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The normative challenge of interaction: justice conflicts in democracy promotion

[working paper]

Poppe, Annika Elena; Wolff, Jonas

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Corporate Editor Hessische Stiftung Friedens- und Konfliktforschung
Abstract In the global "North-West", liberal democracy is regarded as the universally valid model of political rule that is to be promoted globally via foreign and development policies. Democracy promotion, however, is frequently challenged by justice-related claims. Whereas external democracy promoters refer to democracy's universal value, those resisting democracy promotion point to the collective entitlement to a self-determined political evolution. "North-Western" governments see liberal democracy as the only embodiment of a just political order, but in those countries that are the targets of democracy promotion different understandings of appropriate norms and institutions may exist. And even if democracy is generally regarded as the best formula to construct a just polity, democratization at times is perceived as threatening intra-state peace, an equally valued goal. Contestation about democracy promotion has, therefore, a crucial normative dimension that can be conceptualized as a series of conflicts over justice. If we conceive of external democracy promotion as a process of interaction -instead of unidirectional export or socialization-, such justice conflicts constitute a major normative challenge to democracy promoters. The paper presents an alternative perspective on "democracy promotion as interaction" and develops a typology of justice conflicts that captures the normative challenges brought about by the interactive nature of democracy promotion. It concludes by outlining first sketches of a research agenda on justice conflicts in democracy promotion.
Keywords democracy; democratization; typology; justice; conflict potential; international relations; standard
Classification International Relations, International Politics, Foreign Affairs, Development Policy
Document language English
Publication Year 2012
City Frankfurt am Main
Page/Pages 25 p.
Series PRIF Working Papers, 12
Status Published Version
Licence Deposit Licence - No Redistribution, No Modifications