Change search
ReferencesLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link
Is successful democracy promotion possible?: The conceptual problem
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Political Science.
2014 (English)In: Democratization, ISSN 1351-0347, E-ISSN 1743-890X, Vol. 21, no 1, 49-71 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Is it even logically possible for democracy promotion policies to succeed in the sense that they increase democracy in other countries? Empirical research on the conditions for success in democracy promotion must assume an affirmative answer to this question. To study something empirically, it must be logically possible in the first place. Some critical and normative theorists, on the other hand, answer the same question negatively. They suggest that promotion of democracy from the outside is a contradiction in terms, in particular cases or more generally. This article offers a framework for clarifying this disagreement and for facilitating dialogue across empirical research and normative and critical theory. I draw on this framework also to suggest a conception of democracy that maximizes the political relevance of both normative and empirical analyses of democracy promotion (DP), while freeing that same research from the intellectual blockages of potential contradictions. Such intellectual advantages follow, I argue, by defining democracy as an ideal while making its institutional implications explicit; as an exercise of either constituent or constituted power, depending on the political phase being studied; and as located in the internal relationships of world politics.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2014. Vol. 21, no 1, 49-71 p.
Keyword [en]
democracy, democracy promotion, political theory, critical theory, globalization, constituent power, external, paradox, contradiction, empirical and normative research
National Category
Political Science
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-100863DOI: 10.1080/13510347.2012.709240ISI: 000329824300003OAI: diva2:697837


Available from: 2014-02-19 Created: 2014-02-17 Last updated: 2014-02-19Bibliographically approved

Open Access in DiVA

No full text

Other links

Publisher's full text

Search in DiVA

By author/editor
Agné, Hans
By organisation
Department of Political Science
In the same journal
Political Science

Search outside of DiVA

GoogleGoogle Scholar
The number of downloads is the sum of all downloads of full texts. It may include eg previous versions that are now no longer available

Altmetric score

Total: 270 hits
ReferencesLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link