Does ICT promote democracy and economic freedom in Middle East?

Farid Shirazi, Roya Gholami, Dolores Añón Higón

Research output: Preprint or Working paperWorking paper


This study investigates the impact of information and communication technology (ICT) expansion on economic and social freedom in the Middle East (Bahrain, Iran, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Syria and United Arab Emirates) for the period of 1996 to 2005. This study is unique as it analyzes the effect of institutional resistance (governments’ restrictions) on ICT development, economic freedom and democracy. The results show that institutional resistance poses a significant negative effect on ICT development and democracy. Results also show that ICT expansion in Middle East has not only been effective in bridging the Digital Divide, but that it had a positive impact on promoting civil liberties and economic freedom in a region that is vulnerable to political, social, and global conflicts.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationBirmingham (UK)
PublisherAston University
ISBN (Print)978-1-85449-736-9
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2008

Publication series

NameAston Business School research papers
PublisherAston University


  • ICT
  • Digital Divide
  • institutional resistance
  • Freedom
  • Democracy
  • Economic freedom Index
  • economic intervention


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