The limits of liberal-democracy promotion

Christopher Edward Hobson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

13 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

One of the few unambiguously positive outcomes of the George W. Bush years is a greater interest in the practice of democracy promotion. However, the expansion of scholarship in this area has not been matched by an equal expansion in its scope. There continues to be an overwhelming tendency to focus exclusively on empirical case studies and policy prescriptions, usually informed by a set of unstated liberal assumptions. Nothing is necessarily wrong with this per se. The problem stems from the lack of attention directed toward the larger theoretical and conceptual frameworks that inform and shape these practices. Responding to this state of affairs, this article examines the way certain theoretical tendencies and commitments have helped give rise to many problematic aspects of liberal democracy promotion. It is necessary to challenge the restrictive framework that currently dominates. It is argued that to do so entails rethinking, extending, and pluralizing the way democracy itself is conceived.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)383-405
Number of pages23
JournalAlternatives
Volume34
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2009
Externally publishedYes

    Fingerprint

Keywords

  • Democracy
  • Democracy promotion
  • Democratization
  • Liberalism

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Political Science and International Relations
  • Sociology and Political Science

Cite this

Hobson, C. E. (2009). The limits of liberal-democracy promotion. Alternatives, 34(4), 383-405.