Comparisons, Confrontations, and ContrastsBook - 2008
A cross-disciplinary examination of democratization, as seen in different attempts at it across the globe.
Democracy is not in steady state and democratizations are open-ended processes; they depend on structures and functions in systemic contexts that idiosyncratically evolve in tone, tenor, direction, and pace. They affect and are affected by scores of determinants, both perceived and hypothetical. In interlinked chapters that span a number of disciplines, this volume reexamines the basic traits, the comparable outcomes, and the self-defining dynamics of some of the more widely attempted versions of democracy across the world. It discusses some of the controversies that can speed up or slow democratizations (depending on systemic structures, functions, processes, and contexts at play inside, outside, and across political boundaries). The crucial question these chapters address is whether democratization is possible without an understanding of what is expected from a mode of citizenship inseparable from an ethic of freedom.