By Charles Kurzman
In the last decade earlier than global warfare I, a wave of democratic revolutions swept the globe, eating greater than 1 / 4 of the world’s inhabitants. Revolution remodeled Russia, Iran, the Ottoman Empire, Portugal, Mexico, and China. In each one case, a pro-democracy flow unseated a long-standing autocracy with startling velocity. The nascent democratic regime held elections, convened parliament, and allowed freedom of the clicking and freedom of organization. however the new governments failed frequently to uphold the rights and freedoms that they proclaimed. Coups d’état quickly undermined the democratic experiments.
How can we account for those unforeseen democracies, and for his or her quick extinction? In Democracy Denied, Charles Kurzman proposes that the collective agent such a lot at once liable for democratization used to be the rising classification of recent intellectuals, a gaggle that had won an international identification and a near-messianic experience of undertaking following the Dreyfus Affair of 1898.
Each bankruptcy of Democracy Denied specializes in a unmarried attitude of this tale, protecting all six circumstances through reading newspaper bills, memoirs, and executive reviews. This completely interdisciplinary remedy of the early-twentieth-century upheavals can provide to reshape debates concerning the social origins of democracy, the explanations of democratic cave in, the political roles of intellectuals, and the foreign move of ideas.
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Extra info for Democracy Denied, 1905-1915: Intellectuals and the Fate of Democracy
Rather, they used terms such as münevverler (enlighteners) and mütefekkirler (thinkers) to describe themselves—terms that were Arabic in origin, and could encompass progressive religious scholars as well as secular-trained intellectuals. The same was true in Iran, where intellectuals identified themselves during the democratic revolution of 1906 as danishmandan (knowledgeable ones), later adopting the term munavvaran from Turkish. 47 Unlike in Iran, the Ottoman democracy movement received little support from progressive clerics until after the constitution was reinstated, when influential Muslim religious scholars, even the sultan’s chief religious official, sided with the intellectuals.
36 The prodemocracy movement debated which would have to come first, cognitive enlightenment or political reform. For some, democracy would have to wait until the intellectuals had enough power and time to prepare the populace. “As long as the people do not have education, they will remain ignorant of their rights, and as long as they do not know their rights, one should not hope for anything from [political and social] reforms,” according to one activist. Given the country’s “almost total illiteracy,” another argued, the people would “remain the slaves” of their social superiors even in a democracy.
The stage theory proposed the monarchy and old forms of knowledge belonged to a stage of time that was ending; democracy and positivism belonged to a stage of time that was arriving. One of the crucial indicators of the progression of stages, according to Braga and other Comteans, was traditional religion. Braga took Catholic Christianity in Portugal as a symptom and a bastion of the old order, and his hostility to the established church carried over into the early years of the new democracy, when the new government pursued aggressive, even foolhardy, measures 44 | Intellectuals and Democratization against the church, expelling the Jesuits, expropriating church property, and jailing clerics who objected.