Is successful democracy promotion possible?: The conceptual problem
2014 (English)In: Democratization, ISSN 1351-0347, E-ISSN 1743-890X, Vol. 21, no 1, 49-71 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
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.
democracy, democracy promotion, political theory, critical theory, globalization, constituent power, external, paradox, contradiction, empirical and normative research
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-100863DOI: 10.1080/13510347.2012.709240ISI: 000329824300003OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-100863DiVA: diva2:697837