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Lecture 1

POLI 227 Lecture Notes - Lecture 1: Responsible Government, Liberal Democracy, Conscience Vote


Department
Political Science
Course Code
POLI 227
Professor
Rex Brynen
Lecture
1

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DEMOCRACY AND DEMOCRATIZATION
 whether regime is authoritarian or democratic is really important
- what is democracy
- what are the pre conditions for democracy
- how does it come about from regime that were authoritarian
Defining democracy
in our earlier discussion…: lots of countries claim to be democratic (ex: North
Korea) – typology:
- competitive multi-party: electoral mechanism free and fair, multiple
parties can compete for power
- restricted multi-party: electoral mechanism not free or fair where multiple
parties can still compete for power
- one/no-party states
procedural vs substantive democracy
- procedural: regular elections, free vote = one that meets relatively
minimum conditions: regular election and free vote, if the electoral process
if fair
- substantive: broader context of equality, pluralism, tolerance –
democracy is only meaningful in a context of pluralism, tolerance, and a
broader context of equality
- difference between democratization and liberalization: democratization is
about participation, people having influence in shaping public policies.
Liberalization is about a context of freedom in which people can articulate
their political goals (free speech etc) = in a liberal democracy, those two go
together.
a) great degree of freedom with a less degree of participation
ex: Egypt with Mubarak, people had no problem criticizing government
(free to express your political views) but electoral system fraud & not fair.
b) great degree of democratization with a less degree of freedom
ex: after math of revolution – those who support revolution may have all
kind of opportunities to engage in politics but that’s only tolerated for those
who support the revolution.

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c) authoritarian regimes liberalize in order not to democratize – they allow
free press, opposition parties because hoping to reduce the pressure for
more changes.
- hybrid regimes: refer to regimes that are part way, have undergone a
significant degree of liberalization, some degree of democratization but
they are in no way democratic
ex: In Morocco, you can vote, but the security forces still monitor people,
intimidation, weakening of the legislature power so they can’t make
important choices
three (and a half) “waves” of democratization
first wave (1828-1926): 33 max
- democratization in decolonized Latin America, in western and eastern
Europe, picks in 1920’s then declines because of fascism
reverse wave (1922-42): 11 min
second wave (1943-62): 52 max
- during and after world war two, end of fascism in Europe and beginning
of decolonization in the developing world
reverse wave (1958-75): 30 min – but many post colonial regimes, rapidly fell into
military authoritarian coups.
third wave (1974- 2006) powerful wave of democratization
Latin America – dramatic transformation from almost entirely right wing regimes to
almost entirely democracies in the 1990’s
Eastern Europe/ex-USSR – collapse of the Soviet Union
some political change in Asia and Africa (no third wave in the middle east – because
resistant democratization until the mid 2000)
more reverses than gains 2006-2011 – democratization but some of them falling in
hybrid regimes.
Arab Spring (2011- ?)
uncertain transitions- uprisings in the middle east that are dramatic changes –
suddenly it becomes less authoritarian and less stable
- whether the transitions in countries that have overthrown
authoritarian will be democratic or hybrid (ex: Libya real mess
whereas good hope for Tunisia)
The “third wave
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decline in the number of authoritarian countries and increase in the democratic ones
in the world in the 1980-90’s
percentage of countries that rank as free dramatically changed from the 90’s to mid
2000
(pre)conditions for democracy
economic wealth? The higher the degree of per capita income (the higher the eco.
development is) the more likely you are to be democratic because:
- education, literacy: the higher level of eco. development, the more
educated people are, the better able they are to participate in the society
- resources to meet basic needs: the very poor society have life and death
issues – in richer society, possible to satisfy more people, issues are not
fundamental survival issues, easier to satisfy people’s basic demands
- socio-economic change leads to break up of old social order: the fact that
getting wealthy changes society (Huntington) – breakdown of social order,
creates a larger middle class thus makes it possible for democracy to
emerge
BUT: India? – interesting challenge because India now has problems with
corruption, regional insurgency, ethnic society but has still been democracy since
decolonization. It remained a poor country with a least development and with a billion
people
socio-economic structure of the society?
- the degree of pluralism
- the degree of income equality
- the existence of a middle class, bourgeoisie.
- is there some relationship with the fact of having a market economy and
the ways in which that disperses economic power among multiple
economic positions makers as opposed to an eco. centralized.
economic pluralism vs inequality of power
- does it have to do with the structure of civil society – students
movement, network of association between the families and the state – ex:
trade union.
cultural context? Have some societies cultural values that are more
compatible with democracies than others
- religion and politics
Islam
Catholicism – ex: in Latin America – first Catholicism in an authoritarian regime then
suddenly transition to democracy
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