé Nautré, visiting fellow at the German Council on Foreign Relations, puts it, “the EU is thinking about engagement but doesn’t really know how.”1 In the hope of clarifying the discussion, we distinguish between three levels of “engagement,” each with varying means and ends: low-level contacts, strategic dialogue, and partnership.

Islamist parties : Three kinds of movements

Tamara Cofman

Between 1991 dhe 2001, the world of political Islam became significantly more diverse. Today, the term “Islamist”—used to describe a political perspective centrally informed by a set of religious interpretations and commitments—can be applied to such a wide array of groups as to be almost meaningless. It encompasses everyone from the terrorists who flew planes into the World Trade Center to peacefully elected legislators in Kuwait who have voted in favor of women’s suffrage.
Megjithatë, the prominence of Islamist movements—legal and illegal, violent and peaceful—in the ranks of political oppositions across the Arab world makes the necessity of drawing relevant distinctions obvious. The religious discourse of the Islamists is now unavoidably central to Arab politics. Conventional policy discussions label Islamists either “moderate” or “radical,” generally categorizing them according to two rather loose and unhelpful criteria. The first is violence: Radicals use it and moderates do not. This begs the question of how to classify groups that do not themselves engage in violence but who condone, justify, or even actively support the violence of others. A second, only somewhat more restrictive criterion is whether the groups or individuals in question
accept the rules of the democratic electoral game. Popular sovereignty is no small concession for traditional Islamists, many of whom reject democratically elected governments as usurpers of God’s sovereignty.
Yet commitment to the procedural rules of democratic elections is not the same as commitment to democratic politics or governance.

Partive islamike : A boon or a bane for democracy?

Amr Hamzawy

Nathan J. I nxirë nga dielli

What role do Islamist movements play in Arab politics? With their popular messages and broad followings within Arab societies, would their incorporation as normal political actors be a boon for democratization or democracy’s bane? For too long, we have tried to answer such questions solely by speculating about the true intentions of these movements and their leaders. Islamist political movements in the Arab world are increasingly asked—both by outside observers and by members of their own societies—about their true intentions.
But to hear them tell it, leaders of mainstream Arab Islamist movements are not the problem. They see themselves as democrats in nondemocratic lands, firmly committed to clean and fair electoral processes, whatever outcomes these may bring. It is rulers and regimes that should be pressed to commit to democracy, say the Islamists, not their oppositions. We need not take such Islamist leaders at their word. Me të vërtetë, we should realize that there is only so much that any of their words can do to answer the question of the relationship between these movements and the prospects for democracy.
While their words are increasingly numerous (Islamist movements tend to be quite loquacious) and their answers about democracy increasingly specific, their ability to resolve all ambiguities is limited. I parë, as long as they are out of power—as most of them are, and are likely to remain for some time—they will never fully prove themselves. Many Islamist leaders themselves probably do not know how they would act were they to come to power.

LËVIZJET islamike dhe procesit demokratik në botën arabe: Eksplorimi i Zonat Gray

