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Political Economies of Democratisation (PEoD)
Start date: Jul 1, 2008, End date: Dec 31, 2012 PROJECT  FINISHED 

Democracy promotion has been a key political project in the post-Cold War era and many studies have documented the successes and failures of democratisation. Yet, the current practice of, and academic literature on, democratisation have been characterised by two key limitations. First, engagement with the essentially contested meaning of the concept of democracy has been weak. Second, the contextualisation of models of democracy promoted within wider social, cultural, political and economic discourses has received relatively little attention. It is the general objective of this research to address these limitations. The research seeks to meet this objective by specifically focusing on conducting an innovative analysis of the complex conjunction between the conceptions of democracy advanced by current democracy promoters and the economic discourses and theories adhered to by them. The specific objectives of this project relate to the study of ‘political economy models of democracy’, in theory and in practice. The research is guided by three sets of questions: 1. What is the nature of the link between models of democracy and economic discourses/theories? How do economic discourses condition conceptions of democracy? Do particular economic theories entail particular models of democracy and, if so, what kind of politico-economic models of democracy can we delineate? 2. What assumptions do democracy promoters make about political economies of democracy? What are the consequences, and the strengths and weaknesses, of the politico-economic models of democracy adhered to? 3. What policy-making implications can be drawn from the theoretical and empirical analysis of politico-economic models of democracy? This unique research highlights the complex but often-ignored link between economic theories/discourses and models of democracy, and encourages democracy promoters and academics in the field to remain open to multiple politico-economic models of democracy.
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