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Democracy on trial, all rise!

Author: Anuradha Kataria
Publisher: New York : Algora Pub., ©2011.
Edition/Format:   eBook : Document : EnglishView all editions and formats
Summary:
There is a widening gap between democracy as a theory and its practice. While supposedly a solution to the problems of the developing world, in practice democracy has more often led to instability, civil wars, genocides, fundamentalism, crime and corruption. In contrast, in the West, voting rights were extended gradually over a century or two, in tandem with economic empowerment and also social awakening. The  Read more...
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Genre/Form: Electronic books
Additional Physical Format: Print version:
Kataria, Anuradha, 1968-
Democracy on trial, all rise!
New York : Algora Pub., ©2011
(DLC) 2010034722
(OCoLC)657270917
Material Type: Document, Internet resource
Document Type: Internet Resource, Computer File
All Authors / Contributors: Anuradha Kataria
ISBN: 9780875868127 0875868126
OCLC Number: 693780705
Description: 1 online resource (xiii, 194 pages)
Responsibility: Anuradha Kataria.
More information:

Abstract:

There is a widening gap between democracy as a theory and its practice. While supposedly a solution to the problems of the developing world, in practice democracy has more often led to instability, civil wars, genocides, fundamentalism, crime and corruption. In contrast, in the West, voting rights were extended gradually over a century or two, in tandem with economic empowerment and also social awakening. The democratic republics that evolved out of this long process were stable and progressive. In the developing world, a shortcut to the end and premature political opening up has proven disastrous for many a nation like Nigeria, Iraq, Congo, Kenya, Pakistan, South Africa, etc. Even in the few stable ones like India, democracy has failed to make a dent in poverty alleviation and has instead got caught in divisive election stunts. At the same time, some unitary states like China have surged far ahead of others and broken out of the largely poor and deteriorating mould. Why? What are the reasons democracy does not work in the developing world? Could it be made to work through improvements, or is it the wrong model altogether? The notion that democracy is going to transform our world holds little credence to anyone who has witnessed its true colors like the author has, hailing from India and also having lived in China and some other countries. Thus as a scientist and researcher, she has studied the history, politics and economics of some 150 countries across the world. The book delves into the complex world of subversive election winning strategies, secession movements, coalition governments, the meaning of freedom to people living amidst violence and poverty, as well as a study of other sociopolitical systems. Without any a priori theories, willing to go where the evidence leads, the author is able to point out the emperor's new clothes for what they truly are. It may be time to challenge our perfect theory as democracy may not be the answer to the developing worlds problems. The quest for truth leads us to surprising answers in terms of progressive transient alternatives for the developing world, as well as some pointers for streamlining democracy, the system per se. Democracy on Trial is a compelling discovery of fresh answers and pragmatic solutions to the pressing problems of our times from large-scale abject poverty in developing countries across Asia and Africa to many civil wars and ongoing mayhem in others. One book that comes close to the perspective in Democracy on Trial, All Rise! is The Future of Freedom by Fareed Zakaria. Zakaria's is the first book to acknowledge democracy's failure in the developing world, but it leaves the important question what is the alternative largely unanswered and falls back on rationalizations to conclude. Most of the current literature on democracy is primarily theoretical in nature and addresses some of its faults; but democracy per se is eulogized. The new title is different in that it answers the question of what is the alternative or a way forward based on an empirical analysis that carries the reader along to the conclusions. The perspective is new, as yet unexplored, and marries the progressive with the pragmatic.

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