The Democratization Disconnect

Author: Brian Grodsky
Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield
ISBN: 1442269359
Format: PDF, ePub, Docs
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The most recent wave of democratic revolutions has convinced many in the West of the triumph of political rights. But in this provocative book, Brian Grodsky argues forcefully that nothing could be further from the truth. Today’s revolutionaries—both democratic and non-democratic—are much like those who preceded them throughout history. They’ve all come into power promising enhanced political, but especially economic, rights: higher wages, better living standards, more security. The difference between today’s pro-democracy leaders and yesterday’s non-democratic ones, the author demonstrates, rests on the perceived international legitimacy of the democratic template. Now, when even the most abusive regimes feel the need to label themselves democracies, opponents delegitimize rulers by calling them undemocratic. This sets the stage for what Grodsky calls the “democratization disconnect.” Leaders and followers fight for political change not as an end, but as the most acceptable means to attain economic rights. But by selling democracy as a panacea for the ills of the preceding regime, new elites simultaneously cheapen the notion of democracy and, by creating unrealistic popular expectations, set it up for failure. Putting a fresh new spin on hotly debated current events, this clear-eyed and informed book will be essential reading for all politically engaged readers.

Resist Goals and Tactics for Changemakers

Author: Gayle Kimball
Publisher: BookBaby
ISBN: 0938795686
Format: PDF, Mobi
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Resist! Goals and Tactics for Changemakers offers an encyclopedic guide for how you can be a changemaker. Critics fault recent democracy uprisings for not having a positive plan for change, so this comprehensive guide includes international models of democratic local and national examples. The extensive book outlines major economic, environmental and political problems with examples of tactics currently used to solve them. It includes theories about power and social movements, communication techniques, and the story of the changemakers. The author traveled around the world to talk with changemakers, as well as doing extensive research, and is a feminist activist.

Hunger and Fury

Author: Jasmin Mujanovic
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0190911220
Format: PDF, Kindle
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Less than two decades after the Yugoslav Wars ended, the edifice of parliamentary government in the Western Balkans is crumbling. This collapse sets into sharp relief the unreformed authoritarian tendencies of the region's entrenched elites, many of whom have held power since the early 1990s, and the hollowness of the West's "democratization" agenda. There is a widely held assumption that institutional collapse will precipitate a new bout of ethnic conflict, but Mujanovic argues instead that the Balkans are on the cusp of a historic socio-political transformation. Drawing on a wide variety of sources, with a unique focus on local activist accounts, he argues that a period of genuine democratic transition is finally dawning, led by grassroots social movements, from Zagreb to Skopje. Rather than pursuing ethnic strife, these new Balkan revolutionaries are confronting the "ethnic entrepreneurs" cemented in power by the West in its efforts to stabilise the region since the mid-1990s. This compellingly argued book harnesses the explanatory power of the striking graffiti scrawled on the walls of the ransacked Bosnian presidency during violent anti-government protests in 2014: 'if you sow hunger, you will reap fury'.

Digital Disconnect

Author: Robert W. McChesney
Publisher: New Press, The
ISBN: 1595588914
Format: PDF, ePub, Mobi
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Celebrants and skeptics alike have produced valuable analyses of the Internet’s effect on us and our world, oscillating between utopian bliss and dystopian hell. But according to Robert W. McChesney, arguments on both sides fail to address the relationship between economic power and the digital world. McChesney’s award-winning Rich Media, Poor Democracy skewered the assumption that a society drenched in commercial information is a democratic one. In Digital Disconnect McChesney returns to this provocative thesis in light of the advances of the digital age, incorporating capitalism into the heart of his analysis. He argues that the sharp decline in the enforcement of antitrust violations, the increase in patents on digital technology and proprietary systems, and other policies and massive indirect subsidies have made the Internet a place of numbing commercialism. A small handful of monopolies now dominate the political economy, from Google, which garners an astonishing 97 percent share of the mobile search market, to Microsoft, whose operating system is used by over 90 percent of the world’s computers. This capitalistic colonization of the Internet has spurred the collapse of credible journalism, and made the Internet an unparalleled apparatus for government and corporate surveillance, and a disturbingly anti-democratic force. In Digital Disconnect Robert McChesney offers a groundbreaking analysis and critique of the Internet, urging us to reclaim the democratizing potential of the digital revolution while we still can.

Introducing Democracy

Author: David Beetham
Publisher: Polity
ISBN: 9780745615196
Format: PDF, ePub, Docs
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This textbook, specially commissioned by UNESCO, addresses eighty of the most pressing questions about democracy today.

