A ‘New Social Contract’?: A Postcolonial Critique of the United Nations’ Contemporary Democracy Promotion Agenda

ResearchSpace/Manakin Repository

Show simple item record

dc.contributor.advisor Lacey, A en
dc.contributor.author Jayasinghe, Pasan en
dc.date.accessioned 2016-12-04T21:14:21Z en
dc.date.issued 2016 en
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/2292/31222 en
dc.description Full text is available to authenticated members of The University of Auckland only. en
dc.description.abstract Democracy promotion has assumed a central place within the contemporary international development agenda. The idea that democracy is a conclusively universal norm drives its widespread advocacy, particularly by international organisations, and its seemingly uncontested global adoption, especially in countries undergoing governance transitions. This thesis will use postcolonial theory to critically examine discourse on democracy promotion, both conceptually— in how democracy promotion developed and functions as a discourse—and in practice—in how the United Nations’ democracy promotion activities, premised on this discourse, operate in the context of a number of democratic transitions in postcolonial settings. Postcolonial theory has much to contribute to this examination because of its focus on exposing the dominant representations of the global South and uncovering how these representations continue to configure disparate power relations in contemporary global politics Central to this thesis’ theoretical examination is its construction of two genealogies. The first is a deconstructed narrative of democracy’s historical development which investigates the standard account of democracy’s development alongside counter-perspectives apparent through a postcolonial perspective. The second is a genealogy of democracy promotion’s development as a policy agenda at the UN. These genealogies critically expose the ‘democracy’ that is central to ‘democracy promotion’ as Western in origin, procedural and liberal in nature, and intimately linked to shifts within neoliberal development discourse. The thesis then evaluates these insights empirically by examining the UN’s contemporary democracy promotion discourse broadly at a global level, and specifically in its operations in Tunisia and Nepal, two widely lauded ‘success stories’ of democratisation. This examination is carried out using a critical discourse analysis of contemporary United Nations Development Programme policy documents globally and in Tunisia and Nepal. The analysis reveals how the UN upholds both universal democracy and neoliberal development through its conceptualisation and operationalisation of democracy promotion discourse. This broadly exposes the UN’s complicity in ongoing colonial patterns of domination. It also suggests, however, that contemporary democracy promotion and neoliberal development discourses are prone to certain instabilities which render their operation neither wholly uniform nor cohesive. en
dc.publisher ResearchSpace@Auckland en
dc.relation.ispartof Masters Thesis - University of Auckland en
dc.relation.isreferencedby UoA99264888596102091 en
dc.rights Items in ResearchSpace are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated. Previously published items are made available in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher. en
dc.rights Restricted Item. Available to authenticated members of The University of Auckland. en
dc.rights.uri https://researchspace.auckland.ac.nz/docs/uoa-docs/rights.htm en
dc.rights.uri http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0/nz/ en
dc.title A ‘New Social Contract’?: A Postcolonial Critique of the United Nations’ Contemporary Democracy Promotion Agenda en
dc.type Thesis en
thesis.degree.discipline Politics and International Relations en
thesis.degree.grantor The University of Auckland en
thesis.degree.level Masters en
dc.rights.holder Copyright: The author en
pubs.elements-id 549350 en
pubs.record-created-at-source-date 2016-12-05 en

Full text options

This item appears in the following Collection(s)

Show simple item record

http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0/nz/ Except where otherwise noted, this item's license is described as http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0/nz/


Search ResearchSpace

Advanced Search