Democratic Theory after 'Transitions from Authoritarian Rule'
Perspectives on Politics, Vol. 9, No. 2, June (2011)
11 Pages Posted: 15 Aug 2014
Date Written: 2011
This paper focuses on the most recent phase in research on democracy, inaugurated by the Woodrow Wilson Center project on "Transitions from Authoritarian Rule," placing it against the backdrop offered by earlier research and highlighting the work of a select group of scholars. The paper addresses central issues in democratic theory, including empirical and prescriptive questions (What explains the origins and durability of democracy? What should be done to promote democracy?), as well as conceptual and normative questions (What is democracy? Why should democracy be valued?). And it shows that, through their thorough reconsideration of the central issues in democratic theory, on the one hand, by establishing a new baseline for research on democracy and, on the other hand, by opening new research frontiers in the study of democracy.
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