Geoffrey Wood
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This chapter highlights the classic and contemporary sociological approaches for the understanding of democracy and democratization with particular attention being accorded to the post-1989 period. It tabulates the development of classical social theories of democracy. Among these sociological theories, one thing which is common is that they seek to understand the nature and the desirability of linkages between formal political institutions and the makeup of wider society. In the early years of the century, formal democracy in many of the advanced societies was extremely shaky, or even non-existent. For democratization to be secured, it is necessary that active attention be accorded to the developing civil society. Sociological perspectives regarding democratization have had greater influence in the emerging trans-disciplines of socio-economics and political economy, which have attempted to break free from the rational choice straitjacket.

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