Political Development and Democratic Theory

Political Development and Democratic Theory : Rethinking Comparative Politics

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Most comparativists have assumed that democratization is best understood by looking at regimes in the transition and consolidation phases of democracy without really considering the essence of democracy - liberal rights and democratic virtues. Democracy is seen as a mechanistic process without considering the ideas that build democratic regimes. This book begins afresh by proposing that comparativists need to consider democracy to be a combination of rights and virtues, and that the difficulties of democratic transitions, consolidation, and maintenance are essentially problems relating to balancing rights and virtues in the regime. How do we reemphasize these aspects of democracy at a time when comparative literature focuses almost solely on democratic procedure? By combining the best elements of comparative theory and liberal democratic philosophy, Hood argues that comparativists can sharpen the scholarly tools we need to understand both the problems of democratization and maintaining democracy. He provides the reader with a valuable overview of comparative theory and how our abandonment of political philosophy has led to our acceptance of social science methods that can only lead to superficial analyses of democratizing regimes and established democracies.show more

Product details

  • Paperback | 192 pages
  • 139.7 x 221 x 15.2mm | 272.16g
  • Taylor & Francis Inc
  • M.E. Sharpe
  • Armonk, United States
  • English
  • New.
  • 0765614677
  • 9780765614674

Review quote

"Political Development and Democratic Theory addresses the central issues of democracy in a new and insightful way. Steven Hood argues that classical and modern philosophy is an important foundation for understanding and judging the quality of democracy and democratic transitions. A careful and balanced critique of earlier social scientific studies of democracy is combined with an insightful introduction of the important (and largely neglected) work on normative political philosophy necessary for a richer understanding of and a better assessment of democracy. This book is a call to return to basic political concepts in research on democracy. But the book is written in such a way that it also can be used in an advanced undergraduate course on democracy. Steven Hood has straddled this scholarly-textbook divide very nicely."show more

Table of contents

1. The Spirit of Democracy; 2. The Transition from Authoritarianism to Democracy; 3. Consolidating Democracy; 4. Maintaining Democracy; 5. Conclusion: Rethinking Comparative Politicsshow more