Download Waves of Democracy: Social Movements and Political Change, by John Markoff PDF

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By John Markoff

The second one variation of this vintage textual content covers modern democracy events together with the Arab Spring and its aftermath, Occupy, and new international locations in addition to outdated matters from the Balkans to Africa, from Latin the US to Ukraine. the writer has traveled generally worldwide to take the heart beat of transition and to profile trips towards democracy and trips clear of democracy, too. while, the ebook addresses vital demanding situations that experience emerged in even well-established democracies. those appear in declining vote casting premiums, reduced club in political events, and, in a few international locations together with the us, unfavorable perspectives of primary democratic associations (like the USA Congress).

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Additional resources for Waves of Democracy: Social Movements and Political Change, Second Edition

Example text

But similar production technologies generated similar vulnerabilities to disruption, which were simply rediscovered in the new locations. Transmission of a cultural model. Symbols or tactics sometimes strike responsive chords across a wide variety of issues and social circumstances, as in the rapid spread of the idea of two broad forces, democracy and aristocracy, in the 1780s and 1790s or in the diffusion of the demonstration in the nineteenth century. Movement themes and tactics can both migrate across social boundaries to the extent that people are linked through communication networks.

The power capacity of states needs to be carefully distinguished from how decisions are made about how that capacity is to be used. We can imagine arrangements under which power is divided among several clusters of powerholders, who must come to some negotiated agreement if state capacity to tax, to use violence, and so on is to be exercised in a concerted fashion. And we can imagine arrangements under which powerholders are accountable to others—perhaps, as in contemporary democracies, to an electorate.

A distinguishing feature of the past two centuries is the claim that power is exercised on behalf of the people; often the claim is even made that power is exercised by the people. Abraham Lincoln’s brief formulation at the Gettysburg battlefield—“of the people, by the people, and for the people”—concisely embodies this image. Most of the world’s states now have written constitutions, and a written constitution is very close to being an implicit claim that human beings have set the rules under which authority is exercised.

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