Comparative Politics: Democratization Studies

Laurence Whitehead

in A New Handbook of Political Science

Published in print September 1998 | ISBN: 9780198294719
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780191599361 | DOI:
 Comparative Politics: Democratization Studies

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Provides an overview of the sub‐field of democratization. Three questions are asked of democratization studies: ‘who is it for?’, ‘what is it like?’, and ‘how is it done?’. Methodological and theoretical issues arising are discussed, including relativism and normative dilemmas, contingency in causation, process, concept formation, and objectivity. Democratization is singled out for its growth as a discipline and its inherent tensions in subjectivity and prescription. The latter should not limit the former.

Keywords: authoritarianism; democratization; relativism; transition

Chapter.  7794 words. 

Subjects: Politics

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