Mirage of democracy

Mirage of democracy

DOI: 10.17976/jpps/2014.06.10

For citation:

Mirage of democracy. – Polis. Political Studies. 2014. No. 6. P. 127-148. (In Russ.). https://doi.org/10.17976/jpps/2014.06.10


With the fall of the USSR, the virtues of ‘liberal democracy’ have become major claims of Western hegemonic nations. A democratic status is necessary for states to be considered a legitimate component of the modern world. Building democracy is the counterpart to the move to the market and private ownership in the transformation of the state socialist societies. However, though there is general approval of things democratic, its nature is subject to wide and often contradictory meaning. Of one thing we can be clear; there is no single thing called democracy. In this chapter I consider the different meanings given to ‘democracy’. The main approach considered is that of electoral democracy. A second objective is to examine the performance of electoral democracies in promoting human well-being. Here I consider studies measuring the relationship between democracy, on the one hand, and economic growth, equality, happiness and peace, on the other. It is concluded that, in terms of social and economic outputs, there does not appear to be an overwhelming case to prioritise electoral democracy as a political objective. The strength of electoral democracy lies in promoting processes of accountability and types of political order. As far as promoting economic growth, happiness, equality and peace, it sometimes promotes them but sometimes not.

liberal democracy; Russia; democracy and growth; democracy and happiness; democracy and peace; democracy and equality; democracy defined.

Content No. 6, 2014

See also:

Inozemtzev V.L.,
«Preventive democracy»: concept. prerequisites of emergence. prospects for Russia. – Polis. Political Studies. 2012. No6

Lebedeva T.P.,
Liberal Democracy as Orienting Objective for Post-Totalitarian Transformations. – Polis. Political Studies. 2004. No2

Krasin Yu.A.,
Metamorphoses of Democracy in the Changing World. – Polis. Political Studies. 2006. No4

Merkel B., Croissant A.,
Formal and Informal Institutions in Defective Democracies (1). – Polis. Political Studies. 2002. No1

Lukin A.V.,
Is other democracy possible?. – Polis. Political Studies. 2014. No1



Introducing an article

Polis. Political Studies
4 2003

Conference of Social Sciences Professional Associations 183

 The article text (электронная версия)


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