Can Democracy Be All Things to All People?

  • Gerry O’ReillyEmail author
Part of the Key Challenges in Geography book series (KCHGE)


Many observers postulated that we were in a post-ideological age especially from the 1970s on. This may be true in the context of doctrinaire Marxism or Christianity. However, ordinary people are viewing ideology on different levels, albeit without using the term, and looking for credible dynamic leaders to bring change as witnessed especially with the rise in populisms. Diversity of contested ideas, conflicts and geographical scales makes analysis additionally complex. Whether due to local and regional planning in mature democracies, or that regarding the MENA countries, Kosovo, Venezuela, South Sudan or Myanmar, the common factor is power relationships, and balances of fear and influence in specific places. Hence the solution is habitually the least unjust response. If hostilities are put down by force, then the long-term reasons for conflict remain and will eventually resurface. All conflict does not necessarily lead to violence as proven by democratic consensuses reached in many jurisdictions, including traditional conflict resolution methods as found throughout Africa and Asia in contrast to the highly adversarial and litigious culture often associated with America. Disputes exist within and between democratic states, war does not.


Ideology ‘isms’ Governance Democracy Citizenship Competition Fundamentalism 


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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of History and Geography, St. Patrick’s CampusDublin City UniversityDublinIreland

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