The Conceptual Politics of Democracy Promotion: 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

The Conceptual Politics of Democracy Promotion

1st Edition

Edited by Christopher Hobson, Milja Kurki


258 pages

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How do different meanings of the concept of ‘democracy’ operate in democracy promotion? How do conceptual decisions influence real political events? How is policy and reflection on democracy promotion shaped by the way different practitioners and scholars understand democracy?

The Conceptual Politics of Democracy Promotion explores the way in which the meaning, content and context of ‘democracy’ are interpreted by different actors in democracy promotion, and how these influence political decisions. Introducing a theoretically new approach to the study of democracy promotion, the volume shows how the alternate ways that democracy can be understood reflects specific interpretations of political and normative ideals, as well as being closely tied to social power relations, interests, and struggles between political actors. With original contributions from some of the most prominent specialists on democracy promotion and democratization, the book examines a number of concrete cases of democracy promotion and contestation over democracy’s meaning.

Re-examining democracy promotion at its time of crisis, this book will be of interest scholars and students of democracy and democratization, politics and international relations, international law, development studies and political theory.

Table of Contents

Introduction: The Conceptual Politics of Democracy Promotion Christopher Hobson and Milja Kurki Part I: Orientations 1. On "Cultivating" Democracy: Enlivening the Imagery for Democracy Promotion Laurence Whitehead 2. Conceptualizing Democratization and Democratizing Conceptualization: A Virtuous Circle Piki Ish Shalom 3. Liberalism and Democracy Promotion Beate Jahn 4. The Past and Future of Social Democracy and the Consequences for Democracy Promotion Sheri Berman 5. Democracy Promotion: Neoliberal vs. Social Democratic Telos Heikki Patomäki 6. Misunderstanding the Maladies of Liberal Democracy Promotion Richard Youngs Part II: Cases 7. The Conceptual Politics of Democracy Promotion in Bolivia Jonas Wolff 8. Liberal Democracy Promotion and Civil Society Strengthening in Ghana Gordon Crawford and Abdul-Gafaru Abdulai 9. Concepts of Democracy among Donors and Recipients of Democracy Promotion: An Empirical Pilot Study Valerie J. Bunce and Sharon L. Wolchik 10. Arab Democratization and the De-imagining of Authoritarian Community: Beyond Orientalism & Occidentalism Larbi Sadiki 11. The Conceptual Politics of Democracy in International Law Hilary Charlesworth 12. From ‘Fortunate Vagueness’ to ‘Democratic Globalism’: American Democracy Promotion as Imperialism Tony Smith Conclusion: Reflections on a New Approach in a New Era of Democracy Promotion Christopher Hobson and Milja Kurki

About the Editors

Christopher Hobson is a Research Associate in the Peace and Security section, Institute for Sustainability and Peace, United Nations University. Milja Kurki is a Lecturer in International Relations Theory in the International Politics Department at Aberystwyth University and the Principal Investigator of ‘Political Economies of Democratisation’ (European Research Council, 2008-2012).

About the Series

Democratization Studies

(Formerly Democratization Studies, Frank Cass)

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