Democracy and Political Violence

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An analysis of the phenomenon of political violence and its implications for democratic politics. This book applies democratic theory to the problem of creating a liberal democracy in a situation of conflict, violence and social division. It adopts a distinct perspective: that both community and conflict are at the heart of all but the smallest of democratic societies, and that they need to be reconciled in order for democracy to be successful. Within this framework the book focuses on the particular issue of the challenge posed by violence, both to established democracies and to the establishment of new democracies. Empirical examples from a wide range of established and developing democracies are used to elucidate this problem. There are chapters on national and ethnic conflict, the challenge of terrorism, the problems of cultural division, and on attempts at creating democracy by imposition. A concluding chapter explores the question of establishing a common culture of citizenship spanning ethnic and cultural divisions. Key Features *Topicality of the themes discussed *Combination of theoretical arguments with 'real world' empirical examples and case studies *Presentation of a broad overview of the crucial issues facing liberal democracies in contemporary politics *Advancement of the debate with the proposal of new arguments for the future conduct of liberal-democratic politics to meet new violent challenges *Takes examples from East Timor, Kenya, Chechnya, Afghanistan, Iraq and France

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Edinburgh University Press
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