Theories of Crisis and Catastrophe, Change and Transformation

Max Kaase and Kenneth Newton

in Beliefs in Government

Published in print September 1998 | ISBN: 9780198294726
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780191599590 | DOI:

Series: Beliefs in Government

 Theories of Crisis and Catastrophe, Change and Transformation

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This chapter sets out and compares two groups of theories. One the one hand, there are the pessimistic theories of ‘crisis and catastrophe’ that predict, in one way or another, the imposition of strains and stresses on Western liberal democracies that may even lead to their collapse. On the other hand, there are the more optimistic theories – such as the ‘end of ideology’ in the early 1960s, the ‘end of history’ in the early 1990s, and the theory of post‐materialism – which predict a stabilizing transformation. This sets the scene for the following three chapters, which examine these theories in greater detail.

Keywords: democratic stability

Chapter.  8681 words. 

Subjects: Comparative Politics

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