When does a theory become universal

To what extent is it universal?

Transcultural Political Theory pp 285-303 | Cite as

On the concept of democracy in comparative democracy research
  • Sophia Schubert
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Part of the Trans- and Intercultural Political Theory and History of Ideas book series (TIPTI)

Summary

The concept of democracy is the normative and conceptual linchpin of comparative democracy research. Democracy researchers have long used the term as a universalistic analysis category, v. a. in standardized population surveys in which it was assumed that “democracy” is understood the same way around the world (e.g. Klingemann 1999). The assumption that ›democracy‹ has the same meanings worldwide can, however, be criticized as naive from a pluralistic perspective. Accordingly, it suppresses the contextuality of political concepts. After all, people, political theorists as well as ›normal‹ citizens, always find themselves in specific cultural contexts which also shape people's political thinking.

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© Springer Fachmedien Wiesbaden 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.FU BerlinBerlinGermany