Theses Master's

Civil Society and Blasphemy Laws Following the Arab Uprisings: Cases From Egypt and Tunisia

Williams, Alan

This study seeks to determine the contribution that civil society institutions make in democracy promotion. Due to the malleable nature of civil society, it can be a tool utilized by undemocratic governments to ensure the continuity of the status quo or by progressive elements in society as a catalyst for democratic consolidation. The autonomy and prevalence of civil society institutions are the determining factors of a healthy civil society. Prevalence of civil society institutions is defined as the number of civil society organizations in a country and autonomy is defined as the independence civil society has from the government. When there are high levels of autonomy and prevalence of civil society institutions then one should expect to see higher levels of democratic consolidation and greater blasphemy protections. The results of this study demonstrate that healthy civil societies facilitate blasphemy protections. This study will analyze relevant literature on the interplay between civil society institutions and democracy promotion. Case studies will be taken from two countries: Egypt and Tunisia. The nature of civil society and of democracy in these three will be evaluated. This study expects to show a positive relationship between the health of civil society and the amount of democratic consolidation within a country.

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More About This Work

Academic Units
Institute for the Study of Human Rights
Thesis Advisors
Bickford, Louis N.
M.A., Columbia University
Published Here
December 13, 2016