IAS Unit 2 International
(27 and 28 November 1999)
DEMOCRATIZATION AND POPULAR MOVEMENT IN THE ISLAMIC WORLD
Following an opening address by Sophia University's Professor Masatoshi KISAICHI, Mr. Yasushi HAMAZA (Institute of Developing Economies, Japan) made a presentation entitled "Democratization and Social Movements in Islamic Countries." Based on Huntington's postulation that the world has been undergoing a "Third Wave of global democratization," and on the Freedom House Survey's quantitative models, Mr. HAMAZA came to the conclusion that even though the number of civil society organizations' has been on the rise and there is "a growing indication of …corresponding gestures for political liberalization" in Islamic countries, "the level of democracy [in those countries], especially in the Middle East, has declined during the 1972-98 period." Further, Mr. Hazama portrayed the case of Turkey in an attempt to elucidate the relation between social movement and political change.
Sunday's session started with a presentation by Dr. Boutheina CHERIAT (Algiers University) entitled "Youth, State Reproduction and Cultural Reproduction in Algeria: Whither Democracy." Dr. Cheriat sketched out a picture of the post-independence Algerian elite, as well as their affiliations and influences in the course of the making of the state's education policy. In addition, the presentation portrayed the consequences of the adopted policies and the resulting tendencies in the nature of the students' movements.
Chiba University's Dr. Yoshiko KURITA presented a paper under the title of "The Crisis of Democracy in the Middle East: The Case of Egypt." Dr. Kurita described the present state of the Egyptian society, the role of dictatorship and that of the "Islamist" movement. The speaker questioned the validity of the hypothesis that supports the claim, which presents the "'Islamists' as the champion of democratization in the Middle East." Dr. Kurita suggested that a secular civil society is the alternative, for such stands for popular partaking in governance while it also stays away from unadulterated religious visions.
From the National University of Singapore, Dr. Sayd Farid ALATAS presented a paper entitled "Democratization, Civil Society and Islam in Indonesia and Malaysia." In his paper, Dr. Alatas compared states of democracy and democratization in post-independence Indonesia and Malaysia. The presenter sought (a) to expose "how the interplay…of elite cohesion, internal state strength and armed resistence, lead to two different outcomes …authoritarianism and democratic post-colonial states", (b) to "look at whether there is a convergence in regime types between the two states in lights of the events of the last two years", and (c) "the role of civil society in democratization" in both countries. Concluding, Dr Alatas insisted on the need to further develop "Muslim social thought in theory and practice," for only such can "contribute to the opening of democratic spaces" and lead to changes in regime types in the Islamic World.
Finally, Kyoto University's Dr. Kosuke MIZUNO addressed the issue of "Democratization and labor Movement in Indonesia." The presenter suggested that Indonesia has entered an era of "rapid process of democratization," which would be further stimulated by the recent election of Wahid at the head of the Indonesian state. In addition, Dr. Mizuno also introduced to the audience the "Indonesian Islam Labor Movement" and the ILO Convention.
Islamic Area Studies Unit 2