The Construction of the Concepts 'Democracy' and 'Republic' in Arabic in the Eastern and Southern Mediterranean, 1798–1878.



This article illuminates the construction of the concepts 'democracy' and 'republic' in the Arabic-speaking regions of the eastern and southern Mediterranean between 1798 and 1878. Examining these ideas through conceptual analysis on two levels, language construction and political discourse, the article reveals the layers these concepts acquired and their reception in the context of state reforms in the Ottoman Empire. While both 'democracy' and 'republic' evolved in Arabic after the French Revolution and acquired their modern morphological forms and content primarily between the 1820s and 1876, 'republic' came into use and was perceived as relevant to local circumstances earlier than 'democracy.'