• Summary
  • Contents
  • Subject index

The SAGE Handbook of Political Science presents a major retrospective and prospective overview of the discipline. Comprising three volumes of contributions from expert authors from around the world, the handbook aims to frame, assess and synthesize research in the field, helping to define and identify its current and future developments. It does so from a truly global and cross-area perspective. Chapters cover a broad range of aspects, from providing a general introduction to exploring important subfields within the discipline. Each chapter is designed to provide a state-of-the-art and comprehensive overview of the topic by incorporating cross-cutting global, interdisciplinary, and, where this applies, gender perspectives. The Handbook is arranged over seven core thematic sections: Part 1: Political Theory; Part 2: Methods; Part 3: Political Sociology; Part ...

Democracies
Democracies
Philippe C. Schmitter

In the real world of politics, democracy in the singular does not exist. There is only a large (recently growing) number of regimes (Whitehead, Chapter 52, this Handbook) that describe themselves as democracies and share a common core of principles – political equality, participation and accountability being the most important. They embody these principles through a wide variety of distinctive rules and practices. None of these configurations conforms strictly to the etymological meaning of the original Greek term: demos + kratos, or ‘rule of or by the people'. All modern versions are much more accurately described as regimes which are governed by politicians who claim to represent the people because they have competed in and ...

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