- Publisher: SAGE Publications Ltd |
- Publication Year: 2013 |
- Online Publication Date: February 10, 2015 |
- DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.4135/9781446286227 |
- Print ISBN: 9780857020901 |
- Online ISBN: 9781446261354 |
- Series: SAGE Library of Political Science |
- Print Purchase Options
- Subject: Democracy, Democratization
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Since the 1970s, the number of formally democratic states has grown exponentially while coherent alternatives to democracy have steadily diminished in terms of their global relevance. Yet, democracy remains an extremely problematic, conflictual and unfinished enterprise – as a process and a project. The progress of democratization, inside nation states and globally, is partial, unsteady and at times thin, and efforts to extend democratization outside the nation state, whether to international bodies or civil society or the private sphere of the family and even intimate social relations, are sometimes highly contested.
For researchers and scholars, there is an undoubted challenge in understanding and interpreting the multi-layered and multi-dimension processes of democratization and gauging their significance for the social and political world. This collection explains aspects or ...
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[Page xix]IntroductionIntroduction: Democratization – Charting a Path through ComplexityIntroduction
Democracy's enduring appeal, across space and time, rests on its promise of better governance, respect for the community beyond the state and its emancipatory potential. Yet, for many years, democracy was regarded by policy-makers and academics alike, not as a superior form of government but as one that would work only in very particular cultural and economic settings; or as a utopian, and possibly even dangerous, aspiration. For this reason, its study, especially in the Cold War years when political science came to maturity as a discipline within the Academy, was confined to political theory – in other words, to a field of study divorced, from how the ‘real’ world of politics worked.
Democratization, empirically and theoretically, challenges ...