Alexei D. Voskressenski, ed., Is Non-Western Democracy Possible

DOI10.1177/0973598420905822
AuthorAnirban Chatterjee
Date01 June 2020
Publication Date01 June 2020
SubjectBook Review
Book Review
Book Review
Alexei D. Voskressenski, ed., Is Non-Western Democracy
Possible: A Russian Perspective. Singapore: World Scientific
Publishing Company, 2017, 768 pp., US$120.00 (Hardcover).
ISBN: 978-981-3147-37-9.
We live in an ‘age of democracy’, it is claimed, but recent events in
many developing countries raise some fundamental questions. Erdogan’s
victory in Turkish presidential election held in June 2018 tightening his
grip over legislature and judiciary, Putin’s victory in the Russian
presidential election in May 2018 strengthening the presidency, the
victory of far right Jair Bolsonaro as President in Brazil, the consolidation
of dictatorship in North Korea, the banning of Muslim Brotherhood in
Egypt, the electoral victory of a Hindu Nationalist party in India have
raised two sets of questions: (a) whether such phenomena require
non-Western perspectives to understand the political developments in
these countries beyond the normative theories of democracy? (b)
Whether liberal democracy is retreating in many of the non-Western
societies? This edited volume undertakes an exhaustive research
consisting of sixteen chapters to understand the complexities associated
with democracy.
The book attempts to understand evolution of political cultures across
Africa and Asia. It undertakes a comparative analysis of political systems
of the Eastern countries. The volume seeks to answer the intriguing
question: is non-Western democracy possible?
The first chapter lays down the theoretical groundwork to analyze the
inherent discrepancies between Eastern and Western democracies. The
book in fact locates the largest democracy in the world, India, to the East
and not the Western hemisphere. In its attempt to understand diverse
forms of government, the book classifies them into limited and open
access depending on their different social orders. It also argues that some
countries belong to the limited status, while others to the open access
status due to the ‘problems of primarily internal character’. The factors
Jadavpur Journal of
International Relations
24(1) 121–125, 2020
2020 Jadavpur University
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DOI: 10.1177/0973598420905822
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