- Importing Democracy
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- Importing Democracy: The Role of NGO's in South Africa, Tajikistan, & Argentina
- Importing Revolution (Chapter 8) - Democracy and Authoritarianism in the Postcommunist World
For the meticulous, a notepad and pen will come in handy.
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These are all mentioned in the first few chapters on Africa. Those with a casual interest in the role of NGOs non-governmental organizations are likely to judge the book a difficult read. I do not want to discourage the intrepid amateur since there are many thought provoking areas of the book worth exploring. The histories of each country are largely treated as though that portion of the story is self-contained.
Other than the unelucidated comment that many NGOs receive outside funding, the coverage is confined to specific relationships with the government, legal system, other organizations and actions within the relevant country. I am certain that to do otherwise would have exceeded time and space allowed. The interested reader may want to look further in other sources many are provided to explore the relationships between the organizations and their funders. The differences in the three countries are used to demonstrate how and where each NGO works through different societal and governmental structures, difficulties encountered, topics addressed women's rights, child abuse, legal representation and advocacy, policy issues et.
Somewhat more difficult to unpack are the assumptions and motives of outside players. External goals, e.
All and all, there is a monumental amount of information to be absorbed and numerous avenues of inquiry left for the curious. This book should be recommended reading for those involved with NGOs in any capacity.
In addition, it certainly would provide a solid foundation for related course work in any political science department. Jan 29, Beena rated it it was amazing. An electronic copy of the book was given to me by the author via Booktips in exchange for an honest review. I took on this book because I felt that in this current political time of change, topics discussed in this book would be valuable.
I am British and I live in London, without a formal background in politics or anthropology but science, I got a lot out from Importing Democracy. Importing Democracy outlines the role of Non-governmental Organisations NGOs in the demo An electronic copy of the book was given to me by the author via Booktips in exchange for an honest review. I was only previously familiar with South Africa. The title is important, as the author states clearly at the start that democracy can not be exported e. Iraq and Afghanistan, but must be imported by bringing ideas from abroad and secondly by rediscovering indigenous democratic traditions.
The intellectual nature of the book should not put anyone off from reading this work. The author does an excellent job of defining key terms and of breaking down complex ideas. Relevant history of South Africa, Tajikistan and Argentina are given before analysis of the topics is delved into. This helps the lay reader like me to understand the context in which NGOs operated in and what their challenges were and are. This is about real human life and civil society in three countries that have had there fair share if instability and unrest.
There are clear lessons learned and positive steps to take in the future. What stands out to me is the key role women play in creating a more democratic society. The book is pages long and I could go into many examples, but this review would become too long! I will need to read this book again to better understand the histories of these nations and also to learn from them. Lessons learnt from Iraq and Afghanistan I hope will mean the role of NGOs will be seen as vital in moving forward for global society, even in those like Britain who have had democracy established for a relatively long time.
Each generation must reassess, engage and evolve otherwise we become complacent and that can lead to tragedy. Syria and the people of Syria need the world to come together in a manner that will reduce the suffering now but also create a brighter future. NGOs will no doubt play a key role as they do now, and without them thousands upon thousands of voices would never be heard. I have learned a lot from reading about countries outside of the West and would recommend people interested in the global political stage and civil society which is to say, I hope, most people , should read this book.
Feb 15, Henk-Jan van der Klis rated it really liked it. She uses Robert Dahl's definition of democracy including three dimensions - political opposition, public participation, and law-based civil liberty. Fisher's focus is on non-governmental organizations NGOs contributing to these dimensions, instead of governmental initiatives, like the United States invasion of Iraq and failed export of democracy to that country.
The historical, political, and economic context of each country is described. General contours of civil society, then the role of democratization NGOs in promoting both loyal opposition and law-based civil liberties are addressed.
Following the nine country chapters, the book concludes with a comparative overview and implications for international policy. Each of the three countries have a different starting point, set of democratization forces, and outlook.
