The Potential Role of Islam within the Democratic Transformation Processes of the Authoritarian Regimes in Central Asia and Middle East

GT 6.9 Inestabilidad política en los regímenes autoritarios y semiautoritarios euroasiáticos 20 años después de la desintegración de la URSS y Yugoslavia

Ceyhun Ç?çekç? (Department of International Relations Çanakkale Onsekiz Mart University - TURKEY)

Throughout the political history, the world has witnessed so many cases that including religion-based wars and conflicts in any meaning. With Enlightenment in Europe and the rest afterwards, seriously restricted the field for religion to play. Secular politics was needed to be implemented by the division of dogmatic religion and rational etat in the new form of governing. With keeping negative impacts of Islamic-Christianic historical encounter in mind, the new world’s fears may be easily understood in reading the world politics within The Clash of Civilization’s terminology. Islam, particularly in the aftermath of Cold War, have caused several fears in entire “West” and unfortunately has been subjected to representation in the fantastic images of radicalists. However, Islam and Islamic societies had been oppressed by several dictatorial administrations that came in power undemocratically in mostly Islamicoriented regions like Middle East and Central Asia. Further, “the West” periodically supported these dictatorial regimes through these regions in favor of “stability” which implies undoubtedly the arms trade and energy supply in reasonable prices permanently. Islamic trends with no exception, were positioned out of political arena within these regimes, framed as threat to regional and global “stability” respectively because of its assumed revisionist character. Always, Islamic capabilities of transformation in such regimes were shaded and never let Islamic movements been in political processes. Despite the majority of societies in these regions are Muslims, there have been uninterruptedly restriction in participation to democratic political processes for these “out of system” movements. Yet, Islam has no alternative system model to introduce. Generally, Islamic movements are embedded on identity issues and aiming emancipation in such meaning. With current uprisings through the Islamic geography (authoritarian regimes in Islamic societies), many arguements have spoken out, regards to this potential of Islam in transition periods. This study will also offer a new understanding of world politics in terms of religions generally, Islam particularly; that have potential role in transformation of societies and further, political structures. Democratization, if democratic peace theory is the optimum suggestion of West to the rest in providing world peace, can not be realized without massive participation to political processes. This study will try to analyse the potential role of Islam in democratic transformations of authoritarian regimes within the framework of political security and political transformation.

Keywords: Democratization, Islamic Movements, Political Security, Political Transformation