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5. Democratization

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Chapter Summary

This chapter traces some of the key hind sights of comparative research on democratization conducted in recent decades. Important research has been done on the transitional character of emerging democracies, by focusing attention on the conditions of processes of democratization. A major focus of studies of transitions has been the confrontation by restored and new democracies with the legacies of authoritarianism and human rights violations, and the trade-off between such confrontation and the reshaping of institutions and their stability. The confrontation of models of democracy is related to the fact that democracy is a multivocal and highly contested concept, entailing institutional and normative tensions. It entails core tensions between a rule-oriented normative universalization of political rights and a goal-oriented stress on the extension of economic, social and cultural rights. Debates on multiculturalism have become central to democratization, and in assessing current directions of development in contemporary democracies.

Keywords: authoritarianism; democratization; human rights violations; multiculturalism; political rights; social movements



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