Meisel-Laponce Award - Lecture and Roundtable Discussion of International Trends in Political Science Publishing

Award Sessions
Session Chairs: Theresa Reidy & Daniel Stockemer

International Trends in Political Science Publishing

2023 Recipient of the Meisel-Laponce Award : Niels Spierings


Joni Lovenduski

Lecture: Democratic Disillusionment? Desire for Democracy after the Arab Uprisings

Have the Arab uprisings influenced the desire for democracy in the Middle East and North Africa? This study presents a systematic explanation of the different impact the uprisings had on people’s desire for democracy across the region. It applies the relatively new consequence-based theory of democratic attitudes, and integrates the notion of deprivation into it. The expectations derived from this framework are tested empirically by examining data from 45 public opinion surveys in 11 Middle East and North Africa countries (2001–2014) and combining them with a systematic country-level case comparison. The study shows that the desire for democracy drops mainly in countries of major protest and initial political liberalization, but no substantial democratization (e.g. Egypt, Morocco) indeed, and that a lack of major protest or initial reform (e.g. Algeria, Yemen) ‘prevents’ disillusionment. The seemingly exceptional Lebanese and Tunisian cases also show the mechanism holds for specific groups in society: Lebanese Sunnis and the poorest Tunisians.


Dr. Niels Spierings is Associate Professor in Sociology at Radboud University (Nijmegen, The Netherlands). His work focuses on processes of inclusion and exclusion, covering multiple domains, regions in the world and societal hierarchies. Among his strengths, is the building of bridges between methods, disciplines and theories. Questions on gender, sexuality, religion and ethnicity in democratic and social politics have been the subject of his particular attention. He has extensively studied public opinion on gender relations, tolerance and democracy in the Middle East and North Africa, as well as among Muslim people in Western Europe. In this work he often transcends simplistic debates on culture versus rationality or Islam versus Western culture. On these and other themes, he has published multiple monographs with Palgrave and in a wide range of journals. He is also deeply engaged in policy advice and public engagement.


In Person