My Beautiful Wickedness


Democracy and cultural difference
August 8, 2007, 9:58 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

I’ve been thinking a lot about democracy (well, really, about representation) lately without coming to any real earth-shattering conclusions. However, one fruitful question I keep returning to is “why do we think that democracy must look like it does in the American context? What might happen if we acknowledge that it’s a culturally situated way of doing politics and that there won’t be any one-size-fits-all template?”

And then my former colleague Wandia wrote this about her return to Kenya and her experiences of trying to get up to speed on Kenyan youth politics.

Are her proposals “democratic” or representative given that the bulk of Kenya’s population would be precluded from voting under the measures she suggests? Or is this a culturally appropriate form of democratic practice?

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