Andrew Arato, Guest Editor
Arien Mack, Journal Editor
This is the second special issue of Social Research dealing with the problem of democracy. The first issue, published before the climax of the wave of democratization, had a primarily theoretical character. This time we wished to evaluate a truly international experience of democratization, and asked our contributors to consider where we currently stand.
This article deals with the emergence of new forms of identity and different politics worldwide. In the economic integration of economies worldwide, India and Turkey which are among the oldest democracies of the Third World are in struggles that call into question the very concept of a secular and representative democracy. In this context, ethnic wars, cleansings and massacres in the former Yugoslavia, nationality conflicts between Azerbaijan and Armenia are evident. The consciousness about universal principles of human rights is asserted by the sovereign people. Globalization has brought to a head conflicts between human rights and the claim to self-determination of sovereign collectivities.
This article examines the limitations of the liberal democracy theory paradigm. The theorists should be commended for their intention to advocate the different versions of deliberative democracy. Their aim is to reformulate the classical idea of the public sphere, giving it a central place in the democratic project. The proposal to view reason and rational argumentation instead of interest and aggregation of preferences as the central issue of politics. This means that they identify the democratic public sphere with the discursive redemption of normative validity claims. It is clear that what is missing is the dimension of the political. In an approach of Habermas about deliberative democracy, there is a…
This essay examines the historic and contemporary role of the bourgeoisie in the development, demise, and stabilization of political democracy in Western Europe, Latin America, and the Caribbean. We argue that democracy was established in most countries in these regions despite the efforts of the bourgeoisie, because capitalist development strengthened the working and middle classes and weakened large landlords. The bourgeoisie generally sided with the anti-democratic forces particularly in the later stage of political development when the struggle for democracy turned from establishing parliamentary government to extending political rights to the masses. In the post-World War II period in Western Europe, democracy was stabilized, routinized, and accepted by virtually all social actors and political parties because it was accompanied by a class compromise in which all major parties' material interests were secured and a modicum of compromise has accompanied the transition to democracy in post-authoritarian Latin American. Given this situation, there is the distinct possibility that democracy could be reversed if bourgeois dominance is contested, or that at least the quality of democracy, which is highly deficient already, will deteriorate even more.
This article argues on the value of portability theories of democratic transition, with an emphasis on the critique of consolidology by one of its pioneers. In an article by Dankwart Rustow, there is a distinction between theories to explain the genesis of democracy and theories that addressed democratic stability. The emphasis of transitions literature is on extrication from authoritarian rule and the establishment of democratic procedures. In a literature on transitions, the focus shifts from the conditions necessary for elites to establish democratic rules to the dynamic process by which elites do or do not reach agreement on these rules.
This article criticizes the failure of democratization to produce substantive and sustainable democratic institutions, with an emphasis on democratization in Africa in the 1990s. If the electoral contest is used as a measure, despite signs of authoritarian recidivism, it has been a period of democratic renewal. But it has become trite to point to the fallacy of electoralism on an assumption that elections are a sufficient measure of democracy.
This article focuses on race and ethnicity as political identities reproduced by particular forms of power. In the argument that race was reproduced as an identity of beneficiaries and ethnicity as an identity of victims. The beneficiaries of the dilemma of colonial rule was simple but superficial. There were two answers to the question of colonial rule. The first was called direct rule. It aimed at creating a native elite that was granted a modicum of civilized rights in return for assimilating the culture of the colonizer.
Democracy in an Age of Cyber-Financial Globalization: Time, Space and Embeddedness from an Asian Perspective
This article analyzes cyber financial globalization in relation to the role of liberal democracy in prevention of the logic of the universal global market from dominating social relations in non-Western societies. With regards to intellectual debates on the project of economic reform after the 1997-1998 financial crisis in Asia. In the Japanese economy, capitalism is developed in a unique way as a result of its inclusion within a local institutional and cultural matrix. The dilemmas and struggles confronting the Japanese economy in the face of cyber-financial globalization offer some useful insights into the implications and ramifications of ongoing financial globalization.
This article discusses the evolution of democracy in democratic governments. If a democratic state is defined as a high degree of collective control over government decisions, whether directly by an assembly, indirectly through elected representatives, or perhaps through other means then modern democratic states have been shaped by three fundamental changes.
This article discusses the components of liberal democracy. The future of neo-democracies in Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union is contingent upon their inhabitants reaching an agreement upon a common identity and territory. Most of the neo-democracies in Southern Europe, Latin America and Asia had inherited an acceptable common identity and territory and were able to concentrate initially on coming up with a mutually acceptable set of rules. The liberal components of democracies include their exclusive emphasis on the individual citizen and on individualism, their commitment to voluntarism, their fixation with territorial representation, their indifference to persistent and systemic inequalities.