Huntington's third wave of democracy was no such thing. It neither ushered in a democratic era nor was it a wave in any acceptable historical sense. What it did do was to highlight a contrast and competition among norms and values, so that what we automatically regard as undemocratic practice that is norm-free is no such thing. They might perhaps, and with a freight of contingencies, be bad norms—but they are still norms.
The Ebbing Wave in Southern Africa
Since its inception, the discipline of International Relations has struggled to establish the rigour of its methodological base in the academy, and it has struggled to establish whether and how it might have any moral place in the world. At the end of the millennium both struggles have reached a high point. Methodologically, the discipline has begun a trans-Atlantic separation. On the one hand there has been a U.S. emphasis on neo-realism and neo-liberalism, which in both its categorisations and its positivistic tendencies is not a considerable departure from the inter-war debate between realists and idealists. On the other hand there has been a British concern not only for a ‘historicised’ discipline, but for the intellectual history of the discipline itself. Steve Smith has written on ten self-images that International Relations has held.