Nation Building or Democracy by Other Means

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9780875868431: Nation Building or Democracy by Other Means

Despotism, fundamentalism, and the rise of terrorism have created a puzzling moral question in the twenty-first century: how far should America go to help press ahead political and cultural change in the world?

Many Americans believe that we have a moral duty to help change the world for the better, but our well-intended efforts are often viewed by people in other parts of the world as meddling in their internal affairs. What, then, is right? Nation Building or Democracy by Other Meansexplores five major historical transformations over the past two centuries and demonstrates the significance of internal leadership for social, political, and cultural change.

The reader will discover that while international pressure has often played a pivotal role in encouraging change peaceful democratizations are historically not imposed from outside but are initiated and executed by leaders within the old system.

The book examines in a fresh light some of the watershed social changes that have shaped America as we know it, as well as failed and successful regime changes around the world.

Examples considered range from the US Abolition Movement, and the struggle for gender equality, to the fight against Apartheid, to Gorbachev s move toward democracy in the former Soviet Union, with a special focus on Iran, including the 1953 US-led coup and the 1979 hostage crisis, and an analysis of the failures and accomplishments of Ahmadinejad, who has few cards to play in the poker game of international power politics.

This book, written in easy and thought-provoking language, makes a valuable contribution to the discussion about America's obligations and limitations for changing the world.

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About the Author:

Hamid Karimianpour is a political activist and author with an interest in current affairs and international politics.
Karimianpour was born in Iran, where he experienced major political and cultural transformations firsthand following the 1979 Islamic revolution. While still a teenager, he immigrated to Europe. He studied philosophy and economics at the University of Oslo in Norway and did postgraduate studies in philosophy at the University of Hull in the UK.
Now an academic residing in Virginia, he has written and edited numerous articles on political and philosophical themes.

Review:

Karimianpour, a political activist born in Iran, examines the complexity of cultural workings behind the ending of slavery, the battle for gender equality, the fall of the Soviet Union, and the closing stages of apartheid in South Africa. His honest discussion of Iran's relationship with the US offers a unique insight into the Islamic Republic and the history that has formed current attitudes and aspirations. --Reference and Research Book News, June 2011

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Hamid Karimianpour
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