Democratizing the Hegemonic State: Political Transformation in the Age of Identity (Paperback)
  • Democratizing the Hegemonic State: Political Transformation in the Age of Identity (Paperback)
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Democratizing the Hegemonic State: Political Transformation in the Age of Identity (Paperback)

(author)
£31.99
Paperback 250 Pages / Published: 23/07/2007
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This book provides a new, comprehensive analytical framework for the examination of majority-minority relations in deeply divided societies. Hegemonic states in which one ethnic group completely dominates all others will continue to face enormous pressures to transform because they are out of step with the new, emerging, global governing code that emphasizes democracy and equal rights. Refusal to change would lead such states to lose international legitimacy and face increasing civil strife, instability, and violence. Through systematic theoretical analysis and careful empirical study of 14 key cases, Peleg examines the options open to polities with diverse populations. Challenging the conventional wisdom of many liberal democrats, Peleg maintains that the preferred solution for a traditional hegemonic polity is not merely to grant equal rights to individuals, but also to incorporate significant group rights via mega-constitutional transformation.

Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 9780521707329
Number of pages: 250
Weight: 360 g
Dimensions: 234 x 156 x 14 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS
'This book contributes to our current understanding of democratisation in the context of ethnic politics. ... [it] is a book well worth reading and should be required of any student of ethnic politics and ethnic conflict.' John Ishiyama, Journal of Politics
'Peleg suggests some ways forward; his book is the product of exceptionally wide reading in support of careful analytical thinking, and it deserves attention.' Journal of Communist Studies and Transition Politics
"Peleg has written a path breaking work that uses impeccable scholarship and great theoretical insight to bring exceptional clarity to a necessarily controversial area of research. The book opens up new territory analytically and empirically; it broadens the often-sterile debate over whether regimes are democratic or non-democratic by developing new concepts that transcend the old terminology and by avoiding the old trap of treating `democracy' as an `either-or' proposition. This leads to an important conclusion that is well-supported both inductively and deductively: that in deeply-divided societies the achievement of stable democracy requires recognition of group rights as well as individual rights." Alan Dowty, University of Notre Dame, and former President, Association for Israel Studies
"This important book rigorously analyses a crucial topic for our time: the political transformation of states under the hegemony of one particular ethnic group. In an era dominated by the politics of identity, the full democratization of such political systems to establish political accommodation among warring communities is a pressing concern. Professor Peleg's lucid account of both the need for innovative constitutional solutions and his discussion of the different options represent a major contribution both to the study of ethnic conflict and its resolution. His analysis is supported by richly detailed accounts of different cases which further enhance its value to anyone interested in one of the main sources of political instability in today's world." Adrian Guelke, Director, Centre for the Study of Ethnic Conflict, Queen's University of Belfast
"Professor Ilan Peleg convincingly argues about the need of political accommodation in deeply divided societies, if democracy, equality, human rights and self-government are to advance in a new global governing code. To avoid disruptive conflict not only individual but also group rights should be constitutionally recognized, particularly in those hegemonic states where ethnic subordination persists. Peleg's incisive analyses and powerful insights are empirically grounded in a thorough examination of fourteen cases around the world. This book makes a compulsory reading for social scientists concerned with identity politics and democratization within and beyond the boundaries of contemporary polities." Luis Moreno, Spanish National Research Council, Madrid
"This is a superb book. It provides a wide-ranging, detailed, and thoughtful analysis of problems of multiethnic societies. It examines a variety of theories of accommodation in terms of existing realities, and focuses on the condition of ethno-national minorities particularly in hegemonic and (more or less) democratic states. Proceeding in a manner that is politically engaged without polemics or ideological preconceptions, Peleg looks at ethnic challenges to political stability as well as democracy, and suggests solutions that move from the `management' of ethnic conflict to policies that are not only democratic but also fair." William Safran, University of Colorado at Boulder
"As many states struggle with their internal diversity and face growing challenges from restive ethnic minorities in their midst, this important book offers a timely and thorough analysis of ways to manage majority-minority relations in multiethnic states. Domination by a single ethnic group in a multiethnic state, Professor Peleg warns, is a recipe for domestic instability, the erosion of democracy, human rights violations, and potentially massive violence. Rather than resist global pressures for democracy and equal rights, such `hegemonic states' can and must find ways of accommodating their ethnic minorities. Drawing upon extensive theory and numerous case studies, Peleg offers a clear, comprehensive, and empirically-grounded analysis of possible solutions to interethnic conflict. He expertly examines the different paths taken by hegemonic states and the various possibilities for their transformation into more inclusive and democratic polities. As such, this book will be an invaluable guide to anyone concerned with the problem of ethnic conflict and how to resolve it." Dov Waxman, City University of New York
"Although the nation-state has been widely considered the norm in the modern world, the fact is that ethnically divided states of all stripes have been far more common. Ilan Peleg's outstanding book, Democratizing the Hegemonic State, provides a cutting-edge analysis of how to think about such states. Peleg's particular interest is states in which one ethnic group holds sway, while offering a thin gruel of democracy to minority groups. In grim times, he offers us a path-and hope-on how to move from a single group's domination to new, inclusive constitutional designs." Joel Migdal, University of Washington
"Peleg approaches his topic with a classical realist political-scientific eye: He aims to decipher the internal mechanism of a political system and thus to predict (and to prescribe) what kind of an output is to be expected upon the presumption of a given input....this book is a premium guide to ethnically divided states and their possible democratic or other paths towards transformation." Uri Ram, Professor of Sociology & Anthropology, Ben Gurion University, Middle East Journal

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