Democratization : the state of the art by Dirk Berg-Schlosser

By Dirk Berg-Schlosser

The issues of democratization - its successes, mess ups, and destiny customers - belong to the main urgent matters of our occasions. Empirical democratic concept has bought many new impulses because the final wave of democratization in Latin the USA, japanese Europe, Africa, and Southeast and East Asia. The thoughts and findings provided during this moment variation - via prime foreign specialists within the box - are of excessive relevance either for political technological know-how and sensible politics

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At the same time, current national and sub-national developments are increasingly embedded in international trends of economic and political globalization, as emphasized, for example, by the “international political economy” school (see, for example, Cox 1987) and more general “cosmopolitan” concerns (for example, Archibugi and Held 1995). All these differing paradigms and emphases can and must also be seen from a “critical-normative” perspective (see, for example, Habermas 1992, Held 1995). In my view, these paradigms, along with their respective groups of followers, need not be mutually exclusive.

Furthermore, these purposes are related to different levels and “scales” of political maps, which have to be measured, and varying historical periods and regions. Thus, it makes a considerable difference, for example, whether you want to measure the long-term development trends of democracies and their major features, as in the time-series data established by Vanhanen, Gurr and associates or Freedom House, or whether you want to supervise and “audit” all major features of a contemporary democracy and develop specific criticisms and policy advice, as done by Beetham and Weir (all of these will be discussed below).

3. Challenges The challenges faced by students of democratic transitions concern many basic research tasks. The way in which the outcome of interest has been measured is open to improvement. The need for greater integration of causal theories is increasingly apparent. And the assessment of causal theories that combine qualitative and quantitative forms of research is emerging as yet another important challenge. Indeed, the future development of the research agenda on democratic transitions is likely to hinge on the ability of scholars to tackle some broad and fundamental challenges.

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