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Queen's University
Political Studies
POLS 244

POLS 244 Notes Why and How Should we compare democracies? - Saudi Arabia - Brunei - Oman - UAE - Qatar - Bahrain - Kuwait - Vatican City ALL ARE SELF DEFINED NON- DEMOCRACIES I. Normative= What there “should be” (DEMOCRATIC IDEOLOGY= A coherent set of ideas) II. Empirical= What there “is” (DEMOCRACY IN PRACTICE= Global Divergence) I-Democratic Ideology (1) Mainstream comparative political theory was “democracy” and “liberal democracy” interchangeably  Focus on freedom because of how democracy evolved (ONLY in the WEST); Africa/middle east etc. things are different (2) Liberal democracy is centered on individual FREEDOM + the consent of the governed (= source of LEGITIMACY) Emergence of Modernity Enlightenment—rationalism 1. All human beings are endowed with reason (not with the King/Queen/Divine) 2. Every human being has intrinsic value 3. Reason is infinitely capable of finding out II- The Practice of Democracy Around the World= Global Divergence - How do we compose?  By applying common “indicators” of democracy  The comparative method Shared Principles of Democratic Government (INDICATORS) - Popular sovereignty (based on consent- elections) - Governmental accountability (what happens between electionis the government accountable for what happens?/Transparency/Checks and Balances - Rule of Law (you need an open society- media etc to report exploitation etc.) - Individual rights and freedoms - Inclusion (everyone can participate) - Equality (everyone is equal under the law) Apply the Principles of Liberal Democracy for Mapped Democracy around the World - The Freedom House Index  Free, Partly Free, Not Free  Political Freedom and Civil Liberties (indicators) How Universal is the Appeal of Democracy? I. Universal value, universal goal II. Increasing “global divergence” I.Democracy as a universal value/goal “Universal consent is not required for something to be a universal value. Rather, the claims of a universal value is that people anywhere may have reason to see it valuable.” – Amarty Sen (req. P. 12) Balancing Individual and Community “What is required *…+ is a system where the interest of individuals are balanced with the wider well- being of the community at large” – The Dalai Lama (req. P19) Economic and Political Freedom “The thing is that there fewer parts of incompatibility between Confucians of democracy that many people in both Asia and the West believes. The essence of post war ‘modernization theory’ is correct: Economic development tents to be followed by political liberalization”- Fukuyama, (req. P. 24) Liberal Democracy: How Universal? “On the other hand, virtually no one in Asia today believes its likely that Asian societies will ultimately converge with the particular model of liberal democracy represented by the contemporary United States, or, indeed, that such a state of affairs is remotely desirable”- Fukuyama (req. P. 45) Potential for a variety of approaches “For those who are convinced that democracy is not a new religion for humanity, by that is provides the most efficient means to limit abuses of power and protect individual freedoms enabling individuals to seek their own path to persona accomplishments, there can be a variety of approaches”- Abdou Filali- Ansari, req. P. 45) Illiberal Democracy: A growth industry “Illiberal democracy is a growth industry *…+. And to think a few illiberal democracies have matured into liberal democracies, if anything they are many towards heightened illiberalism. Far from being a temporary or transitional stage, it appears that many countries are setting, into a form of government that mixes a substantial degree of democracy with a substantial degree of illiberalism”- Fareed Zakaria (req. P. 24) Competitive Authoritarian “In competitive authoritarian regimes, democratic institutions are used to obtain and exercise political authority. Incumbents violate those rules; however, that regime fails to mount connected minimum standards for democracy. (Levitsky and Way) II.The “global divergence” of democracy - Established categories derived from a small and relatively homogeneous group of cases - Democratization= regime change (a complicated process)  May involve violence  May not lead to consolidated democracy “Waves” of democratization - Samuel Hunting , The Third Wave: Democratization in the Late Twentieth Century (1991) st  1 “Long Wave”: 1820’s to 1920’s- Produced 29 democracies in the West/reversed by Fascism and authoritarianism nd  2 Wave: After WWII- holocaust show fragile democracy is (Hitler came into power through elections/democratic process). Produced 30 democracies at peak rd  3 Wave: Southern Europe and then post-communism  Began in Portugal in 1974: Portugal was a political dictatorship maintaining colonies, proved a difficulty for soldiers. Military coup organized by low ranking officials. Triggered a social/civil/peaceful movement; Poland and Hungary followed  60+ countries adopt democracy; Huntington this wave is/was irreversible  Freedom House Index  Is the “Arab Spring” another wave? A mainstream classification of approaches: Procedural vs Substantive Democracy - Procedural: democracy as a set of rules and processes - Substantive: Public Goods “The democratic process is not only essential to one of the most important of all political goods- the right of people to govern themselves- but is itself a rich bundle of substantive goods.” (Dahl, Democracy and its Critics, 19, p. 17) “Thin” and “Thick” Procedural definitions - “Thin”: elections and little more “The democratic method is that institutional arrangements for arriving at political decision in which individuals acquire the power to decide by means of a competitive struggle for the peoples votes” (Schumpeter, Capitalism, Socialism and Democracy, Lowden: Allen and Unwin, 1976, p. 269) - “Thick”: electoral democracy+ additional guarantees for control on the governments