Making Democratization Work: From Civil Society and Social Capital to Political Inclusion and Politicization — Theoretical Reflections on Concrete Cases in Indonesia, Kerala and the Philippines

  • Olle Törnquist
Part of the International Political Economy Series book series (IPES)


If most of us can agree that the bottom line of modern democracy is sovereignty of the people in accordance with the principle of constitutionally guaranteed political equality among citizens or members who are independent enough to express their own will,1 then democratization may be defined as the process leading to democracy, and to its consolidation and deepening. It is true, of course, that many such processes have not come from below, but are outcomes of war and international pressure or of attempts by enlightened leaders to legitimize rapid modernization from above.2 And much of the recent democratization has been crafted through negotiations and pacts within the political, military and economic elites.3 Yet it is high time to study the processes from below. Not because there is a need to expand the limited definition of democracy as such, but because the dynamics of democratization is an altogether different matter. Not because enlightened and developmental elites, and their negotiations, are unimportant, but because there is also much to the results which indicate that popular demands and strength are often fundamental.4 And not in order to focus on grass-root movements as such (like most students of ‘new’ social movements), or ‘only’ on the structures and institutions that condition their actions (like most resource mobilization theorists), but on the process as a whole from below — primarily by way of critical empirical analysis of subordinated actors’ views of the process, and their strategies and actions to affect it. But then, how should one go about this?


Social Capital Civil Society Social Movement Land Reform Civic Association 
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Copyright information

© Palgrave Macmillan, a division of Macmillan Publishers Limited 1998
Selection and editorial matter © Lars Rudebeck, Olle Törnquist and Virgilio Rojas 1996, 1998 Text © Macmillan Press Ltd 1998

Authors and Affiliations

  • Olle Törnquist
    • 1
  1. 1.Political Science DepartmentUniversity of OsloNorway

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