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Globalizing DemocracyPower, Legitimacy and the Interpretation of Democratic Ideas$
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Katherine Fierlbeck

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780719049958

Published to Manchester Scholarship Online: July 2012

DOI: 10.7228/manchester/9780719049958.001.0001

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Contextualizing the debate over democracy

Contextualizing the debate over democracy

Chapter:
(p.15) 1 Contextualizing the debate over democracy
Source:
Globalizing Democracy
Author(s):

Katherine Fierlbeck

Publisher:
Manchester University Press
DOI:10.7228/manchester/9780719049958.003.0002

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

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