Chapter

Contextualizing the debate over democracy

Katherine Fierlbeck

in Globalizing Democracy

Published by Manchester University Press

Published in print August 2008 | ISBN: 9780719049958
Published online July 2012 | e-ISBN: 9781781701416 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7228/manchester/9780719049958.003.0002
Contextualizing the debate over democracy

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This chapter considers the recent explosion of theories of democratization within a globalized world. It demonstrates how ‘democracy’ has too quickly become, both academically and politically, all things to all people: it represents a philosophical ideal, a political strategy, and an instrument of economic well-being. Democracy is seen to exert a globalizing force upon the international community. The basic principles of democracy are open-ended enough to permit a broad spectrum of social organizations. The most prominent theme characterizing most ‘democracy and development’ literature has been simply to account for the phenomenon of democratization globally; or to explain, more selectively, why certain states or regions have or have not participated in this experience. Modern democracy appeared originally within the context of a sovereign state system. The preservation of a discrete cultural community has become synonymous with democratic legitimacy.

Keywords: democratization; democracy; international community; social organizations; cultural community; democratic legitimacy; globalized world; sovereign state

Chapter.  7400 words. 

Subjects: Politics

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