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Importing Democracy: The Role of NGOs in South Africa, Tajikistan, & Argentina

This 2013 book written by Julie Fisher and published by the Kettering Foundation Press, focuses on the roles of democratization nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) in three countries in the developing world: South Africa, Tajikistan, and Argentina. The book is organized around three chapters for each country, South Africa, Tajikistan, and Argentina. The first chapter of each country’s section begins with the historical, political, and economic context and continues with a discussion of the general contours of civil society. The second chapter in each section deals with the role of democratization NGOs in promoting both loyal opposition and law-based civil liberties. The third chapter focuses on their role in promoting political culture and political participation. Loyal opposition and law-based civil liberties help define democratization at the national level, whereas changes in political culture and increased political partici­pation often occur throughout society. Follow­ing the nine country chapters, the book concludes with a comparative overview and implications for international policy. Fisher, a former Kettering Foundation program officer, writes that the idea that democracy can be exported has lost credibility in recent years. In many countries, however, democratization NGOs are importing democratic ideas and recovering local democratic traditions. From the book's Introduction: Importing-Democ-Screenshot-229x300 Nothing has so discredited the attempt to export democracy militarily as the Iraq and Afghan wars.  Both Iraq and Afghanistan remind us that democracy must be built from within. Even peaceful efforts to export democracy, undertaken with the best of intentions, can founder on the reefs of simplistic Western visions of other societies. A common response to this failure is to assume that many countries are simply not suited to democracy, at least for the foreseeable future. This book is about the people of three countries--South Africa, Tajikistan, and Argentina--who refuse to be so easily dismissed and who have already started the long, arduous process of democratization from within. They have done this, first, by "importing" democratic ideas from abroad and, second, by rediscovering indigenous democratic traditions....

Table of Contents includes:

Preface & Acknowledgments

Chapter 1  Introduction

Chapter 2  South Africa: History, Politics, & Civil Society

Chapter 3  The Role of Civil Society in South Africa: Building a Loyal Opposition & Law-Based Civil Liberties

Chapter 4  The Role of Civil Society in South Africa II: Nurturing a Democratic Political Culture & Deepening Political Participation

Chapter 5  Tajikistan: History, Politics & Civil Society

Chapter 6  The Role of Civil Society in Tajikistan: Building a Loyal Opposition & Law-Based Civil Liberties

Chapter 7  The Role of Civil Society in Tajikistan II: Nurturing a Democratic Political Culture & Deepening Political Participation

Chapter 8  Argentina: History, Politics, & Civil Society

Chapter 9  The Role of Civil Society in Argentina: Loyal Opposition, Strengthening the State, and Law-Based Civil Liberties

Chapter 10  The Role of Civil Society in Argentina II: Nurturing a Democratic Political Culture & Deepening Political Participation

Chapter 11  Conclusions

Chapter 12  International Implications & Recommendations

Appendix I  List of Interviews

Appendix II  Democratization NGOs in Other Countries

Appendix III  An Overview of Democracy Assistance

Appendix IV  Research Methods

List of Acronyms

Bibliographies

Ordering info: The book is currently available for purchase from the Kettering Foundation or from Amazon.com

Resource Link: http://kettering.org/publications/importing-democracy/

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