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Throughout history authoritarian governments have outnumbered democratic ones to an overwhelming degree. Even today, true democracies are an exception. In this book, Somit and Peterson argue that the main reason for this pattern is that humans are social primates with an innate tendency for hierarchical and authoritarian social and political structures. Democracy requires very special 'enabling conditions' before it can be supported by a state, conditions that require decades to evolve. As a result, attempts to export democracy through nation-building to states without these enabling conditions are doomed to failure. The authors argue that money and energy devoted to nation-building around the globe by the U.S. would be better spent on problems facing the country domestically.

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Book Details

ISBN: 9781403967817
ISBN-10: 1403967814
Format: Hardback
(216mm x 140mm x 15mm)
Pages: 172
Imprint: Palgrave Macmillan
Publisher: Palgrave USA
Publish Date: 13-Dec-2005
Country of Publication: United States

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Author Biography - Albert Somit

ALBERT SOMIT is Professor Emeritus at Southern Illinois University, USA. He has served as Executive Vice-President of SUNY-Buffalo and President of Southern Illinois University. He is a pioneer of biopolitics. STEVEN A. PETERSON is Professor of Politics, Penn State University at Harrisburg, USA and Director of its School of Public Affairs. He has authored or edited 15 books, mostly in the area of public policy. His research interests include political behaviour, political psychology, and biology and politics.

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Failure of Democratic Nation Building by Albert Somit

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