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November 25, 2013-Poli Sci 2XX3 Lecture.docx

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Political Science
Richard Stubbs

Started on: 11/25/2013 6:41:00 AM C LASS N OTES FOR : P OLI S CI 2XX2 McMaster University, Fall 2013 M ONDAY , NOVEMBER 25, 2013  DEMOCRACY – The set of rules that establish WHO Is authorized to make collective decisions and under which PROCEDURES?  DEMOCRATIC REGIME – The ensemble of procedural rules for collective decision making, in which the widest possible participation is expected  POLITICAL DEMOCRACY: a type of political regime designed to resolve the institutional relations between a state and its subjects Addressing the issues of human rights abuses - Argentina; commitment to prosecute and punish military officers involved in human rights abuses o Punished those who were demanding social, political, cultural rights What brought an end to this bureaucratic regime? That brought about economic growth and not necessarily an improvement on the life of people. - How did these regimes come to an end? How did the military regimes exit the government return to civil society? Referred to a “democracies” - Colored and shaped by the COLD WAR o THREAT OF INTERNATIONAL COMMUNISM threatening to destroy Western Christian Civilization; o Look at the political winds moved by Soviet/Capitalism - President Reagan made it a commitment to ensure that he‟d bring an end to communism; brings about the End of the cold War; - What is the rationale for having military governments in place if the threat of communism no longer exists! - The end of the Military Governments can play with a number of variables; international changing atmosphere; process of transition away from traditional military rule; Democratic Transitions Brazil began to follow what Huntington advised them to do: - Political opening - Decompression - Processing methods should be adopted gradually; all human rights that have been suppressed should be restored one by one! - All of these should be done in a decompression manner - If all rights were restored overnight; need to avoid the possibility of „burning‟ yourself by letting the steam out when restoring these; if all received human rights at once will begin to radically and re- compress - Brazil circumscribed did not allow everyone to vote 1985 for a civilian president will be one held by the electoral council - 1989/90 Brazilians had for the first time their opportunity to cast their vote; 17-year process; - Brazil returned to „democracy‟ in 1985 but an election that took place by the Electoral College, the first Brazilian civilian president elected by the Electoral College passed away before being sworn in, and the vice president became president even though this person was a military officer in the previous regime…. Angie © McMaster University 1 Fall 2013 Started on: 11/25/2013 6:41:00 AM Transition that did not occur in accordance to the expectations - Other transitions; unexpected consequences of human actions o ARGENTINE  Miscalculation on the part of the Argentine Military Government;  1982 ill-fated invasion of the Falkland Islands; the Military government thought they could regain legitimacy by restoring the Falkland Islands. The Iron lady defeated the Argentine Military Regime!  Collapsed in 1982-83 o CHILE  In the case of Chile the brutality was „unknown‟ because it was a calmer country relatively; the extent of the violence was unheard  General Pinochet; The brutality that lead to a significant improvement in human rights laws; much of the progress have to do with the traumatizing experience in Chile; for the rest of the world who has looked at Chile as the exception!  International convention against torture! Against the disappearance of people for political reasons; many people were arrested never to be seen again. The international convention against the disappearance of people.  Eventually arrested in 1998 in England  1980 Pinochet was still the commander in chief; in Control of the armed forces as a whole; subordinates met and decided that their superior should continue for another 8 years; however this selection has to be ratified by a plebiscite; “Do you support, or you don‟t? YES OR NO” – He came last (lost the plebiscite); when Chileans expressed their views about the government. Constitution came to be the demise;  First election in 1989 - PRESIDENTS ARE NOT EXEMPT from prosecution; previously there was immunity; the heads of states could not be prosecuted; - However, there are double standards (human rights for some, and not for others) when it comes to issues of prosecution; (CANADA) N OVEMBER 26, 2013 P OLITICAL T RANSITION : A move from one type of regime to another type of regime, which does not need to be accompanied by substantive social change - NB: a political democracy describes a type of political regime and not necessarily a type of society Conditions for participation R OBERT D AHL : POLYARCHY - To make the point that we should not aim to replicate as conceived generally by the great political thinkers. - Ideal democracies are „ideals‟ and thus cannot be reached; - If an idea becomes a reality, it ceases to be an idea; we only AIM to what „democracy‟ is perceived as. - Means we should be realistic; something that comes close to what others envisioned; an APPROXIMATION! It should include the following (requirements to be referred to as „democratic‟) Angie © McMaster University 2 Fall 2013 Started on: 11/25/2013 6:41:00 AM 1. Participation (Adult/ no exclusion) 2. Competition (amongst whom? Individuals, organizations, political parties, competition to access government in order to „gain‟ political power without exclusion; and being held at regular intervals; competition means that there can be a democracy without political parties and a democracy with multiple political parties, but not a single party. 3. Civil/Political Rights/Respect for Human Rights/ a. In the defense of national security can go on to ignore the respect for human rights that everyone is entitled to; 4. Independent Judiciary 5. Decisiveness of elections a. If elections are decisive and if they matter; b. Many instances, specially in the developing country where this element might be missing; c. E.G In Iran, elections are not decisive; S CHUMPETER ’S CONDITIONS FOR THE DEMOCRATIC METHOD TO FUNCTION (1942) 1. A modern economy: societies at the stage of mature capitalism 2. Professionalization of politics (individuals of high moral and ethical standard) to avoid corruption a. For a democracy to succeed as methodology there have to be individuals who make politics their profession; 3. Exclusion from politics of matters best left to experts (finance, justice)
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