Arabic Translation Project

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 [email protected].


All books in the Arabic Translation Project are now available in electronic format through as well as in print form in schools, libraries, and bookstores across the Middle East and North Africa.

Democracies in Danger is available for download here.  On Democracy is available for download here.  Patterns of Democracy will be available soon, as well as a series of translated articles by a variety of scholars and political figures.

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 [email protected].

Published Books

Democracies in Danger by Alfred Stepan

The 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.

  • Read the Arabic description on the publisher’s website.
  • Read Al-Hayat‘s review of this translation of Democracies in Danger.

On Democracy by Robert Dahl

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

Arend 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

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.



Upcoming Books

Upcoming books include Democracy: A Reader, from the Journal of Democracy, and The Military Transition: Democratic Reform of the Armed Services, by Narcís Serra.  Both books will be available by early 2016.



  • Read Al-Fanar’s article on the Arabic Translation Project, in English or in Arabic.
  • Read Al-Hayat‘s review of the translation of Democracies in Danger.
  • Democracies in Danger featured on the Arab Council for Social Sciences site.
  • Watch the local television commercial from All Prints Publishers here.