Public Opinion in the Middle East

Public Opinion in the Middle East

Survey Research and the Political Orientations of Ordinary Citizens
Mark Tessler
Distribution: Global
Publication date: 06/13/2011
Format: Paperback
ISBN: 978-0-253-22315-9
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The political orientations of ordinary citizens in the Arab and Muslim Middle East have engaged Mark Tessler since the late 1960s. The 13 research reports collected in this volume examine the nature and determinants of citizen attitudes toward governance and democracy, the political role of Islam, gender equality, and international conflict. Addressing issues of doing survey research in the Middle East, particularly in areas of conflict and under repressive political conditions, these articles trace the development of key concerns and methodological questions in the study of politics and society in this region.

Author Bio

Mark Tessler is Samuel J. Eldersveld Collegiate Professor of Political Science at the University of Michigan, where he also serves as Vice Provost for International Affairs. He is author of A History of the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict (IUP, 2009) and editor (with Jodi Nachtwey and Anne Banda) of Area Studies and Social Science: Strategies for Understanding Middle East Politics (IUP, 1999).


“Addressing issues of doing survey research in the Middle East, particularly in areas of conflict and under repressive political conditions, these articles trace the development of key concerns and methodological questions in the study of politics and society in this region.”

“Mark Tessler has for decades been at the forefront of serious public opinion research and analysis in the Middle East. Public Opinion in the Middle East collects for the first time the astonishing range of his contributions to our understanding of individual attitudes in the region and their impact on political life. From generational cohorts and gender distinctions to views of Islam and democracy, Tessler's careful surveys and masterful analysis laid the foundations for today's new wave of public opinion research.”
 — Marc Lynch, George Washington University

“Public Opinion in the Middle East sheds light on the complexity of Arab and Muslim societies too frequently painted with a broad brush. Bringing together decades of Mark Tessler's groundbreaking work on public opinion, it highlights important differences across countries and individuals, and over time, on the most important social and political questions. This volume provides an opportunity to reflect on the prevailing questions and attitudes in the context of global change, and it will be a touchstone for scholars for years to come.”
 — Ellen Lust, Yale University

“Public Opinion in the Middle East is the most comprehensive and authoritative account of Arab public opinion to date. Tessler advances our theoretical understanding of citizen orientations towards a host of factors which include democracy, gender equality, Islam, and authoritarianism. Relying on almost two decades of work on Arab public opinion, Tessler delivers a phenomenal book which will be widely read by students, policy makers, and the general public.”
 — Amaney Jamal, Princeton University

“Public Opinion in the Middle East . . . is a well-written compilation of public opinion research that reflects the past 30 to 40 years of political, social, and economic progression in the Middle East. More broadly, this text will be applicable to survey researchers whose populations of interest are hard to reach, reside in political situations that make research difficult, or are diverse in terms of religion, socioeconomic status, and ethnicity. ”

“[T]his book is a standard reference for students interested in Middle East politics, since it displays the frontline of the study of political culture in the Islamic world. Because of recent political developments in the Arab world, this book is expected to be used as a reference for future studies. ”
 — The Developing Economies

“This volume is a valuable scholarly entry. . . . [T]he essays in this anthology touch upon core thematic issues profoundly relevant to the study of Middle East politics. It is a worthy contribution. ”
 — Intl. Journal of Middle East Studies

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Table of Contents

Introduction: Public Opinion Research in the Arab and Muslim Middle East
Part One Domestic Politics
1. Regime Orientation and Participant Citizenship in Developing Countries: Hypotheses and a Test with Longitudinal Data from Tunisia (1981) Mark Tessler and Patricia Freeman
2. The Origins of Popular Support for Islamist Movements: A Political Economy Analysis (1997) Mark Tessler
3. Islam and Democracy in the Middle East: The Impact of Religious Orientations on Attitudes toward Democracy in Four Arab Countries (2002) Mark Tessler
4. Political Generations in Developing Countries: Evidence and Insights from Algeria (2004) Mark Tessler, Carrie Konold and Megan Reif
5. The Democracy Barometers: Attitudes in the Arab World (2008) Amaney Jamal and Mark Tessler
Part Two Political Culture And Islam
6. Political Culture in Turkey: Connections among Attitudes toward Democracy, the Military, and Islam (2004) Mark Tessler and Ebru Altinoglu
7. Assessing the Influence of Religious Predispositions on Citizen Orientations Related to Governance and Democracy: Findings from Survey Research in Three Dissimilar Arab Societies (2006) Mark Tessler
8. Democracy and the Political Culture Orientations of Ordinary Citizens: A Typology for the Arab World and Perhaps Beyond (2009) Mark Tessler and Eleanor Gao
Part Three International Conflict
9. Gender, Feminism, and Attitudes toward International Conflict: Exploring Relationships with Survey Data from the Middle East (1997) Mark Tessler and Ina Warriner
10. Islam and Attitudes toward International Conflict: Evidence from Survey Research in the Arab World (1998) Mark Tessler and Jodi Nachtwey
11. Further Tests of the Women and Peace Hypothesis: Evidence from Cross-National Survey Research in the Middle East (1999) Mark Tessler, Jodi Nachtwey and Audra Grant
12. The Political Economy of Attitudes toward Peace among Palestinians and Israelis (2002) Jodi Nachtwey a