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Description - Disciplining Democracy by Rita Abrahamsen

Not very long ago, many Western scholars argued that authoritarian forms of government were needed for rapid economic development and successive US administrations supported dictatorial regimes in every continent. Now the political mantra is democracy and the World Bank and Western donors require it almost as a condition of assistance. Rita Abrahamsen argues that the West's good governance agenda dates from the demise of the Soviet Union. More importantly, she shows how this agenda comprises only very superficial democratic institutional forms. The primary goal in developing countries remains the enforcement of structural adjustment. African governments, in particular, are in a cleft stick - supposedly responsible to their electorates at home, in fact beholden to external creditors and donors abroad. If their people demand a system of governance that can deliver an end to poverty, the West is likely to brand such demands as illegitimate. Drawing on the good governance discourse, Rita Abrahamsen presents development not as some universally valid set of goals or procedures, but as an historically contingent form of knowledge intimately connected to prevailing power structures.

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Book Details

ISBN: 9781856498593
ISBN-10: 185649859X
Format: Paperback
(216mm x 138mm x mm)
Pages: 192
Imprint: Zed Books Ltd
Publisher: Zed Books Ltd
Publish Date: 1-Dec-2000
Country of Publication: United Kingdom

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Author Biography - Rita Abrahamsen

Rita Abrahamsen is a lecturer in the Department of International Politics at the University of Wales, Aberystwyth.

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