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January 10 , 2008

The Conceptual Politics of Democracy Promotion


How do different meanings of the concept of ‘democracy’ operate in democracy promotion? How do conceptual decisions influence real political events? How is policy and reflection on democracy promotion shaped by the way different practitioners and scholars understand democracy?

The Conceptual Politics of Democracy Promotion explores the way in which the meaning, content and context of ‘democracy’ are interpreted by different actors in democracy promotion, and how these influence political decisions. Introducing a theoretically new approach to the study of democracy promotion, the volume shows how the alternate ways that democracy can be understood reflects specific interpretations of political and normative ideals, as well as being closely tied to social power relations, interests, and struggles between political actors. With original contributions from some of the most prominent specialists on democracy promotion and democratization, the book examines a number of concrete cases of democracy promotion and contestation over democracy’s meaning.

Re-examining democracy promotion at its time of crisis, this book will be of interest scholars and students of democracy and democratization, politics and international relations, international law, development studies and political theory.

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