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This is a study of conceptualizations and applications of the idea of democracy in international and trans-national politics (outside the confines of constituted political states, or outside a broadly understood domestic political sphere), which uses a politically realist methodology. This study provides a critical survey of current conceptual positions assumed in this area, and tests these against specific real world events, using the invasion and occupation of Iraq by a US-UK led coalition as a case study. This book is divided into two parts - the first examines the six prevailing conceptual positions on democracy in the international/trans-national domain in terms of (a) their normative and legislative connotations and (b) the manner in which they negotiate boundaries. The second part tests the observations made in Part 1 against real-world events, using the build up to military intervention in and subsequent occupation of Iraq.
During these events the notion of democracy was continually being deployed and dissected in a wide variety of different ways: justifications for and against military action were constantly framed in terms of democracy; the democratic structure and credentials of the UN were stretched almost at breaking point; mass marches and rallies were claimed as a democratic expression of protest; and a discourse of 'democratization' has dominated the occupation period.
Suman Gupta is a Senior Lecturer in Literature at the Open University; Director of the international collaborative project on Globalization, Identity Politics and Social Conflict; and Honorary Senior Research Fellow, Centre for Research in Human Rights, Roehampton University. He is the author of six books - including Marxism, History and Intellectuals, Corporate Capitalism and Political Philosophy, and The Replication of Violence: Thoughts on International Terrorism After 11 September 2001.