Appropriate(d) Democracy: Analyzing Elite Discourse across North Africa Public Deposited

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  • March 21, 2019
  • Gorman, Brandon
    • Affiliation: College of Arts and Sciences, Department of Sociology
  • Political speeches in the contemporary world illustrate a tendency among heads of state of appealing to democracy and democratic concepts regardless of regime type. While the prevalence of this discourse in countries like the United States is unsurprising, the use of discourses of democracy among autocrats presents a puzzle: what are autocrats doing in their discursive invocation of democracy? Current literature on global norms of democratic governance suggests that decoupling - or feigning support for democracy without enacting it in local institutions - is endemic in discourses which touch upon global norms. This literature suggests that these norms can be either adopted wholesale, decoupled, or rejected wholesale, the latter being the rarest configuration. This study seeks to transcend this categorization. I argue that discourses of democracy are in fact appropriated discourses, in which global norms interact with local interests, issues, and power structures and new definitions of these norms are articulated.
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  • In Copyright
  • Kurzman, Charles
  • Master of Arts
Degree granting institution
  • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Graduation year
  • 2012

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