Democracy: A Worldwide Survey

Democracy: A Worldwide Survey

Democracy: A Worldwide Survey

Democracy: A Worldwide Survey

Synopsis

Preface Introduction Western Europe by Dennis A. Kavanagh North America by Martin P. Wattenberg Latin America and the Caribbean by John D. Martz Sub-Saharan Africa by Larry Diamond North Africa and the Middle East by Glenn E. Perry South Asia by Douglas C. Makeig Far East and Pacific by Edward A. Olsen The Soviet Union and Eastern Europe by David E. Powell Conclusion Bibliography Index About the Contributors

Excerpt

Not infrequently, observers, to eschew ethnocentricity, insist that we should not insist on our particular kind of democracy but should give others credit for other varieties, such as one-party democracy, or even Soviet democracy. But democracy is a fairly coherent concept, simple in essentials and in spirit, however complicated in detail. It is universally applicable; and there is no more reason to credit dictators with being democratic, however much they use the word, than to assume that libertines are chaste because they claim chastity. The comparison is the more appropriate because democracy is commonly considered a virtue, and most political leaders nowadays want to cloak themselves in it.

There are many reasons why democratic institutions have prospered more in certain places than others. Sometimes there is an obvious immediate answer. For example, the eastern part of Germany became an absolutist-totalitarian state after World War II and the western part became democratic by virtue of the demarcation between zones of anti-Nazi armies. Causes for the democratization of Spain after Franco are less simple and subject to different weighings, but they seem fairly clear, including the great expansion and diversification of the Spanish economy after World War II, the influence of millions of Spaniards familiar with European democracy by virtue of working abroad, some tradition of democratic or at least nonauthoritarian institutions going back to the free states of pre- imperial Spain, the feeling of elites that democracy was necessary . . .

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