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Chapter

Richard S. Katz

This chapter examines the role that political parties play in the working of democracy. Political parties are among the major actors in democratic politics. Whether or not in power as the result of victory in free and fair elections, the governments of most countries have effectively been in the hands of party leaders. When governments were not in the hands of party leaders, most often it was because party government was interrupted by a military takeover. The chapter first considers various definitions of a political party, before tracing the origins of political parties. It then describes the functions of parties and the ways in which parties are organized, regulated, and financed. It concludes with an analysis of the role of parties in the stabilization of democracy in the late twentieth and early twenty-first centuries, as well as challenges confronting parties in the new millennium.

Chapter

This chapter examines democratic pragmatism, a discourse of environmental problem solving that emerged as a corrective to administration. Democratic pragmatism may be characterized in terms of interactive problem solving within the basic institutional structure of liberal capitalist democracy. The word ‘pragmatism’ can have two connotations: the first is the way the word is used in everyday language, as signifying a practical, realistic orientation to the world, the opposite of starry-eyed idealism; the second refers to a school of thought in philosophy, associated with names such as William James, Charles Peirce, and John Dewey. This chapter treats democracy as a problem-solving discourse reconciled to the basic status quo of liberal capitalism. It first considers democratic pragmatism in action before discussing democratic pragmatism as government and governance. It also explores the rationality of democratic pragmatism, the discourse analysis of democratic pragmatism, and the limits of democratic pragmatism.

Chapter

The Introduction argues that to understand European politics there are two premises that need to be accepted. Firstly, the interplay between European and national-level politics must be taken seriously. The two cannot be studied independently. Secondly, a theoretical model of politics is necessary to help us to make assumptions about politics explicit and to ensure that the arguments used are logically consistent. Models help us to zoom in on a particular aspect of politics and apply our analysis to real-life examples. It also helps us to spot the similarities and differences across political systems and governments so we can make comparisons. The Introduction answers the question: why focus on Europe? One of the most obvious reasons is that Europe is the home to the largest number and variety of democratic governments anywhere in the world.

Chapter

Jutta Joachim

This chapter examines the role of transnational non-governmental organizations (TNGOs) in world politics. It considers what distinguishes TNGOs from other actors in international politics, what types of influence NGOs exert in international relations, and whether TNGOs contribute to more democratic policy-making at the international level. The chapter also discusses the growing importance of TNGOs and presents two case studies that illustrate how they contribute to the emergence of new norms through their engagement with international governmental organizations (IGOs), provide assistance to those in need, but also highlight the diversity that exists among the organizations. The first is about the adoption of United Nations Security Council resolution 1325 ‘Women, Peace, and Security’ to which TNGOs contributed in a significant manner, while the second is about the search and rescue missions of migrants which TNGOs undertake in the Mediterranean Sea. There is also an Opposing Opinions box that asks whether TNGOs contribute to more democracy at the international level.

Chapter

Andrea Oelsner and Mervyn Bain

This chapter examines the main features of the undemocratic regimes that were in power in Latin America from the late 1960s, along with the democratization processes that followed since the 1980s. The nature of the non-democratic governments varied throughout the region, and consequently the types of transition and the quality of the resulting democracy varied as well. The chapter focuses on four cases that reflect these differences: Argentina, Chile, Mexico, and Venezuela. For each country, the chapter reviews a number of dimensions that have been relevant in the democratization processes: the historical and international contexts, the role of economic factors, political culture and society, political parties and social movements, and the institutional challenges that still lie ahead.