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Beliefs in Government$
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Max Kaase and Kenneth Newton

Print publication date: 1998

Print ISBN-13: 9780198294726

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2003

DOI: 10.1093/0198294727.001.0001

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Theories of Crisis and Catastrophe, Change and Transformation

Theories of Crisis and Catastrophe, Change and Transformation

(p.17) 2 Theories of Crisis and Catastrophe, Change and Transformation
Beliefs in Government

Max Kaase (Contributor Webpage)

Kenneth Newton (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

This chapter sets out and compares two groups of theories. One the one hand, there are the pessimistic theories of ‘crisis and catastrophe’ that predict, in one way or another, the imposition of strains and stresses on Western liberal democracies that may even lead to their collapse. On the other hand, there are the more optimistic theories – such as the ‘end of ideology’ in the early 1960s, the ‘end of history’ in the early 1990s, and the theory of post‐materialism – which predict a stabilizing transformation. This sets the scene for the following three chapters, which examine these theories in greater detail.

Keywords:   democratic stability

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