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Title: Struggles of Recognition: The Psychological Causes of Democratization
Author: Shultziner, Doron
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2007
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This project attempts to answer the unsolved puzzle of democratization: why does '. democratization occur? This is both a theory development and theory testing project which aims to answer this question by considering a psychological facet of human .. nature, the pursuit of recognition, following Francis Fukuyama's argument. At the crux of the thesis is the idea that the pursuit of recognition - an aversion to being oppressed and a desire for social esteem - is the underlying impetus of democratization. This impetus can be converted into political pressures leading to democratization in relation to a wide array of external factors. · In order to test this idea, I develop a theoretical apparatus that discusses the possible ways in which the pursuit of recognition may be converted into political pressures and observed empirically. I develop concepts and research pertaining to injustice-frames and oppositional consciousness. The research approach in interdisciplinary and involves several levels of analysis. The main focus, however, is on the psychological dimensions of democratization. I argue that the explanation of the specific timing and place of democratization should be sought in developments of injustice-frames and oppositional consciousness among · the oppressed. These changes in human agency properties are most relevant to explaining why and how democratization occurs. As for the question why .democratization occurs as a general phenomenon, I argue that an explanation must invoke the psychological facet of human nature because it is the only level of analysis that can explain the general cause of this phenomenon which is very complex and incomparable in almost any external aspect. I develop of the pursuit of recognition theory, and test alternative theories of democratization, by looking at four cases of democratization: the U.S. civil rights movement, the transition from authoritarian rule to democracy in Spain, the transition from apartheid to democracy in South Africa, and the Kuwaiti women's rights struggle for the vote. I examine the complexity of the processes leading to democratization and the explanatory power of rival explanations.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available