Nathan J. I nxirë nga dielli, Amr Hamzawy,

Marina Ottaway

During the last decade, Islamist movements have established themselves as major political players in the Middle East. Together with the governments, lëvizjet islamike, moderate as well as radical, will determine how the politics of the region unfold in the foreseeable future. Th ey have shown the ability not only to craft messages with widespread popular appeal but also, and most importantly, to create organizations with genuine social bases and develop coherent political strategies. Other parties,
by and large, have failed on all accounts.
Th e public in the West and, in particular, Shtetet e Bashkuara, has only become aware of the importance of Islamist movements after dramatic events, such as the revolution in Iran and the assassination of President Anwar al-Sadat in Egypt. Attention has been far more sustained since the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. As a result, Islamist movements are widely regarded as dangerous and hostile. While such a characterization is accurate regarding organizations at the radical end of the Islamist spectrum, which are dangerous because of their willingness to resort to indiscriminate violence in pursuing their goals, it is not an accurate characterization of the many groups that have renounced or avoided violence. Because terrorist organizations pose an immediate
threat, megjithatë, policy makers in all countries have paid disproportionate attention to the violent organizations.
It is the mainstream Islamist organizations, not the radical ones, that will have the greatest impact on the future political evolution of the Middle East. Th e radicals’ grandiose goals of re-establishing a caliphate uniting the entire Arab world, or even of imposing on individual Arab countries laws and social customs inspired by a fundamentalist interpretation of Islam are simply too far removed from today’s reality to be realized. Th is does not mean that terrorist groups are not dangerous—they could cause great loss of life even in the pursuit of impossible goals—but that they are unlikely to change the face of the Middle East. Mainstream Islamist organizations are generally a diff erent matter. Th ey already have had a powerful impact on social customs in many countries, halting and reversing secularist trends and changing the way many Arabs dress and behave. And their immediate political goal, to become a powerful force by participating in the normal politics of their country, is not an impossible one. It is already being realized in countries such as Morocco, Jordan, and even Egypt, which still bans all Islamist political organizations but now has eighty-eight Muslim Brothers in the Parliament. Politikë, not violence, is what gives mainstream Islamists their infl uence.

ISLAMIST RADICALISATION

PREFACE
RICHARD YOUNGS
MICHAEL EMERSON

Issues relating to political Islam continue to present challenges to European foreign policies in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA). As EU policy has sought to come to terms with such challenges during the last decade or so political Islam itself has evolved. Experts point to the growing complexity and variety of trends within political Islam. Some Islamist organisations have strengthened their commitment to democratic norms and engaged fully in peaceable, mainstream national politics. Others remain wedded to violent means. And still others have drifted towards a more quietist form of Islam, disengaged from political activity. Political Islam in the MENA region presents no uniform trend to European policymakers. Analytical debate has grown around the concept of ‘radicalisation’. This in turn has spawned research on the factors driving ‘de-radicalisation’, and conversely, ‘re-radicalisation’. Much of the complexity derives from the widely held view that all three of these phenomena are occurring at the same time. Even the terms themselves are contested. It has often been pointed out that the moderate–radical dichotomy fails fully to capture the nuances of trends within political Islam. Some analysts also complain that talk of ‘radicalism’ is ideologically loaded. At the level of terminology, we understand radicalisation to be associated with extremism, but views differ over the centrality of its religious–fundamentalist versus political content, and over whether the willingness to resort to violence is implied or not.

Such differences are reflected in the views held by the Islamists themselves, as well as in the perceptions of outsiders.

ISLAM, Islamistët, DHE PARIMI ZGJEDHOR në Lindjen e Mesme

James Piscatori

For an idea whose time has supposedly come, ÒdemocracyÓ masks an astonishing

number of unanswered questions and, in the Muslim world, has generated

a remarkable amount of heat. Is it a culturally specific term, reflecting Western

European experiences over several centuries? Do non-Western societies possess

their own standards of participation and accountabilityÑand indeed their own

rhythms of developmentÑwhich command attention, if not respect? Does Islam,

with its emphasis on scriptural authority and the centrality of sacred law, allow

for flexible politics and participatory government?

The answers to these questions form part of a narrative and counter-narrative

that themselves are an integral part of a contested discourse. The larger story

concerns whether or not ÒIslamÓ constitutes a threat to the West, and the supplementary

story involves IslamÕs compatibility with democracy. The intellectual

baggage, to change the metaphor, is scarcely neutral. The discussion itself has

become acutely politicised, caught in the related controversies over Orientalism,

the exceptionalism of the Middle East in particular and the Muslim world in general,

and the modernism of religious ÒfundamentalistÓ movements.

