An Overdue Appraisal: The Need to Rethink Democracy Theory

By Joleen Steyn-Kotze.

Published by The Social Sciences Collection

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

This paper is rooted in democracy and transformative theories as it attempts to identify issues surrounding democracy theory in order to determine whether there is a need to review democracy theory as it stands today. The central purpose of democratic consolidation theory is to determine what will ensure stability and deepening of democracy in emerging democracies. It is widely accepted that democratic consolidation theory centre on conditions that are most conducive to political stability and as such attempt to identify the conditions conducive for political stability. These conditions relate to institutions and regime performance in general. There are however fundamental flaws with democratic consolidation theory. The paper will explore the need to re-evaluate theory in order to obtain a more inclusive interpretation of reality. In essence, theory seems to be missing the point in practice, especially in non-Western contexts.

Keywords: Democracy Theory, Democratisation, Third World

International Journal of Interdisciplinary Social Sciences, Volume 3, Issue 9, pp.13-30. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 623.679KB).

Joleen Steyn-Kotze

Lecturer, Department of Political and Governmental Sciences School of Governmental and Social Sciences, Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University, Port Elizabeth, Eastern Cape, South Africa

Joleen Steyn-Kotze is a lecturer of Political Science at the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University. She completed her tertiary education at the University of Port Elizabeth (now NMMU) and obtained a B.A. (2000) and M.Phil South African Politics and Political Economy (2002). She is presently registered for her D.Litt et Phil at the University of South Africa. The focus of her doctoral research is meta-theoretical analysis and appraisals of democracy theory. Ms. Steyn-Kotze has been involved in tertiary education since 2002 at both an undergraduate level as well as post-graduate level. She was appointed as the undergraduate programme leader in Political Science in 2007. Teaching responsibilities include African politics, political theory, international relations, South African politics, and political economy. She was invited to present various papers for the Independent Electoral Commission – Eastern Cape on tolerance and the role of political parties as well as the state of the South African democracy as part of the NMMU community outreach initiative. She had done various analysis for newspapers as well as television news. Ms. Steyn-Kotze has a wide range of conference papers as well as publications in peer-reviewed journals. Her areas of expertise include political theory, specifically democracy and democratic consolidation theory, African politics, tolerance and inter-party conflict, and South African political development. She is involved extensively in programme development at a post-graduate level as well as facilitating research excellence in the discipline of Political Science.

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