Gloarchy : Polyarchy in the Age of Globalization

University essay from Karlstads universitet/Fakulteten för samhälls- och livsvetenskaperKarlstads universitet/Institutionen för samhällsvetenskap

Abstract: This thesis tries to evaluate the very large question of how globalization can be said to have an effect on democracy by reducing both concepts to a more usable format. In doing so it tries to evaluate how a special theory of democracy put forward by Robert Dahl in 1971 – polyarchy – could be said to be affected by the workings of contemporary globalization. When assessing the variables of the investigation, globalization is being represented by two constructed ideal images that are later measured against a set of seven variables extracted from Dahl’s theory. By the use of qualitative text analysis the constructed ideal types help provide a framework for how one can measure the effects of globalization on polyarchy. The analysis ends in a result where it is clear that if globalization is understood as a neo-liberal ideal image it is making the circumstances for the creation of polyarchies in the future more favorable. However, if globalization is understood as an ideal image of world-system theory explanations then the circumstances for future polyarchies are less favorable. In a concluding discussion important implications of the results are highlighted when the thesis concludes that regardless of ideological starting point globalization can be said to affect the theory of polyarchy in such a way that it is in dire need of reevaluation. At the same time the essay concludes that whenever the concept of globalization is being used with scientific ambitions by politicians, they need to be aware of, and reflect, the different results that it brings depending on how it is explained.

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