Friday, May 12, 2006

The Fukuyama Thesis: Democracy Transcends Culture

Anyone interested in the “Fukuyama Thesis” should read Francis Fukuyama’s new afterword to his influential book “The End of History and the Last Man.” In this book he argues, in a Hegelian way, that liberal democracy is the final outcome of an evolutionary historical process, and that such democracy is “universal” in the sense that it can transcend any cultural system. If you read it, please note the excellent links provided to a lot of helpful explanatory material. In terms of gaining an understanding (albeit a particular one) of what’s happening in the world today Fukuyama is a valuable and probably essential read. Note also Fukuyama's reasoning that militant Islam is not essentially religious (that is, not to be found in Islam itself) but Arabic and political. (Fukuyama is Professor of International Political Economy at Johns Hopkins University.)