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Lecture 11

Political Science Lecture 11a non-democratic states.doc

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McMaster University
Political Science
Todd Alway

Political Science 1G06 2013 Lecture 11a NonDemocratic political systemsIn their 2012 analysis Freedom House classified 117 of 195 countries as electoral democracies60 of the totalMeaning that 40 of the total are not democraticSo if we only focus on Liberal Democracies oWe are missing out on a very large piece of the worlds political puzzleWe avoid asking a number of political questionsLike How is it possible to construct a stable political system where the majority of the population is formally excluded from the political processConsider Are authoritarian regimes sustained just by the imposition of forceoOr do they use specific strategies to produce legitimacy within the state in which they operateNote In exploring the justifications for authoritarianism I am not attempting to justify these justificationsRather there are two purposes I am aiming at1 To understand nondemocratic states on their own termsoWhy are nondemocratic ideologies so attractive to such a large number of people2 Nonliberaldemocratic states often justify themselves as being more democratic than liberal democracyCan we use their critique of liberal democracy to identify limitations to our own system of governmentCan we improve liberal democracy in practice to make it more just and egalitarianDefinitionLiberal Democraciesat least two things are present1 The majority can vote2 There are freely contested elections1
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