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Silencing the Guns in Haiti The Promise of Deliberative Democracy cover
  • ISBN: 9780226776262
  • ISBN10: 0226776263

Silencing the Guns in Haiti the Promise of Deliberative Democracy

by Irwin P. Stotzky

  • List Price: $37.00
  • Binding: Hardcover
  • Publisher: Univ of Chicago Pr
  • Publish date: 12/01/1997
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On October 15, 1994, Jean-Bertrand Aristide was returned to power as Haiti's leader, the first time a democratically elected president replaced the de facto military leaders who deposed him. Irwin Stotzky, an adviser to Aristide and a firsthand witness to this historical process, provides a moving account of Aristide's reinstatement and explores the uncertain fate of democracy in Haiti today.

While democratic theory can play an important role in trying to understand and resolve the difficulties in making the transition to democracy, Stotzky argues that such theory must be grounded in the real conditions of a country's society. "Silencing the Guns in Haiti" offers that grounding, showing how Haiti's history of political corruption and its rigid class structure led not only to the bloody dictatorship that ruled the country from 1991 to 1994 but to its current dilemmas as well.

For Haiti to escape the repetition of history, Stotzky argues, its governmental institutions must incorporate the goals of deliberative democracy to foster a moral consciousness among its people. Mixing praise and blame for the actions taken by the Haitian government and the United States, Stotzky contends that the new system can take hold only if Haitian citizens come to respect the rule of law rather than live in fear of it. An unusual blend of political, historical, and moral concerns, "Silencing the Guns in Haiti" recounts Haiti's halting and uncertain quest for democracy from the perspective of someone who played a leading part in every stage of that process.

"Irwin Stotzky has written a thought-provoking analysis which captures the challenges that face the Haitian people as they travel down the roadtoward a democratic society in which political discussion is encouraged and political dissent is accepted. He also stresses the importance for Haiti to be mindful of its violent past while moving Haitian society from a culture of terror to one of democracy and hope". -- U.S. Senator Russell D. Feingold

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