Democracy in the South

Participation, the State and the People

image of Democracy in the South

Traditionally, studies on democracy have focused on the orthodox so-called Northern models of democratic governance, and within this framework, the extent to which Southern models are considered democratic. Democracy in the South is the first truly international collaboration that draws attention to the complex problems of democratic consolidation across the majority world. Nine case studies, three each from Africa, Latin America and Asia, shed light on the contemporary challenges faced by democratizing countries, mostly from the perspective of emerging theorists working in their home countries.



Introduction: Participation, the state and the people

The concept of democracy or “rule by the people” has assumed such a positive normative value that to be seen as criticizing its fundamental tenets (or being overtly “undemocratic”) is to be stigmatized as a social pariah, and to be seen as deviating from its accepted tenets in practice is to invite the label of “rogue state”. However, this project argues that democracy is an essentially contested concept rather than conforming to a single universal model.


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