power (individual freedom) Robert Dahl’s 7 Institutions of “Polygarchy” “Must exist for a government to be classified as a polygarchy” (Democracy and its Critiques, 1989)  Elected officials  Free and fail elections  Inclusive Suffrage  Right to run for office  Freedom of expression  Alternative sources of information  Associated Autonomy Critique to Dahl (from the Left)- Green: Democracy should be direct and it is about equality and participation of citizens (both intertwine) I.Third WaveChanging Priorities of definition - Importance of Latin American Scholar  Accountability  Rule of Law  Inclusion  Equality Adding accountability and the Rule of Law as Key ingredients - “a regime of system of governance in which rulers are held accountable for their actions in the public domain by citizen & acting indirectly through the competition and cooperation of their elected representatives- (Schmitter and Karl, “What democracy Is…And is Not,” Journal of Democracy, 1991, p. 76) Horizontal and Vertical Accountability (1) Public officials “checking” each other’s powerHORIZONTAL (2) Society “checking” the power of political elites VERTICAL II.Rethinking Assumptions About Factors and Progress of Regime Transition - Need to move away from a number of “biases” derived from earlier literature:  “Democratization Bias”  Assumption that once there is a regime change democracy will continue NOT TRUE, could go back to traditional ways (E.g. Russia)  “Freedom Bias” Outcome has to be individual freedom  “Transition Bias” Relevant in Middle East and North African countries today Assumption they want transition to democracy, but we have to see what happens  “Waves of Democratization Bias”  If democracy is promotes in one, it triggers and has a domino effect within the region, again, we don’t know, and it is hard to predict - Criteria of Classification:  Pluralism  Leadership  Ideology  Mobilization Opportunity for Democratization - Authoritarianism  Negotiated (pacted) transition possible (other types of changes too) - Totalitarianism  Pact not possible; war or coup; split in Regime  post totalitarianism - Post totalitarianism  pact is possible; war or revolution too - Sultanism  Pact not possible; war or Revolution (outcome risky  external involvement useful) Variation in States’ potential to democratize - Repressive regimes  Weak societies - Why focus on the question of whether regime change is “negotiated” or not? - Linz and Stepen” authoritarianism and post- totalitarianism and condusive Examples from post-communist: Eastern Europe - Regimes had wear legitimacy; Moscow had a great deal of influence - YET: Variation across CEE in both regime repression and resourcefulness of society  Hungary and Poland (less repressive)  “Gang of Four” in Eastern Germany, Czechoslovakia, Romania, Bulgaria - Outcomes:  Negotiated transition in Hungary and Poland  Revolution/coup in the rest Negotiated Transition - Poland: Solidarity Revolution - Hungary: adopted a bill of rights of assembly and association in 1989 very significant as Gorbachov says that a major doctrine of communist is not in the way. Therefore, if any nation wanted change or reform from communism, Moscow will not stand in their way. Therefore, Hungary adopts this bull and in February they approve the formation of multiple political parties. Therefore, a reform wing becomes more powerful. Therefore, Government is in a losing positions and reform is made through a negotiating between the two parties as the reform leaders believed they had more legitimacy than they actually did Non- Negotiated Transition- Violence oriented - Romania: Violent regime change; Gorbachov visits Romania in 1987 and talks about liberalizing; Romanian leader disagrees and becomes the only non-reformist leader in the Soviet Union. Protestant leader arrested, human chain is formed around the house. Romanian leader holds speech for peace, students start screaming at him/shooting. Therefore, result is a coup and revolutions. Romanian leader and wife executed without trail. Blame on dead leader (NOTICE the patter) Democracy with Adjectives - Delegative democracy - Illiberal democracy - Competitive authoritarianism Delegative Democracy “Delegative democracies rest on the premise that whoever wins election to the presidency is thereby entitled to govern as he or she sees fit, constrained only by the hard facts of existing power relations and by a constitutionally limited term of office. The president is taken to be the embodiment of the nation and the main custodian and definer of its interests.“ (O’Donnell, req 59-60) Illiberal Democracy: A growth Industry “Illiberal democracy is a growth industry. *. . . + And to date few illiberal democracies have matured into liberal democracies; if anything, they are moving toward heightened illiberalism. Far from being a temporary or transitional stage, it appears that many countries are settling into a form of government that mixes a substantial degree of democracy with a substantial degree of illiberalism.” (Fareed Zakaria, req p24) Competitive Authoritarianism “In competitive authoritarian regimes, formal democratic institutions are widely viewed as the principal means of obtaining and exercising political authority. Incumbents violate those rules so often and to such an extent, however, that the regime fails to meet conventional minimum standards for democracy.” (Levitsky and Way, req) II.What constitutes successful democratization and what factors facilitate the process? - Democratic consolidation: democracy becomes “the only game in town” (Linz and Stepan, Problems of Democratic Transition and Consolitation) Factors of Democratic Consolidation 1. Institutions 2. Economics 3. International influences 4. Actors/Agents 5. Culture How do institutions matter in democratic consolidation? I. Form of government (presidential, parliamentary; or a combination) II. Elections and Political parties I.The Forms of G
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