Divergent trajectories of democratic deepening: comparing Brazil, India, and South Africa

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Abstract

This article argues that democratic deepening is shaped by shifting civil society-state relations that can only be understood by disaggregating democratic deepening into its component parts of participation, representation, and stateness. This frame is used to explore the divergent democratic trajectories of Brazil, India, and South Africa. Through the examples of local government transformation and social movement mobilization, I argue that a “project” civil society in Brazil has deepened democracy and transformed the state. In contrast, in South Africa and India civil society is increasingly being subordinated to political society. In South Africa, an active civil society has largely been sidelined as a politically consequential actor (containerization) and in India much of civil society has been fragmented and instrumentalized (involution).

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APA

Heller, P. (2019). Divergent trajectories of democratic deepening: comparing Brazil, India, and South Africa. Theory and Society, 48(3), 351–382. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11186-019-09351-7

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