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Book Cover
Author Somit, Albert.

Title The failure of democratic nation building : ideology meets evolution / Albert Somit and Steven A. Peterson
Published Basingstoke : Palgrave Macmillan, 2005
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Description 1 online resource (159 pages)
Contents Authoritarian Government: The Default Option -- What Is a Democracy?: Toward a Working Definition -- Democratic Nation Building: From Concept to Operational 'Check List' -- Democracy: The Requisite 'Enabling Conditions' -- No Small Order -- Will the Real Democracies Please Stand Up? -- American Nation Building, 1945-2005: Costs and Consequences -- The Fourth 'Whereas' -- 'Therefore Be It Resolved ... ': Toward More Realistic Foreign and Domestic Policies
Summary Throughout history authoritarian governments have outnumbered democratic ones to an overwhelming degree. Even today, true democracies are an exception. In this book, Somit and Peterson argue that the main reason for this pattern is that humans are social primates with an innate tendency for hierarchical and authoritarian social and political structures. Democracy requires very special 'enabling conditions' before it can be supported by a state, conditions that require decades to evolve. As a result, attempts to export democracy through nation-building to states without these enabling conditions are doomed to failure. The authors argue that money and energy devoted to nation-building around the globe by the U.S. would be better spent on problems facing the country domestically
Bibliography Includes bibliographical references and index
Notes Print version record
Subject Democracy.
United States -- Foreign relations.
Form Electronic book
Author Peterson, Steven A.
Palgrave Connect (Online service)
ISBN 0230621120 (print)
9780230621121 (print)