Rarely does one phenomenon come to symbolize such distinct areas of study as international relations, democratic politics and grand theory. The role of 'ideology' in all three realms, areas that have undergone major transformations over the last generation, reifies Bracher's thesis concerning the age of ideology. The 1960 book captured the aftermath of the Second World War, with the horrors of the most ideological of wars in full view, but with processes of de-Nazification and democratization of Germany, Japan, Italy and Spain well on their way. The second process of change of which ideology is a key player is representative democracy. On the face of it, the institutionalization of liberal democracy in the twentieth century became identified with a procedural mechanism: the competitive struggle among parties for people's votes. Throughout the twentieth century, realist international theory referred to sovereign states. The way to enter the family of nations was to appeal to self-determination and ultimately to establish an independent state.