Focusing in particular on the past decade, this enlightening volume explores the changing fortunes of democracy in the West, South East Asia and the Third World. It highlights the contrast between the expansion of democracy in quantitative terms, and the problems in maintaining or improving the quality of democracy. It examines such threats to democracy as public apathy, media trivialization, the power of big business and consumerism in the West, powerful states in South East Asia, and poverty and weak government in Africa, as well as the ubiquitous challenges of the global economy and the 'war on terrorism'. The author argues that a continued decline or stalling of democracy is not inevitable, but that it will require considerable human effort to claim or reclaim the political sphere.
Contents: Introduction: sinking or swimming together. Beating the Bounds: A Search for the History and Geography of Democracy: Establishing the frontiers: why does democracy emerge and survive?; The shifting frontiers of old democracies: the retreat of political participation in the West; The vulnerable frontiers of new democracies: state, society, poverty and development; Pushing back the frontiers of new democracies? External attempts at democracy promotion. Marking the Territory: Elites, Political Parties and Society in Africa and Asia: Tanzania: the case of the missing opposition; Uganda: democracy with an army checkpoint; Singapore: the ghost of politics yet to come?; Malaysia: the consolidation of semi-authoritarianism. Globalisation: The final Frontier?: Democracy in a global context; Conclusion; Index.