Historical Social Research

Behrouz Alikhani: Post-Democracy or Processes of De-Democratization? United States Case Study. [Abstract]

Colin Crouch has collected evidence to demonstrate how current democratic societies, with a new wave of economic liberalism in the past four decades, have entered a “post-democratic” era. He uses the formula of a parabolato highlight the structure of this long-term transformation. According to him, in the “post-democratic” period the democratic institutions still remain formally intact, but the political class has increasingly become more dependent on big corporations and financial institutions and less dependent on ordinary citizens. In this paper, I will try to integrate this concept of democracy in a process-sociological concept of democratization and de-democratization. It will be discussed why the second concept is more reality congruent than the less differentiated and static concept of “post-democracy.” With the aid of this new process or figurational sociological concept, one is able to empirically investigate both processes of democratization and de-democratization. To conclude the paper, this new concept will be briefly applied to the ongoing political and social processes in the United States.

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