Islami politik dhe politika e jashtme evropiane

POLITICAL ISLAM AND THE EUROPEAN NEIGHBOURHOOD POLICY

MICHAEL EMERSON

RICHARD YOUNGS

që nga 2001 and the international events that ensued the nature of the relationship between the West and political Islam has become a definingissue for foreign policy. In recent years a considerable amount of research and analysis has been undertaken on the issue of political Islam. This has helped to correct some of the simplistic and alarmist assumptions previously held in the West about the nature of Islamist values and intentions. Parallel to this, Bashkimi Evropian (EU) has developed a number of policy initiatives primarily the European Neighbourhood Policy(PPE) that in principle commit to dialogue and deeper engagement all(non-violent) political actors and civil society organisations within Arab countries. Yet many analysts and policy-makers now complain of a certain a trophy in both conceptual debate and policy development. It has been established that political Islam is a changing landscape, deeply affected bya range of circumstances, but debate often seems to have stuck on the simplistic question of ‘are Islamists democratic?’ Many independent analysts have nevertheless advocated engagement with Islamists, but theactual rapprochement between Western governments and Islamist organisations remains limited .

The Moderate Muslim Brotherhood

Robert S. aspekt

Steven Brooke

The Muslim Brotherhood is the world’s oldest, largest, and most influential Islamist organization. It is also the most controversial,
condemned by both conventional opinion in the West and radical opinion in the Middle East. American commentators have called the Muslim Brothers “radical Islamists” and “a vital component of the enemy’s assault forcedeeply hostile to the United States.” Al Qaeda’s Ayman al-Zawahiri sneers at them for “lur[ing] thousands of young Muslim men into lines for electionsinstead of into the lines of jihad.” Jihadists loathe the Muslim Brotherhood (known in Arabic as al-Ikhwan al-Muslimeen) for rejecting global jihad and embracing democracy. These positions seem to make them moderates, the very thing the United States, short on allies in the Muslim world, seeks.
But the Ikhwan also assails U.S. Politika e jashtme, especially Washington’s support for Israel, and questions linger about its actual commitment to the democratic process. Over the past year, we have met with dozens of Brotherhood leaders and activists from Egypt, Francë, Jordan, Spanjë, Siri,Tunizi, and the United Kingdom.

The Management of Islamic Activism: Salafis, Vëllazëria Muslimane, and State Power in Jordan

Faisal Ghori

In his first book, The Management of Islamic Activism, Quintan Wiktorowicz examines the Jordanian Muslim Brotherhood and the Salafis through the lens of social movement theory. Unlike some political scientists who dismiss Islamic movements because of their informal networks, Wiktorowicz contends that social movement theory is an apt framework through which Islamic movements can be examined and studied. In this regard, his work leads the field. Yet for all its promise, this book largely fails to deliver.
The book is divided into four primary sections, through which he tries to construct his conclusion: Jordanian political liberalization has occurred because of structural necessities, not because of its commitment to democratization. Veç, the state has been masterful in what he dubs the “management of collective action," (p. 3) which has, for all practical purposes, stifled any real opposition. While his conclusion is certainly tenable, given his extensive fieldwork, the book is poorly organized and much of the evidence examined earlier in the work leaves many questions unanswered.

What Leads Voters to Support the Opposition under Authoritarianism ?

Michael DH. Robbins

Elections have become commonplace in most authoritarian states. While this may seem to be a contradiction in terms, in reality elections play an important role in these regimes. While elections for positions of real power tend to be non-competitive, many
elections—including those for seemingly toothless parliaments—can be strongly contested.
The existing literature has focused on the role that elections play in supporting the regime. Për shembull, they can help let off steam, help the regime take the temperature of society, or can be used to help a dominant party know which individuals it should promote (Schedler 2002; Blaydes 2006). Akoma, while the literature has focused on the supply-side of elections in authoritarian states, there are relatively few systematic studies of voter behavior in these elections (see Lust-Okar 2006 for an exception). Më tepër, most analyses have argued that patronage politics are the norm in these societies and that ordinary citizens tend to be very cynical about these exercises given that they cannot bring any real change (Kassem 2004; Desposato 2001; Zaki 1995). While the majority of voters in authoritarian systems may behave in this manner, not all do. Në të vërtetë, at times, even the majority vote against the regime leading to
significant changes as has occurred recently in Kenya, the Ukraine and Zimbabwe. Akoma, even in cases where opposition voters make up a much smaller percentage of voters, it is important to understand who these voters are and what leads them to vote against the
regjim.