New book authored by Joe Foweraker, Honorary Professor of Politics at the University of Exeter

Amidst the many lamentations about the problems of democracy, Joe Foweraker in his new book turns his attention to specific questions: Is democracy incompatible with stark social inequalities? Why are so many democratic governments deemed unaccountable and beset by populist pressures? Perhaps most fundamentally, why does democratic theory have no answers to these questions?

Foweraker argues that finding answers requires a root-and-branch revision of ourthinking about democracy—a revision that asks us to stop talking about “democracy”and start talking about “polity.” Drawing on the political realities of Latin America,he describes polity as a system encompassing the distinct but conjoined domains ofoligarchy and democracy; and he offers a conceptual framework that identifies thekey components and logic of polity. His innovative analysis affords a better understandingnot only of democracy in Latin America, but also of democratic regimesaround the world.

“A highly innovative and successful attempt to reshape our thinkingabout democracy in general and Latin American political systems inparticular…. Foweraker captures the contending oligarchic and democraticelements in “democratic” political systems and directs us to explore theformation of these systems in the context of the interaction of state, regime,and civil society.”

—Evelyne Huber, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill

“An original, well-organized, and intellectually coherent volume that coversa wide range of debates with analytical rigor and a punchy style…. It will berecognized as a major contribution to our understanding of the nature of politicalregimes in Latin America.”

—Maxwell Cameron, University of British Columbia

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