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Chapter 1 - Political Plasticity, the Key to Understanding the Future of Democracy and Dictatorship

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  15 January 2023

Fathali M. Moghaddam
Affiliation:
Georgetown University
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Summary

A distinction is made between surface-level change and deep-level change. A great deal of surface-level change is taking place, as reflected in the continually transforming rhetoric being used, particularly in the political domain. However, rhetoric on democratic changes often hides deep continuities. Three examples of such continuities are: the persistence of leadership, with most leaders being male (the United States has yet to have a female president); the continuity of ethnic inequalities and discrimination against minorities; and the failure of revolutions to being about a change of systems as well as a change of leadership—most modern revolutions have replaced one dictator for another. Organized in three main parts, the chapters in this book illuminate continuities and point to areas that are more promising for instigating change, such as women in education. Psychological science has so far used methodology and theories appropriate for studying short-term processes; the concept of political plasticity opens the path to the psychology of continuity and long-term change.

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Political Plasticity
The Future of Democracy and Dictatorship
, pp. 1 - 11
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2023

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