West By Not West: Comparative Democratic Theory is Constellational

Emily Beausoleil, Jean Paul Gagnon

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In 2020, Alexander Weiss introduced the idea of “comparative democratic theory” (CDT). For it to work, argues Weiss, a comparativist must first: “(1) identify relevant cases of non-Western democratic thought” (such as socialist democracy, Hungarian-style up to 1989, see Milan Pap in this issue for more); “(2) interpret the [text/s on that or those cases] from a globally comparative perspective; and (3) play back conceptual insight from the [text/s] to [a global, pluralist, body] of democratic theory” (2020, 32). Weiss’ proposal is novel but, as Bernd Reiter would almost certainly express, it could do more to demonstrate how earlier proposals for the decolonization of knowledge precede it.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)v-viii
Number of pages4
JournalDemocratic Theory
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2023


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