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Foundations and Frontiers of Deliberative Governance$
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John S. Dryzek

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780199562947

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199562947.001.0001

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The Democratization of Authoritarian States

The Democratization of Authoritarian States

(p.135) 7 The Democratization of Authoritarian States
Foundations and Frontiers of Deliberative Governance

John S. Dryzek (Contributor Webpage)

Simon Niemeyer

Oxford University Press

Deliberation is now ubiquitous in the theory and practice of democracy – except when it comes to comparative studies of the democratization of states emerging from authoritarianism. Democratization itself can now be conceptualized in terms of the building of deliberative capacity in a political system. This capacity can be distributed in variable ways in the deliberative systems of states. Deliberative capacity proves to be an important determinant of democratic transition and consolidation, such that the concept has substantial analytical and evaluative purchase. The ambit claim is that all democratization studies need to be recalled and reframed in a deliberative light, but even if this claim is resisted by traditional democratization scholars, the deliberative aspect merits attention. Countries such as China that resist democracy conceptualized in terms of competitive elections, constitutions, and human rights recognized by the state might nonetheless prove susceptible to a deliberative path of democratization.

Keywords:   democratization, deliberative capacity, democratic transition, democratic consolidation, China

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