Democratisation of Disempowerment
The Problem of Democracy in the Third World
Jochen Hippler ed.
Published by Pluto Press
1995, 232pp, ISBN 074530978X, Paperback
Democracy has many uses. It can serve as a means for people to empower themselves or to test the legitimacy of a government. But versions of democracy can also be used by powerful elites as a device of control. In the post-Cold War era, the market-oriented democratisation of the Third World has been developed by Western powers as a policy that fuses both democratic rhetoric and support for more pluralist policies in the Third World, with the pursuit of Western interests.
In The Democratisation of Disempowerment, 13 distinguished authors from four continents explore key questions on Third World democratisation. Examining local clites and social movements, violence and Western foreign policy, Islamic political movements and economic preconditions and how all of these contribute to or subvert democracy the contributors conclude that whilst democracy is of crucial importance for marginalised people in poor countries, it is not easily exported. As the contributors to this volume make clear, the West is often more interested in projecting its own political model and the agendas that go with it than in providing real support for authentic democratisation in the Third World.
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