Distrusting Democrats: Outcomes of Participatory Constitution Making

Distrusting Democrats: Outcomes of Participatory Constitution Making

by Devra Coren Coren Moehler, Devra Coren Moehler




How does mass participation affect political culture in countries undergoing political transition? Distrusting Democrats examines the consequences of citizen involvement in Uganda, one of a growing number of countries employing the participatory model of constitutional reform. Contrary to predictions, author Devra Moehler finds that participation contributes to the creation of "distrusting democrats": citizens who are democratic in their attitudes, but suspicious of their governmental institutions in practice. Moehler argues that participation in developing democracies gives citizens new tools with which to evaluate their imperfectly-performing institutions. Participation raises democratic expectations and alerts citizens to existing democratic deficits. The general implications for constitution-building countries are clear: short-term risks of disillusionment and instability; and long-term advantages from a more sophisticated citizenry capable of monitoring leaders and promoting political development.

Moehler's analysis is based on in-depth interviews, archival research, and a national random-sample survey of 820 Ugandan citizens.

"A gem. This book shows that political participation breeds critical citizenship. A timely reminder that successful democratization must be homegrown."
—-Michael Bratton, University Distinguished Professor, Michigan State University

"Moehler draws on extensive original data to make a novel argument about the impact of political participation on democratic attitudes."
—-Daniel N. Posner, Associate Professor of Political Science and Director of the UCLA Global Fellows Program, University of California, Los Angeles

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780472069934
Publisher: University of Michigan Press
Publication date: 03/11/2008
Pages: 264
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.60(d)

Table of Contents

List of Figures     vii
List of Tables     ix
Acknowledgments     xi
Introduction: Participation and Distrusting Democrats     1
Prospects and Pitfalls of Participation     12
Ugandan History and the Constitution-Making Process     41
Changing Attitudes     85
Creating Informed Distrusting Democrats     123
Constructing Constitutional Support     143
Participation, Constitution Making, and Democracy     181
Sampling Methodology and Survey Design     207
Variable Names, Question Wordings, and Descriptors     209
First-Stage Equation Estimates for 2SLS Models     215
References     219
Index     235

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