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Institutions and Ideals. Exploring Perceptions of Democracy in Jamaica.

Zätterström, Kristofer (2005)
Department of Political Science
Abstract
This thesis focuses on democracy, which here is seen as both certain institutional arrangements (notably competitive elections and multipartyism) and more abstract ideals that these arrangements are intended to secure (such as accountability and responsiveness). The intention is to explore how citizens of a polity characterized by competitive elections and high levels of political participation - Jamaica - understand democracy and relate to the institutions associated with it. An inductive research strategy structures the thesis, meaning that the empirical material - gathered through semi-structured interviews during two months of field work - is taken as a starting point for a theoretical discussion. The material suggests a general... (More)
This thesis focuses on democracy, which here is seen as both certain institutional arrangements (notably competitive elections and multipartyism) and more abstract ideals that these arrangements are intended to secure (such as accountability and responsiveness). The intention is to explore how citizens of a polity characterized by competitive elections and high levels of political participation - Jamaica - understand democracy and relate to the institutions associated with it. An inductive research strategy structures the thesis, meaning that the empirical material - gathered through semi-structured interviews during two months of field work - is taken as a starting point for a theoretical discussion. The material suggests a general conception of democracy as proper socio-economic conditions and it is found that clientelistic exchanges seem to permeate citizen-politician linkages; this constitutes a reason for political participation whilst simultaneously causing people to refrain from politics. Based on these empirical findings two theoretical points are further discussed: it is argued that to designate beforehand certain observable referents of democracy may be more problematic than commonly recognized, and that the democratic consequences of clientelistic relations are not given; whilst most analysts see them as democratically problematic it is also possible to see them as means of securing the democratic ideals. (Less)
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author
Zätterström, Kristofer
supervisor
organization
year
type
H1 - Master's Degree (One Year)
subject
keywords
Jamaica, Democracy, Perceptions, Clientelism, Induction, Political and administrative sciences, Statsvetenskap, förvaltningskunskap
language
English
id
1330724
date added to LUP
2005-06-20 00:00:00
date last changed
2005-06-20 00:00:00
@misc{1330724,
  abstract     = {This thesis focuses on democracy, which here is seen as both certain institutional arrangements (notably competitive elections and multipartyism) and more abstract ideals that these arrangements are intended to secure (such as accountability and responsiveness). The intention is to explore how citizens of a polity characterized by competitive elections and high levels of political participation - Jamaica - understand democracy and relate to the institutions associated with it. An inductive research strategy structures the thesis, meaning that the empirical material - gathered through semi-structured interviews during two months of field work - is taken as a starting point for a theoretical discussion. The material suggests a general conception of democracy as proper socio-economic conditions and it is found that clientelistic exchanges seem to permeate citizen-politician linkages; this constitutes a reason for political participation whilst simultaneously causing people to refrain from politics. Based on these empirical findings two theoretical points are further discussed: it is argued that to designate beforehand certain observable referents of democracy may be more problematic than commonly recognized, and that the democratic consequences of clientelistic relations are not given; whilst most analysts see them as democratically problematic it is also possible to see them as means of securing the democratic ideals.},
  author       = {Zätterström, Kristofer},
  keyword      = {Jamaica,Democracy,Perceptions,Clientelism,Induction,Political and administrative sciences,Statsvetenskap, förvaltningskunskap},
  language     = {eng},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  title        = {Institutions and Ideals. Exploring Perceptions of Democracy in Jamaica.},
  year         = {2005},
}