Arabic Translation Project

Book cover: Democracies in Danger by Al Stepan

In 2012, IRCPL teamed up with All Prints Publishers in Beirut to translate and publish a dozen important English language books on democracy and case studies on democratic transitions into Arabic for distribution throughout the Middle East and North Africa.  The aim of the project is to make more accessible some of the nuanced literature available on varieties of representative government; paths and pitfalls to democratization; and detailed case studies about democratic transitions in countries like Indonesia, Turkey, and Spain.

For more information on the project, contact




In addition to be being available in print form in schools, libraries, and bookstores across the Middle East and North Africa, all books in the Arabic Translation Project are now available in electronic format through and Al-Manhal digital platforms, and will will become available on the Neel wa Furat and All Prints digital platforms during the summer of 2016. 

To inquire about obtaining a free print copy of any of the books in the Arabic Translation Project series, please email Walid Hammam, Assistant Director of IRCPL, at


Published Books

Democracies in Danger by Alfred Stepan

Democracies in Danger by Al Stepan book coverThe contributors identify and analyze three key problems that endanger these
democracies: ethno national conflicts, domestic security and the role of police and military, and power sharing in presidential and semi-presidential systems. For each of these issues, essays evaluate promising new policies, advance alternatives, and suggest political reforms that could increase the success of democratic governance.

On Democracy by Robert Dahl

on democracy Robert Dahl begins with an overview of the early history of democracy. He goes on to discuss differences among democracies, criteria for a democratic process, basic institutions necessary for advancing the goals of democracy, and the social and economic conditions that favor the development and maintenance of these institutions. The book also examines the major problems that democratic countries will face in the twenty-first century, problems that will arise from complexities in the economic order, from internationalization, from cultural diversity, and from the difficulty of achieving an adequate level of citizen competence.

Patterns of Democracy by Arend Lijphart

patterns of democracy (photo changed) 2Arend Lijphart offers a broad and deep analysis of two competing types of democracy. The first, majoritarian or Westminster democracy, is what most people immediate think of when they think of democracy: A legislature elected by a simple majority of the voters governs, and voters throw the ruling party out if it governs poorly.  The second type of democracy, consensus democracy, involves far greater compromise and significant minority rights. Examining thirty-six democracies during the period from 1945 to 2010, Lijphart concludes that consensus democracies are superior.

Democracy & Islam in Indonesia by Mirjam Kunkler and Alfred Stepan


In this volume, edited by Mirjam Kunkler and Alfred Stepan, political scientists, religious scholars, legal theorists, and anthropologists examine the theory and practice of Indonesia’s democratic transition, as well as its ability to serve as a model for other Muslim countries.  Comparing the Indonesian example with similar scenarios in Chile, Spain, India, and Tunisia, as well as with the failed transitions of Yugoslavia, Egypt, and Iran, these essays explore the relationship between religion and politics.

The Arab Uprising Explained: New Contentious Politics in the Middle East by Marc Lynch

Intifadat arabeya - arab uprisings for web

Leading scholars in the field take a sharp look at the causes, dynamics, and effects of the Arab uprisings.  This volume offers a fresh rethinking of established theories and presents a new framework through which scholars and general readers can better grasp the fast-developing events remaking the region.  These essays not only advance the study of political science in the Middle East but also integrate the subject seamlessly into the wider political science literature.

Democracy: A Reader edited by Larry Diamond and Marcus Platner

Democracy a Reader (final) 2Since its inception, the Journal of Democracy has served as the premier venue for scholarship on democratization. The newest volume in the acclaimed Journal of Democracy book series, Democracy: A Reader brings together the seminal works that have appeared in its pages in nearly twenty years of publication.  Authors address critical discussions on delegative democracy, social capital, constitutional design, federalism, hybrid regimes, competitive authoritarianism, and more.  Contributors include: José Antonio Cheibub, Larry Diamond, Francis Fukuyama, His Holiness the Dalai Lama, Anwar Ibrahim, Arend Lijphart, Robert D. Putnam, and Alfred Stepan.

The Military Transition: Democratic Reform of the Armed Forces by Narcis Serra

Military Transitions - Narcis Serra final 2Civilian control of the armed forces is crucial for any country hoping to achieve a successful democratic transition. In this remarkable book, Narcís Serra, Spanish Minister of Defence between 1982 and 1991, explains the steps necessary to reduce the powers of armed forces during the process of a democratic transition.  Spain’s military reform proved a fundamental and necessary element for the consolidation of Spanish democracy and is often viewed as a paradigm case for the transition to democracy. Drawing on this example, Serra outlines a simple model of the process and conditions necessary to any democratic military reform.


Upcoming Books

Upcoming books include Civil Resistance in the Arab Spring: Triumphs and Disasters, edited by Adam Roberts, Michael J. Willis, Rory McCarthy, and Timothy Garton Ash.  Civil Resistance in the Arab Spring will be published soon.  Check back for updates.