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The Roots of Participatory Democracy

Democratic Communists in South Africa and Kerala, India

Authors: Williams, M.

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eBook $79.99
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  • ISBN 978-0-230-61260-0
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Hardcover $110.00
price for USA
  • ISBN 978-0-230-60640-1
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  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.
Softcover $105.00
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  • ISBN 978-1-349-37368-0
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.
About this book

This book compares the Communist parties of India and South Africa in their pursuits of socialist democracy. Williams looks at their organizational characteristics, party history, and their competing tendencies, as well as how they have pushed forward their similar ideologies within their unique political and economic environments.

About the authors

MICHELLE WILLIAMS is Assistant Professor of Sociology and Political Studies at the University of Witwatersrand, South Africa.

Reviews

"The Roots of Participatory Democracy is not only a fine ethnographic and comparative-historical investigation that enriches our understanding of contemporary socialist politics in the Global South. It makes a valuable theoretical contribution in clarifying the contingent connections between political economy, left parties and counter-hegemony...An engaging book." - William K. Carroll, Socialist Studies

"Williams provides a compelling account of institutional innovations in politics and governance undertaken by the South African Communist Party (SACP) and the Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPIM) in the state of Kerala, India based on extensive field research in both countries . . . an important contribution to the literatures of politics and social movements in sociology. It will also be of great interest to scholars in political science and development studies." - Saran Ghatak, Contemporary Sociology

"How might political parties promote transformative change in the contemporary Global South? Building on a foundation of painstaking comparative fieldwork and historical analysis, Michelle Williams has constructed an answer to this question that forces new appreciation of the role of party ideology and organization in shaping development trajectories. Anyone interested in twenty-first century political possibilities will profit from reading this original, theoretically audacious book." - Peter Evans, Eliaser Professor of International Studies and Professor of Sociology, University of California, Berkeley

"This is an important and highly original contribution to comparative political sociology. Williams explores two telling cases of generative politics in the developing world, the CPM in the Indian state of Kerala and the SACP in South Africa. Drawing on extensive fieldwork and careful historical analysis, she shows how both parties have responded to the challenges of neoliberalism by reinventing a radical politics of equity that is based on promoting participatory practices and institutions. By focusing on actual political practices and contrasting the ways in which each party has navigated the complicated relationship between civil society and the state, Williams provides a powerful analysis of the conditions under which parties can become transformative actors. In doing so, Williams transcends the traditional divide between social movement theorists who distrust parties and representative democracy theorists who distrust movements to show us how electoral and participatory political logics can be reconciled." -Patrick Heller, Brown University

"In a global context where political parties are widely believed to have been eclipsed by social movements, this important work of scholarship provides convincing evidence of socialist renewal in two actually existing communist parties in the Global South. The book is an innovative contribution to contemporary socialist theory and democratic practice. It demonstrates how two parties converge in their response to a post-Soviet world but diverge intriguingly in trying to implement their visions of socialist democracy." - Edward Webster, Professor of Sociology, University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa.

"Michelle Williams s book The Roots of Participatory Democracy: Democratic Communists in South Africa and Kerala, India is an important contribution to a necessary debate on what strategies the left political parties in the Third World can explore, build and implement in the terrain of capitalism...The book closes an important gap in existing literature: how democratic socialist alternatives can be rejuvenated and pursued in the global south outside of Latin America. By closing this gap, the book also challenges the pessimism that many social movement activists and associated academics hold towards political parties. In her view, left political parties are important in shaping the contours of political and economic development. I cannot agree with her more." - Mazibuko K. Jara, Amandla

"[A] perceptive, provocative contribution to the literature on democracy and communist participation in the global south... William's theoretical framework is innovative, her research meticulous, and her conclusions eminently sound... Highly recommended." - CHOICE


Table of contents (8 chapters)

  • Introduction: Hegemonic and Counter-Hegemonic Generative Politics

    Williams, Michelle

    Pages 1-13

  • Communist Renewal and Ideological Convergence

    Williams, Michelle

    Pages 19-33

  • The Counter-Hegemonic Politics of the CPI(M)

    Williams, Michelle

    Pages 35-62

  • The Hegemonic Politics of the SACP

    Williams, Michelle

    Pages 63-88

  • Party Capacities in Historical Perspective

    Williams, Michelle

    Pages 93-117

Buy this book

eBook $79.99
price for USA (gross)
  • ISBN 978-0-230-61260-0
  • Digitally watermarked, DRM-free
  • Included format: PDF
  • ebooks can be used on all reading devices
  • Immediate eBook download after purchase
Hardcover $110.00
price for USA
  • ISBN 978-0-230-60640-1
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.
Softcover $105.00
price for USA
  • ISBN 978-1-349-37368-0
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.

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Bibliographic Information

Bibliographic Information
Book Title
The Roots of Participatory Democracy
Book Subtitle
Democratic Communists in South Africa and Kerala, India
Authors
Copyright
2008
Publisher
Palgrave Macmillan US
Copyright Holder
Palgrave Macmillan, a division of Nature America Inc.
eBook ISBN
978-0-230-61260-0
DOI
10.1057/9780230612600
Hardcover ISBN
978-0-230-60640-1
Softcover ISBN
978-1-349-37368-0
Edition Number
1
Number of Pages
XXII, 215
Topics