Waves But No Tide: On Transitions to Democracy and Notions of Progress
7 Pages Posted: 30 May 2018
Date Written: July 15, 2015
The following paper critiques the prevailing understanding and dominant discourse about transitions from autocracy to democracy.
It starts with the observation that despite considerable scientific research and actual experience, scholars and politicians continue to have real difficulties in dealing with the issue of democratization.
The paper argues that their approaches to democratization are fundamentally misguided, since they are based on problematic notions of progress.
It concludes that promoters of democracy internationally should question what ideologies and prejudices influence their judgments and that they should acknowledge that democratization is a historically open process whose outcomes require individual explanations.
Keywords: democracy promotion, meta-history, progress narratives, waveology
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