Conceptual Structure and Social Change: The Ideological Architecture of Democratization

By Sara Schatz; Javier Jesús Gutiérrez-Rexach | Go to book overview

Introduction

Transitions from authoritarian rule to democratic rule, and their accompanying ideological shifts, are types of changes in political systems in which the interaction between ideas, motivation, and ideology on the one hand, and action and social forces on the other become more prominent. Most research in sociology has focused on questions related to the second constellation of changes, namely on how social external factors such as socioeconomic development processes determine particular political outcomes including transitions to democracy. In recent political changes corresponding to what is called the “third wave of democratization” (1977-present), however, the role of ideological shifts and influences among social agents at the elite and mass level has become increasingly central to an adequate account of the complex series of social processes that are associated to transitions to democracy. Ideological shifts were particularly important in the transitions to democracy in Eastern Europe in which the “demonstration effect” or the borrowing and mirroring of democratic ideas from one transition appeared to accelerate the collapse of authoritarian rule in an adjacent nation. The question now becomes what is the best theory to capture how ideas and ideology condition transitions to democracy, given that elements related to ideology are rooted in the individual but have a clear and widespread social impact.

The main goal of this book is to articulate a new theory of sociopolitical change relevant to explaining transitions to democracy that is based on current developments in the cognitive sciences. There have been some

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Conceptual Structure and Social Change: The Ideological Architecture of Democratization
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Introduction vii
  • 1 - Categorization and Social Agents: the Case of Democratization 1
  • 2 - A Cognitive Model of Concepts and Ideology 35
  • Note 86
  • 3 - Ideological Systems, Dynamics, and Constraints 87
  • Notes 112
  • 4 - Mass Attitudes in the Transition to Electoral Democracy 113
  • 5 - Governing Elites, Counterelites, and the Struggle to Shape Mass Opinion 157
  • Conclusions 193
  • Bibliography 197
  • Index 217
  • About the Authors 221
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