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Democracy: The Requisite “Enabling Conditions” — No Small Order

  • Albert Somit
  • Steven A. Peterson

Abstract

As noted earlier, the term “nation building” originally referred to the process of establishing (or reestablishing) a political entity capable of governing a given population residing in a given geographic area (or areas) and recognized by other states as exercising sovereignty over that population and that territory. Accordingly, “nation building” could be used to describe the creation of any type of stable government. In present-day discourse, however, the term has become a euphemism connoting the process of creating a democracy, rather than of establishing a viable polity, democratic or not. The change, we think, is definitely for the worse, since the shift of meaning conceals the profound difference between the two tasks—creating democracy is immeasurably more difficult than establishing other forms of government.

Keywords

Authoritarian Regime Internal Peace Nation Building Previous Regime Target Country 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Albert Somit and Steven A. Peterson 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Albert Somit
  • Steven A. Peterson

There are no affiliations available

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