9780754672500

The Ashgate Research Companion to the Politics of Democratization in Europe: Concepts and Histories

by ;
  • ISBN13:

    9780754672500

  • ISBN10:

    0754672506

  • Edition: 1st
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 2008-12-28
  • Publisher: Ashgate (AGH)

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Summary

'Democratization' is a concept often used in academic book titles. Yet not many of them deal with the initial breakthrough of democratization. This research companion presents an alternative view to the widespread assumption that Western democracies should be the normative reference for the study of democratization elsewhere. Rather, it questions the universal validity of such an assumption by searching the history of European politics and by paying specific attention to the struggles of democratization accomplished outside Western Europe. This way of reading history highlights neglected dimensions of democratization such as rhetoric, conceptual change, gender and time, all of which serve as new dimensions of a topic that is seemingly well known. The authors apply a comparative approach to analyzing debates in the primary sources in a number of countries and languages, with the aim of situating the results into a broader European context.This way of reading history highlights neglected dimensions of democratization such as rhetoric, conceptual change, gender and time, all of which serve as new dimensions of a topic that is seemingly well known. The authors apply a comparative approach to analysing debates in the primary sources in a number of countries and languages, with the aim of situating the results into a broader European context.The volume consists of 25 chapters distributed among four main sections that focus on European democratization from different historical and analytical perspectives. Its objective is to discuss the politics, concepts and histories involved in democratization as a complex of changes that has altered the conditions of political action and debate in the continent for the past two centuries. The sections are structured as follows:- The seven chapters of the first section, Concepts of Democratization, focus on the historical and typological aspects of the conceptual controversies around democratization.- The six chapters of the second section, Democratization Practices, refer to the operative practices in the politics of democratization.- The six chapters in the third section, Democratizing Changes, connect democratization with more long-term historical and political changes.- The five chapters of the fourth section, Contexts of Democratization, take a definite thematic or national context as their point of departure.There exists no comprehensive volume on the democratization in Europe from the eighteenth century to the present. This volume offers scholars, students, politicians, journalists and other interested readers a picture that avoids anachronisms by reminding of the topics and problems that political agents have faced before the quasi-universal acceptance of democracy.

Table of Contents

Introduction: on the politics, concepts and histories of European democratization
Concepts: Representative democracy: Rosanvallon on the French experience
Direct democracy, ancient and modern
Neither ancient nor modern: Rousseau's theory of democracy
Representative government or republic? SieyFs on good government
Democratic politics and the dynamic of passions
Disobedient state and faithful citizen? Re-locating politics in the age of globalization
The gendered `subjects' of political representation
Practices: Political rhetoric and the role of ridicule
Political times and the rhetoric of democratization
Democratization and the instrumentalization of the past
The rhetoric of intellectual manifestos from World war I to the war against terrorism
City squats and women's struggle: feminist political action as public performance
Spectres of totality
Changes: Women's partial
citizenship: cleavages and conflicts concerning women's citizenship in theory and practice
Gendering political representation? The debate on gender parity in France
Political professionalism and representative democracy: common history, irresolvable linkage and inherent tensions
Democratization and professionalization: the disappearance of the polling officer in Germany and the introduction of computer democracy
The history of parliamentary democracy in Denmark in comparative perspective
Contexts: A long and hard process of democratization: political representation, elections and democracy in contemporary Spain
Do political parties matter? Direct democracy and electoral struggles in Switzerland in the 19th century
The breakthrough of universal suffrage in Finland, 1905-1906
Nationalism, constitutionalism and democratization: the Basque question in perspective
The Dis-/appearance of the demos
Postscript: the past, present and future of democratization
Index
Table of Contents provided by Publisher. All Rights Reserved.

Excerpts

This research companion presents an alternative view to the widespread assumption that Western democracies should be the normative reference for the study of democratisation elsewhere. Its objective is to discuss the politics, concepts and histories involved in democratisation as a complex of changes that has altered the conditions of political action and debate in the continent for the past two centuries.

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