Western democracy is being questioned around the world. At the same time, Western aid groups are quick to say that they are not trying to impose a particular style of democracy on others and that they are open to supporting local, alternative forms of democracy. This book examines what it is about Western democracy that non-Westerners are reacting negatively to and whether the critics often are equating a dislike for certain Western social or economic features with an aversion to of Western political systems. It also explores the current state of debate about alternative forms of democratic practice in different regions—Asia, Africa, the Middle East, and Latin America—and then puts forward ideas about how Western actors engaged in democracy support can do a better job of incorporating new thinking about alternative democratic forms into their efforts.
Democracy is easy to talk about but hard to define in other than broad generalizations; its history is a long, complex, and contested subject. What this volume seeks to do is to explore the general evolution of political and social thinking that would eventually coalesce into what we now know as democracy, for all its imperfections and shortcomings. The question of just why some societies evolved into a democratic trajectory and others did not continues to engage the interest of historians, political scientists, sociologists, and anthropologists. Much conjecture surrounds the rise of certain elements we now recognize if not as democratic, then proto-democratic, such as collective decision-making, constraints on the exercise of power and a degree of accountability of the ruler to the ruled. If democracy in the sense of "rule by the people" has two essential qualities - rule by the majority and the equal treatment of free citizens - then its origins, however feeble, are to be found in these early examples of government. Historical Dictionary of Democracy contains a chronology, an introduction, a glossary, and an extensive bibliography. The dictionary section has over 600 cross-referenced entries. This book is an excellent resource for students, researchers, and anyone wanting to know more about democracy.
This book explores the ways in which democratizing Muslim countries treat their ethnic minorities’ requests of inclusiveness and autonomy. The author examines the results of two important cases—the securitization of Kurds in Turkey and the “autonomization” (a new concept coined by the study) of Acehnese in Indonesia—through multiple hypotheses: the elites’ power interest, the international factors, the institutions and history of the state, and the ontological security of the country. By examining states with ethnic diversity and very little religious diversity, the research controls for the effect of religious conflict on minority inclusion, and so allows expanded generalizations and comparisons. In non-Muslim majority countries, and in so called “mature democracies,” the problem of the inclusion of old or new ethnic minorities is also crucial for the sustainability of the “never-ending” democratization processes.
This book addresses important and under-researched issues such as, the role of young people in democratization processes, the role of new democracies in sharing their transition experience, and the effectiveness of aid. A major theme of the book is democracy assistance efforts by the NGOs from Central and Eastern Europe to support young people in Eastern Europe, the Western Balkans, and Central Asia. It examines this theme in a comparative perspective and with a deeper analysis of reasons and ways to support young people, the need to support them and the effectiveness of these efforts. Bringing together a wide range of material on democracy assistance of Central and Eastern European countries that includes surveying the providers and beneficiaries of aid and looking for better methods of impact evaluation, the book advances a framework for assessing democracy assistance efforts. It concludes with implications of the impact of democracy assistance on young people and democracy diffusion from Central and Eastern European democracies to other countries. This text will be of key interest to scholars and students of democracy, democratization, Central and Eastern Europe, Post-Soviet studies, and European and Comparative Politics, as well as for practitioners (donors, NGOs) who want to know what works best, and why and when in aid provision.
One of the signal events in global politics in the last decade has been the transformation of political and civic activism. Not only is the new activism qualitatively different in character from what it was in 2000; its intensity and frequency have dramatically increased. Activists are developing a new type of civic movement, applying innovative forms of direct action against governments and often operating without leaders or even any well-defined set of aims. In Civic Activism Unleashed, Carnegie scholar Richard Youngs examines the changing shape of contemporary civic activism. He shows how the emerging civic activism has important implications for the whole concept of civil society-and for the relationship between citizens, political institutions, and states. Youngs contends that the rise and spread of these new forms of direct-action civic activism, and the way the trend has driven the dramatic events in global politics in recent years, requires us to update our understanding of what civil society actually is and which types of organizations are in its vanguard. He further looks at the global impact of recent civic activism and offers a set of variables to help explain cases of success and failure. Youngs' larger aim is to explore in depth the new forms of civic activism that are emerging around the world and assess how they differ from more established practices of civil society activity. Theoretically ambitious and global in scope, Civic Activism Unleashed forces us to reconsider the nature of contemporary social and civic activism and how it is reshaping contentious politics in countries across the world.