Freedom s Unsteady March

Author: Tamara Cofman Wittes
Publisher: Brookings Institution Press
ISBN: 9780815794950
Format: PDF, Mobi
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President Bush promised to democratize the Middle East, but the results so far have dispirited democracy advocates and brought their project into disrepute. After the debacle in Iraq and the electoral success of Hamas, the pursuit of Arab democracy seems to many observers a fool's errand, an unfortunate combination of ideology and wishful thinking. In F reedom's Unsteady March , Tamara Cofman Wittes dissects the Bush administration's failure to advance freedom in the Middle East and lays out a better strategy for future efforts to promote democracy. Wittes argues that only the development of a more liberal and democratic politics in the Arab world will secure America's long-term goals in the region and that America must continue trying to foster progress in that direction. To do so, however, it must confront more honestly the risks of change and act more effectively to contain them. A dangerous combination of growing populations, economic stagnation, and political alienation poses the primary threat to Middle East stability today, severely testing the legitimacy and governability of key states such as Egypt and Saudi Arabia. If Arab governments cannot sustain the support of their citizens, they will find it difficult to work with America on issues of common concern such as stabilizing Iraq, confronting Iran on nuclear weapons, and promoting Arab-Israeli peace. Despite President Bush's failures, Wittes argues, the United States cannot afford to ignore the momentous social, economic, and political changes already taking place in Arab states. Wittes' detailed analysis of Arab politics and American policy presents an alternative—in her view, the only alternative: overcoming America's deep ambivalence about Arab democracy to support positive, liberal change in the region that will create a firmer foundation for Arab-American ties.

From Dictatorship to Democracy

Author: Gene Sharp
Publisher: Albert Einstein Institution
ISBN: 1880813092
Format: PDF, Docs
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A serious introduction to the use of nonviolent action to topple dictatorships. Based on the author's study, over a period of forty years, on non-violent methods of demonstration, it was originally published in 1993 in Thailand for distribution among Burmese dissidents.

Dark Continent

Author: Mark Mazower
Publisher: Vintage
ISBN: 030755550X
Format: PDF, ePub, Mobi
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"A useful, important book that reminds us, at the right time, how hard [European unity] has been, and how much care must be taken to avoid the terrible old temptations." --Los Angeles Times Dark Continent provides an alternative history of the twentieth century, one in which the triumph of democracy was anything but a forgone conclusion and fascism and communism provided rival political solutions that battled and sometimes triumphed in an effort to determine the course the continent would take. Mark Mazower strips away myths that have comforted us since World War II, revealing Europe as an entity constantly engaged in a bloody project of self-invention. Here is a history not of inevitable victories and forward marches, but of narrow squeaks and unexpected twists, where townships boast a bronze of Mussolini on horseback one moment, only to melt it down and recast it as a pair of noble partisans the next. Unflinching, intelligent, Dark Continent provides a provocative vision of Europe's past, present, and future-and confirms Mark Mazower as a historian of valuable gifts. From the Trade Paperback edition.

End of History and the Last Man

Author: Francis Fukuyama
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
ISBN: 1416531785
Format: PDF, Kindle
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Ever since its first publication in 1992, The End of History and the Last Man has provoked controversy and debate. Francis Fukuyama's prescient analysis of religious fundamentalism, politics, scientific progress, ethical codes, and war is as essential for a world fighting fundamentalist terrorists as it was for the end of the Cold War. Now updated with a new afterword, The End of History and the Last Man is a modern classic.

Democracy Disrupted

Author: Ivan Krastev
Publisher: University of Pennsylvania Press
ISBN: 0812223306
Format: PDF, ePub
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Since the financial meltdown of 2008, political protests have spread around the world like chain lightning, from the "Occupy" movements of the United States, Great Britain, and Spain to more destabilizing forms of unrest in Tunisia, Egypt, Russia, Thailand, Bulgaria, Turkey, and Ukraine. In Democracy Disrupted: The Politics of Global Protest, commentator and political scientist Ivan Krastev proposes a provocative interpretation of these popular uprisings—one with ominous implications for the future of democratic politics. Challenging theories that trace the protests to the rise of a global middle class, Krastev proposes that the insurrections express a pervasive distrust of democratic institutions. Protesters on the streets of Moscow, Sofia, Istanbul, and São Paulo are openly suspicious of both the market and the state. They reject established political parties, question the motives of the mainstream media, refuse to recognize the legitimacy of any specific leadership, and reject all formal organizations. They have made clear what they don't want—the status quo—but they have no positive vision of an alternative future. Welcome to the worldwide libertarian revolution, in which democracy is endlessly disrupted to no end beyond the disruption itself.