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DemocratizationTheory and Experience$
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Laurence Whitehead

Print publication date: 2002

Print ISBN-13: 9780199253289

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2003

DOI: 10.1093/0199253285.001.0001

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On Theory and Experience in Democratization Studies

On Theory and Experience in Democratization Studies

Chapter:
(p.237) 10 On Theory and Experience in Democratization Studies
Source:
Democratization
Author(s):

Laurence Whitehead (Contributor Webpage)

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/0199253285.003.0011

This concluding chapter draws together the theoretical and methodological implications of viewing democratization as a long‐term, dynamic, and open‐ended process of social construction. This raises questions of teleology, of the overlap between democratization and other comparable processes such as nation‐building, and of narrative construction. The chapter also reviews a selection of critical topics and exemplary cases selected to demonstrate the two‐way interaction between theoretical considerations and specific experiences. Most of these examples raise doubts about the permanence and centrality of the state in theories of democratization.

Keywords:   narrative construction, nation‐building, social construction, state theory, teology

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