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A New Handbook of Political Science$
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Robert E. Goodin and Hans-Dieter Klingemann

Print publication date: 1998

Print ISBN-13: 9780198294719

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2003

DOI: 10.1093/0198294719.001.0001

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Comparative Politics: Democratization Studies

Comparative Politics: Democratization Studies

Chapter:
(p.353) Chapter 14 Comparative Politics: Democratization Studies
Source:
A New Handbook of Political Science
Author(s):

Laurence Whitehead (Contributor Webpage)

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/0198294719.003.0014

Provides an overview of the sub‐field of democratization. Three questions are asked of democratization studies: ‘who is it for?’, ‘what is it like?’, and ‘how is it done?’. Methodological and theoretical issues arising are discussed, including relativism and normative dilemmas, contingency in causation, process, concept formation, and objectivity. Democratization is singled out for its growth as a discipline and its inherent tensions in subjectivity and prescription. The latter should not limit the former.

Keywords:   authoritarianism, democratization, relativism, transition

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