Some Pitfalls of Democratization in a Globalizing World

Philip G. Cerny

in Rethinking World Politics

Published in print February 2010 | ISBN: 9780199733699
Published online May 2010 | e-ISBN: 9780199776740 | DOI:
Some Pitfalls of Democratization in a Globalizing World

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This chapter highlights some of the issues in the analysis and understanding of democracy, and poses the question of whether they make the prospect of global democracy illusory, on the one hand, or illuminate the path to that goal on the other, in the context of the continuing uneven pluralization of world politics. The author expresses skepticism as to whether the outcome will look like democracy as we have known it, or even whether democratization as such is becoming the kind of dominant global political process we would all like it to be. In setting out this argument, the chapter outlines five main problems and potential pitfalls of overegging the democratic pudding in today's world: historical trajectories, democratic stability/instability, the philosophical and normative substance of democracy itself, the question of “Who democratizes?” and the problem of institutionalization.

Keywords: democracy; democratization; globalization; institutionalization

Chapter.  9291 words. 

Subjects: International Relations

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