Exporting Democracy

Exporting Democracy

The Risks and Rewards of Pursuing A Good Idea

Book - 2010
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The way most Western politicians talk, democracy is the pinnacle of civilization, the best political system there is. Many think it's the system the rest of the world ought to adopt. Bob Rae is not one of them. He is too well informed about the difficulties and dangers of implanting democracy in foreign lands. Exporting Democracy is an eloquently argued book in which Rae brings his lively, nuanced understanding to bear on the history and current fortunes of this powerful idea. He shows how it and the related ideas of freedom, human rights, and federalism have been pushed to centre stage by the collapse of Soviet communism and by ongoing wars to topple secular and religious dictatorships in the Middle East. He's also witnessed attempts to implant democracy in three countries riven by tribal and ethnic divisions, Iraq, Afghanistan, and Sri Lanka, and offers readers a cool appraisal of the effort.
Publisher: Toronto : McClelland & Stewart, c2010.
ISBN: 9780771072895
Branch Call Number: 321. 809 RAE
Characteristics: 275 p. ; 24 cm.

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JohnFDavidson
Jun 08, 2011

Bob Rae is both intellectual and realistic. His basic idea is that you can't impose democracy. It has to grow internally. He points out that it took a lot of time and the resolution of a lot of conflicts for democracy to take hold. There is hope.

debwalker Jan 04, 2011

Chosen by Jack Rabinovitch, founder of the Scotiabank Giller prize, as book of the year: "A former premier of Ontario and currently a Federal MP, Rae brings extraordinary insight and scholarship to a major and thorny international issue. As he points out in the book: “… the difficulty is that the sharing or exporting of Democracy comes with heavy baggage, the baggage of imperialism”

"With that comment as the launching pad, Rae reviews, analyzes and comments on the varying definitions of “Democracy” over the last 400 years. It is an outstanding tour d’horizon. Rae’s subtitle is The Risks and Rewards of Pursuing a Good Idea. He makes a cogent case that the fate of the planet will depend on how successful we are in this pursuit."

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