1st Edition

Routledge Handbook on Elections in the Middle East and North Africa

Edited By Francesco Cavatorta, Valeria Resta Copyright 2023
    460 Pages 35 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    This Handbook analyzes elections in the Middle East and North Africa and seeks to overcome normative assumptions about the linkage between democracy and elections.

    Structured around five main themes, contributors provide chapters detailing how their case studies illustrate specific themes within individual country settings. Authors disentangle the various aspects informing elections as a process in the Middle East by taking into account the different contexts where the electoral contest occurs and placing these into a broader comparative context. The findings from this Handbook connect with global electoral developments, empirically demonstrating that there is very little that is “exceptional” about the Middle East and North Africa when it comes to electoral contests.

    Routledge Handbook on Elections in the Middle East and North Africa is the first book to examine all aspects related to elections in the Middle East and North Africa. Through such comprehensive coverage and systematic analysis, it will be a key resource for students and scholars interested in politics, elections, and democracy in the Middle East and North Africa.

    1. Elections in the Middle East and North Africa

    Francesco Cavatorta and Valeria Resta

    Part 1: Elections in authoritarian settings

    2. The functions of authoritarian elections: symbolism, safety valves and clientelism

    Matt Buehler and Calista Boyd

    3. Elections and the management of plurality in Algeria

    Thomas Serres

    4. Parliamentary elections under Mohamed VI’s reign (2002-2021)

    Inmaculada Szmolka

    5. Electoral districts in Jordan: an analytical study

    Mohamed Torki Bani Salameh

    6. Elections in Mauritania: the role of the military

    Raquel Ojeda-Garcia and Samara Lopez-Ruiz

    7. "Only Me": Repression, Legal Engineering, and State-Managed Elections in Sisi’s Egypt

    Hesham Sallam

    Part 2: Elections in democratic and quasi-democratic settings

    8. Israel's Electoral System and Political Instability: Electoral Fragmentation, Party Unity and the Prime Ministers' Political Leadership

    Maoz Rosenthal

    9. When free and fair elections are not enough. Party fragmentation and unaccountability in Tunisia

    Ester Sigillò

    10. Pre-electoral coalitions in Iraq: the case of the Communist-Sadrist alliance

    Paride Turlione

    11. Elections and democratic backsliding in Turkey

    Sebnem Gumuscu

    12. From one-sect one-vote to one-man one-vote? Demands for reforming the electoral system in Lebanon

    Rosita Di Peri

    13. Competition under systemic religious constraints: presidential elections in Iran

    Pejman Abdolmohammadi

    Part 3: Rules, institutions and the infrastructure of elections

    14. The management of elections in Tunisia: the Independent High Authority for Elections

    Mohamed Chafik Sarsar and Nidhal Mekki

    15. Partial and non-partisan: the municipal council elections in Saudi Arabia

    Hendrik Kraetzschmar

    16. Elections in the Arab world: international monitoring and assistance

    Pietro Marzo

    17. The independence referendum in Kurdistan

    Sara Dilzar Mustafa

    18. Gender Quotas, Constituency Service, and Women’s Empowerment: Lessons from Algeria

    Meriem Aissa

    Part 4: Elections and campaigning

    19. A minority goes to the polls: Arab voters in Israel

    Arik Rudnitzky

    20. Elections in Occupied Palestine: control, resistance and contention

    Francesco Saverio Leopardi

    21. Electoral campaigns in post-Ben Ali’s Tunisia: electoral expertise and renewed clientelism

    Deborah Perez-Galan

    22. Digital strategies of Tunisian political parties: the case of the 2018 local elections

    Bader Ben Mansour

    23. The role of media in electoral campaigns in the pandemic era. The case of Kuwait

    Geoff Martin

    24. Opposition Coordination under a Competitive Authoritarian Regime. The Case of the 2019 Local Elections in Turkey

    Berk Esen and Hakan Yavuzyılmaz

    25. Polarisation and elections under competitive authoritarianism: the case of Turkey after 2013

    Şebnem Yardımcı Geyikçi

    26. From ballots to bullets: Libyan 2012 elections as the origin of the unachieved transition

    Chiara Loschi

    Part 5: Voting behaviour

    27. The rationality of the Arab voter

    Valeria Resta

    28. Clientelism in MENA elections

    Miquel Pellicer and Eva Wegner

    29. The consequences on Arab voters of Arab Palestinian parties’ quest for power in Israeli politics

    Sawsan Khalife’

    30. Class and religious cleavages. The case of Lebanon

    Joseph Daher

    31. Ideology and electoral choices in Arab elections

    Enea Fiore

    32. The Arab Generation Z: from Disillusionment to Pragmatism

    Dina Shehata and Abdelmajeed Abualela


    Francesco Cavatorta is Professor in the Department of Political Science, Université Laval, Québec, Canada. He is currently working on a collaborative project examining political parties and coalition governments in the Middle East and North Africa.

    Valeria Resta is Guest Lecturer in the Department of Social and Political Sciences, Bocconi University, Milan, Italy. She is currently working on a collaborative project examining political parties and coalition governments in the Middle East and North Africa.