The polarization of politics in many Arab societies, on full and even violent display since the uprisings of 2011, has been evident for decades. Adherents of various ideological orientations have advanced sharply different visions of a good society in debates about public policy. Many appear to be talking past each other, basing their conceptions of morality and rights on such widely different sources that they argue in separate worlds. The divisions have often been sharpest on gender issues. Disagreements over constitutional revision, personal status law, honor crimes, and other matters often polarize between those who anchor their arguments in Islamic legal thought and those who turn instead to liberal conceptions of rights, sometimes relying on international human rights instruments. Can politics—understood as the struggle over public policy outcomes—help fellow citizens bridge those differences? Or do members of each camp talk largely among themselves, only deepening their divisions?...

Read the full article at the International Journal of Middle East Studies