Struggling for Recognition posits that the drive for personal recognition is a prime motivation behind the pursuit of democracy. The book presents an alternative to the theories of social and political changes that fail to test the causal assumption they make about human psychology. The theory presented underscores a fundamental aspect of human nature: the pursuit of recognition, that is, the drive for positive self-esteem and status and the aversion of negative self-esteem and subordination. This pursuit of recognition becomes the impetus for action and is used to overcome fear as well as rational costs and benefits calculations involved in collective action. The book examines the mechanisms by which this disposition is triggered and converted into political pressures that eventually lead to democratic reforms.Struggling for Recognition will be of interest to a wide range of scholars in political science, including those researching social movements, social change, democracy, and democratic transitions. A unique multidisciplinary work, it will foster better understanding of key political events such as democratic transitions.
Doron Shultziner is a Visiting Lecturer in the Political Science Department, Gilo Center for Citizenship, Democracy, and Civic Education at Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel. He is a pioneer in the study of the psychological causes of social and political change and has published several papers on the concept of human dignity and the pursuit of recognition.
"Shultziner has in my view done a very sophisticated job in drawing on this literature to enrich our understanding of familiar political phenomena like democratic transitions." -Francis Fukuyama, Bernard L. Schwartz Professor of International Political Economy, The Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies, Washington, DC