More and more nations have embraced democracy over the last few years. Consequently, studies and scholarship on democracy have been increasing. Yet comparative studies on democracy and political development do not seem to come to grips with the problems of democracy. While the comparatives look at the challenges of democratic transition, consolidation and problems of mature democracies as separate problems, this book contends that the problems facing democratic regimes remain the same, differing only by degree. The author attributes the success of democracy to striking the right balance between rights and virtues. By focusing only on the procedural aspects of democracy, we would at best invent a symptomatic cure for the ailments of democratic governments. A wholesome solution would be provided only by a redefinition of the basic terms and concepts of democracy and a reconsideration of our assumptions regarding democracy.
In this book, the spirit of democracy and the views of Alexis de Tocqueville and the founders of the American system of democracy are examined as they are relevant to the contemporary world. In analyzing democratic regimes, the book goes beyond merely a technical or mechanical perspective. The influence of various components such as foreign policies, international rules, economic and religious factors in the process of democratization has been discussed for a complete study. By combining the best of comparative theory and liberal democratic theory, the book rediscovers the ideal of democracy.
The extensive list of notes (chapter wise) and the comprehensive Bibliography given at the end of the book would considerably help the readers in delving deeper into the subject. Post graduate students of Political Science as well as political analysts would find this book extremely useful and interesting.