South Africa is promising. Many Tajik NGOs are weak, but there is evidence that they do well when they concentrate on Tajikistan's strongest local democratic traditions and institutions. Although Argentina is lacking words for accountability, much less legal accountability, democratization NGOs help strengthen government institutions at both the local and national levels.
The fate of democratization ultimately depends on the state, on civil society, and on the relationship between them. The many names and examples in the book will not be remembered by heart, the main findings, conclusions and recommendations are far more important.
The book provides insight in the inner workings and practical consequences of the active role NGOs play in further democratization of countries. Apr 01, Prapti Panda rated it really liked it. I must confess that even though I've been researching on these particular countries for a long time, I never knew the influence that some of these Non-Governmental Organizations could exert on the Government and politics in general. The footnotes and definitions included in the book by the author go a long way towards making you understand political processes.
I also liked the fact that the author didn't simply jump into present situations and the NGOs. She recounted the history, formation and the civil societies in each of the countries discussed. That went a lot of way towards making me understand the reasons behind the existence of present-day problems.
Another thing that is very appreciable is that the book has the latest statistics and poll results, which the author uses to support her arguments. Overall, this came in very handy to me as a political reference book that doesn't directly concern politics.
I recommend this to everyone, even if you are just looking for a book to enrich your general knowledge. Brian O'Day marked it as to-read Mar 26, Julie marked it as to-read Dec 02, Sangeeta Kamat is currently reading it Feb 02, There are no discussion topics on this book yet. About Julie Fisher.
Importing Democracy: The Role of NGO's in South Africa, Tajikistan, & Argentina
Julie Fisher. Because there is so much evil in the world, I am intellectually curious about why people do good. I am passionate about democracy, linked as it is to improved economic performance, increased equality, political stability, good governance and the avoidance of war. My first book, The Road from Rio: Sustainable Development and the Nongovenrmental Movement in the Third World, was a pioneering overview of the worldwide growth of civil society which began in the s. In South Africa, the Good Governance Learning Network shares participatory tools to make local governments more responsive.
Importing Revolution (Chapter 8) - Democracy and Authoritarianism in the Postcommunist World
In Tajikistan, Jahan teaches local police about human rights. In Argentina, seven democratization NGOs sponsor public deliberations in local communities and have organized a nationwide citizens network to combat municipal government corruption. The book is organized around three chapters for each country, South Africa, Tajikistan, and Argentina. The first chapter of each country s section begins with the historical, political, and economic context and continues with a discussion of the general contours of civil society.
The second chapter in each section deals with the role of democratization NGOs in promoting both loyal opposition and law-based civil liberties. The third chapter focuses on their role in promoting political culture and political participation. Fisher, a former Kettering Foundation program officer, writes that the idea that democracy can be exported has lost credibility in recent years. The fall Ukrainian presidential election led to one of the seminal moments in that country's history.
Initially, the campaign and election results resembled other tainted and fraudulent votes in semiauthoritarian regimes around the world. The incumbent president, Leonid Kuchma, and his chosen successor, Prime Minister Victor Yanukovych, deployed all available state resources, national media, and private funding from both Ukrainians and Russians to defeat the opposition candidate, Victor Yushchenko.
When this effort to win the vote failed, Kuchma's government tried to steal the election, allegedly adding more than 1 million extra votes to Yanukovych's tally in the second round of voting held on November 21, In response to this perceived fraud, Yushchenko called upon his supporters to come to the Maidan, the Independence Square in Kyiv, and protest the stolen election. First thousands, then tens of thousands, then hundreds of thousands answered his call. They remained on the square, with some living in a tent city on Khreshchatyk, Kyiv's main thoroughfare, until the Supreme Court annulled the official results of the second round on December 3, and set a date for the rerunning of the second round for December 26, In this vote, Yushchenko won fifty-two percent of the vote, compared to forty-four percent for Yanukovych.