Document Type

Honors Project


The current literature has conceptualized democratization as a linear process of structural transformation whereby a state transitions from a repressive regime to a democracy. This thesis asserts that democratization cannot be reduced to a process of systems change. Through a rhetorical analysis of Vaclav Havel's speeches in the aftermath of the fall of the communist regime in Czechoslovakia, I demonstrate that the experience of democratization is rooted in historical and cultural resources and that local actors can offer valuable alternative perspectives on democracy. Embracing such alternative political imaginations is a way to democratize the concept of democratization itself.



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