India no longer gets an easy ride as the world's largest democracy. Spectacular terrorist attacks on its Parliament and places of worship, communal riots of unprecedented ferocity, lingering separatist insurgency and violent caste conflict in impoverished regions have combined to cause a closer appraisal of India's capacity to sustain the rule of law. This book shows how governance is high when people follow the rules of transaction, derived from binding custom, legislation, administrative practices and the constitution. The key question that underpins this analysis is why do some people, sometimes, follow rules and not others? This study responds to this central question by looking at analytical narratives of political order in six Indian regional States, surveys of social and political attitudes and extended interviews with political leaders, administrators and police officers. It shows how, by drawing on the logic of human ingenuity, driven by self interest rather than mechanical adherence to tradition and ideology, these regional elites can design institutions and promote security, welfare and identity which enhance governance.
Long considered one of the great successes of the developing world, India has more recently experienced growing challenges to political order and stability. Institutional mechanisms for the resolution of conflict have broken down, the civil and police services have become highly politicized, and the state bureaucracy appears incapable of implementing an effective plan for economic development. In this book, Atul Kohli analyzes political change in India from the late 1960s to the late 1980s. Based on research conducted at the local, state and national level, the author analyzes the changing patterns of authority in and between the centre and periphery. He combines rich empirical investigation, extensive interviews and theoretical perspectives in developing a detailed explanation of the growing crisis of governance his research reveals. The book will be of interest to both specialists in Indian politics and to students of comparative politics more generally.
This new second edition is intended to aid students in their study and appreciation of political scientists' efforts to solve the analytical puzzles of political life. The book provides a section-by section overview of the main subfields of political science. First, a specialist introduces the basic concerns addressed by political scientists over the years on particular subfields. This discussion focuses on questions that have challenged scholars and on the likely future direction of research in the area. Each introduction includes references to keyhistorical and contemporary thinkers influential in defining practical and theoretical discourse. Second, each section also includes two articles or book excerpts that exemplify each area of study. The first is by a figure who, at a key stage, definitively shaped the agenda for research in the subfield. The second selection presents contemporary analytical issues and debates. By includingeither Canadian authors or some reference to Canadian subject matter, the editors have tried to ensure that these articles are directly relevant to the state of Canadian political science and the experiences of Canadian students. All contributors to this second edition have substantially revised their introduction by adding new conceptual materials as well as discussion questions, which appear at the end of each section of the book. Each section was updated in terms of recent events, both Canadian and International, whichhave had an impact on the subject matter.
Acharya and Buzan introduce non-Western IR traditions to a Western IR audience, and challenge the dominance of Western theory. An international team of experts reinforce existing criticisms that IR theory is Western-focused and therefore misrepresents and misunderstands much of world history by introducing the reader to non-Western traditions, literature and histories relevant to how IR is conceptualised.
The Middle East conflict originated, literally, in the womb of a beautiful woman –Rebekah, Isaac’s wife. Her ‘struggling’ twins, from their mother’s womb, have often engaged in a love/hate embrace, scorching their lands with periodic eruptions of bloody conflicts. Their descendants, though gradually lost their identity, have spread their struggle for ‘the global inheritance’ into Europe, the Americas, and elsewhere. The march of Islam, of Muhammad,“the man of the sword”; the present Jew/arab conflict; the Persian Gulf menace; fanatic Islamic world terrorism and their main target – the West – are a direct result of the twins’ struggle, which begun while in their mother’s womb. Human history and its future can’t be fully comprehended without correct understanding of the roots and turbulent history of the struggling twins. You, the reader, are destined, regardless of your ethnic background and religion, to soon experience the final consequences and glorious triumph of this age-long bloody conflict. Through the pages of this work the author takes you on a fascinating journey of the Biblical and historic records, which faithfully traced the stormy blazing trails of ‘the struggling twins,’from the inception of the conflict to its glorious ‘final solution.’