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