Origins of the Iberian Divide in Political Inclusion
Robert M. Fishman
Reviews and Awards
"Democratic Practice is a fundamental read for any student of comparative politics and democratization, and for any reader interested in the fascinating topic of how the defining issues of present-day politics can originate in past processes." - Kostis Kornetis, Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, JOURNAL OF SPANISH CULTURAL STUDIES
"[F]ew have produced studies as rich and analytically convincing as Robert M. Fishman's Democratic Practice: Origins of the Iberian Divide in Political Inclusion. The book is the product of a scholar who has spent decades working to understand democracy, and has written extensively on Spain and Portugal... the book is a valuable contribution. The subject matter will appeal to a wide range of scholarly readers interested in democracy, especially at a time when democratic practice seems so fraught in so many places." - Social Forces
"Fishman explains how democracy is understood and practised while underlining the relevance of practices beyond rules and resources, of cultural legacies, and of the benefit of using a well-informed historical perspective in the understanding of current social phenomena. As a result, Democratic practice is among the clearest and most important texts on the political response to the recent economic (and political) global crisis and on the cultural foundations of that response." - Eduardo Romanos, Social Movement Studies, Taylor and Francis Online
"Distinguished political sociologist Robert Fishman reveals the power of cultural legacies in shaping democratic inclusiveness. Delving deeply into the divergent histories of Portuguese and Spanish democratization, he offers an innovative explanation of why similar formal institutions produce democracies of varying quality, depth, and capacity. This book transforms how we conceptualize and analyze democracy in Iberia and wherever it attempts to take root." -Margaret Levi, Stanford University "
"After years of careful observation and original thinking on Portugal and Spain, Robert Fishman has written a fascinating book on the evolution of democracy in the two countries and their different degrees of inclusiveness. This is the comparative method at its best. The book will be a reference not only for those who study the Iberian countries, but also for those who care about the authenticity and depth of democracy more generally." -Ignacio Sánchez-Cuenca, Director of the Carlos III-Juan March Institute of Social Sciences "
"Robert Fishman's superb book shows how distinct pathways to democracy have had powerful cultural legacies that account for enduring differences among countries-especially their political inclusiveness-following democratic transitions. Whether democratization was driven primarily 'from above' or 'from below' turns out to be particularly important. Fishman develops these ideas through a rich and fascinating comparison of Spain and Portugal." -Jeff Goodwin, New York University "
"Many scholars have used a concept like "the quality of democracy" but few in so systematic a fashion. Drawing on path-breaking research and keen analyses, Robert Fishman convincingly shows how the political cultures of democratic Spain and Portugal were deeply shaped by the radically different paths that led these neighbors to democratize. This elegantly written and deeply original study shows us big contrasts in the policing of protest, the broad lines of economic policy, the organization of the media, the goals of public education, and even the musical tastes of the Spanish and Portuguese. It turns out that it mattered a lot that Portugal was propelled into democracy by social revolution and Spain was to a significant degree steered towards democracy from above. Fishman shows that in democratic Spain, political elites see protest as a problem to be managed, while in Portugal political elites understand protestors as citizens who need to be heard." -John Markoff, University of Pittsburgh"
"Fishman's study is one of the few substantive efforts to compare the impact of Spain's and Portugal's distinct democratic transitions on the subsequent practice of democracy in each country. In addition to making an important contribution to comparative Iberian studies, Fishman draws suggestive conclusions that will be relevant for broader current debates about the substance of democratic practice in the world today." -Pamela Radcliff, UC San Diego "
"Deftly combining insights from cultural, social, and political theory, Fishman moves beyond conventional wisdom in the field to develop a transformative account of the practical, institutional, and historical sources of truly inclusive forms of civic action in liberal polities. This work should be interest to all theorists, researchers, and practitioners interested in the future of democracy in the contemporary world." -Omar Lizardo, Professor and LeRoy Neiman Term Chair, University of California, Los Angeles "