The failure of democratic nation building: Ideology meets evolution

Albert Somit, Steven Ames Peterson

Research output: Book/ReportBook

21 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Throughout history authoritarian governments have outnumbered democratic ones to an overwhelming degree. Even today, true democracies are an exception. In this book, Somit and Peterson argue that the main reason for this pattern is that humans are social primates with an innate tendency for hierarchical and authoritarian social and political structures. Democracy requires very special 'enabling conditions' before it can be supported by a state, conditions that require decades to evolve. As a result, attempts to export democracy through nation-building to states without these enabling conditions are doomed to failure. The authors argue that money and energy devoted to nation-building around the globe by the U.S. would be better spent on problems facing the country domestically.

Original languageEnglish (US)
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan
Number of pages159
ISBN (Electronic)9781403978424
ISBN (Print)9781403967817
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 26 2005

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state formation
ideology
democracy
political structure
social structure
money
energy
history

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Social Sciences(all)

Cite this

Somit, Albert ; Peterson, Steven Ames. / The failure of democratic nation building : Ideology meets evolution. Palgrave Macmillan, 2005. 159 p.
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The failure of democratic nation building : Ideology meets evolution. / Somit, Albert; Peterson, Steven Ames.

Palgrave Macmillan, 2005. 159 p.

Research output: Book/ReportBook

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