POLI 227 Lecture 5: State Building and Challenges to Democracy

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27 Jul 2016
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state-building & challenges to democracy: 19:35
Democracy is key to modernization theory, sees it as moving forward and
dependency theory too.
How do we define democracy?
Procedural v. liberal v. substantive(they distinguish between each)
How do we measure democracy?
Why do some states become/ stay democratic while others do not
What are the main challenges to democracy?
To what extent does corruption threaten democracy
Defining democracy:
Procedural democracy- political system with free and faire elections
Electoral
Holds free and fair elections- election based definition
Issue of sufferage and voting/ os there universal or near universal sufferage
Regularly scheduled- limitations from some states that make the move to
democracy that doesn’t stick- it happens once than not again for 40 years.
Competitive political parties- sometimes only one party/ assuming a
competitive election happening.
Tripled 1974-2005: marginal progress in that way- some question, are some
of these states democracys or semi-democracies
Semi-democracy: elections, but are there other attributes attributed to a
democratic state that are still missing.. because of this issue of having the
presence of elections and lack of other demographic values, we compare the
procedural to full(liberal) democracy)
Full(liberal democracy)- free and fair elections(common base)
And civil liberties and personal freedoms
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Depending on different definitions- they might highlight different freedoms
but in general it includes free speech, assembly, religion, media…
In addition to elections, they are seen as necessary to a liberal democracy…
some would add others
Free speech, assembly, religion, media
And rule of law, civilian command of armed forces, vigorous civil society
Nation governed by law rather than arbitrary decisions that a ruler might
make
Different ways to measure rule of law- presence of independent
judiciary/written code of law/checks and balances on leadership- law is
primary basis of government not arbitrary decisions
Command of armed forces: head of armed forces-differentiation to avoid
military dictatorship
Civil society- means a lot of different things/ non-state actors that include
private sector NGO’s and other organized groups operating outside of the
state
Substansive democracy: all of the above and fair policy outcomes
Government should reflect responsiveness/ meaningful policy outcomes so
society has decreasing levels of inequality/ equal access to schooling and
healthcare, social justice
No great disparity between classes and attention to economic equality
A bit of an ideal, we do not speak to it a lot… held up as a goal in many
states
Democratic waves:
First wave(1828-1926)- US, Canada, Australia, New Zealand
Second wave(1943-1962)- retreat of European colonialism=electoral
democracies. During and right after world war 2 as colonial powers retreated
and the territories gained independence. In many of those states, we saw
the emergence of new electoral democracies.
But… resistors to democracy?
Monarchs(Saudi Arabia); one-man dictators(Uganda); military
dictatorships(Nigeria); single party(Kenya)
Varied by the state, some were quick to move to democracy
Domestically and internationally- many of these states, justifying
authoritarian rule for that preference for stability and rationalizing the lack of
democracy by saying moving to it would destablizie the region- that is how
they manage to stay in power/legitimate
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Playing the stability card against democracy.
Third wave(1980s-2011):end of cold war- E.Europe; S.Africa, S.Korea,
Philippines, Argentina, Brazil
Catalysts? End of cold war/ growing middle class, frustrations with
corruption, repression
More demands on government with growing middle class and increasing
frustrations, many people in the state refusing to stand wfor that or comply
with former kinds of repression
Transition to democracy:
Dem. Transition: initial process/ moving from an authoritarian to a
democratic government
Dem. Consolidation: democratic norms/ values accepted by politically
influential groups and in civil society. This kind of government in the rule of
law is seen as legitimate and long lasting. This relies on the compliance and
adoption of a number of sectors. Many states will start the transition process
and it doesn’t consolidate.
Business, labor ,military, religious groups, et.c
Transition without consolidation
Freedom house: based in Washington DC, trys to track transition and
consolidation across the state, they use:
Political rights and civil liberties
Different indicators for it, some are media based
Come out with global findings every year
Green is free countries(good with political rights and civil liberties), then you
have the yellow and 25% with the not free category
2014 lowest ratings: CAR, Somalia, equatorial guineau,
data sets are pretty good and one of the leading groups for trying to
measure and moniter democracy
What makes democracy stick?:
Social/economic modernization: different theorists will pull out different
indicators that say are the most important.
Free media/communications(cutright)
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