A large majority of nation states in the Third World would now claim to be run on democratic lines. But how far are these claims justified? To what extent does the introduction of periodic popular elections constitute true democracy, in the absence of any fundamental social and economic change? And what are the real prospects for democracy in the Third World? With contributions from Noam Chomsky, Samir Amin and Andre Gunder Frank, amongst others, Low Intensity Democracy offers hard-hitting critical analyses of the new forms of political order. Combining wide-ranging critiques and informed case studies of recent transitions, the contributors to this timely volume assess global trends in economic and political development that help to explain the important similarities in many national trajectories. The authors argue that what we are seeing is not a triumph of democracy but a crisis, as countries throughout the Third World are increasingly subjected to global economic forces beyond their control.