A survey commissioned by the Center of Arab Unity Studies (CAUS), and carried out in late 2009 and early 2010, was the first Arab public opinion survey on democracy of its kind. This article presents its findings and contextualizes the analyses in the debate that has marked Arab political thinking on democracy as a system of good governance. The purpose of the survey was to shed light on the attitudes of ordinary Arabs with respect to democracy. Contrary to approaches that sought to explain the democratic deficit in the Arab world by virtue of its inherently ‘undemocratic’ culture and the Islamic religion, democratic elements are not absent from Arab culture and Arab people are yearning for democracy. The article analyses and compares the results with those of other surveys to conclude that contemporary Arabs are no exception and they have the same attitudes shared by humanity at large with respect to democracy as a solid political base for a fair system of governance.

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