The Middle East captured front pages worldwide for the alleged Arab Spring in 2011. Large segments of the populations of Tunisia, Libya, Egypt, and Syria took to the streets to voice their protest against autocratic regimes and to demand democracy. Violent uprisings followed, but the prospects of liberal democracy are still uncertain and distant. No wonder. Democratization took a couple of centuries in the West. And even today, well-established Western democracies are under pressure from globalization and regionalization, and many claim representative democracy is in need of renewal.
This collection of essays focuses on a number of theoretical issues associated with democracy and democratization. Divided into three parts, the first part analyzes how democracy may be understood, explained and measured. The second part deals with issues of democracy, international stability, and development in fragile and developmental states and regions. The third part of the book looks at representative democracy in old democracies and its potential for development.