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L8 - Problems of Democratic Transition and Consolidation

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Political Science
Modeste Mba Talla

March 13, 2014 Problems of Democratic Transition and Consolidation Theories of Regime Change: Developing and the ‘Third Wave’of Democratization I – Introduction • Understand what happened politically in developing countries in the early 1990s. • Why did political protesters rise up? • Why did incumbent leaders accede to the demands of their opponents? • How Leaders Exit Power? • Why in some countries, wereAuthoritarian leaders displaced in multiparty elections? Why in other countries did they survive and continue governing according to well- established authoritarian methods? • Military Intervention: Is there a new role for the armed forces in the post-Cold War era? • Democratic Transition and Popular and Indigenous Mobilization: The LatinAmerican Case II – Developing States and the “Third Wave of Democratization” • The first “long wave of democratization began in the 1820s” • In 1922, the coming power of Mussolini in Italy marked the beginning of… • Te second period of democratization and democratic reconstruction in Europe and Japan after the Second World War: the triumph of theAllies in World War II – reached its zenith in 1962 with 36 countries governed democratically, only to be followed by a second reverse wave (1960-1975) that brought the number of democracies back down to 30. The third “wave of democratization” • Associated with democratic transitions in southern Europe, and LatinAmerica in the 1970s and 1980s • These transitions were quickly followed in the Soviet-bloc countries after the revolutions of 1989 and the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991 • Began in the early 1980 inAfrica III – APeriod of Regime Transition • Defining democratic transitions Aregime transition is a shift from one set of political procedures to another, from an old pattern of rule to a new one. It is an interval of intense political uncertainty during which the shape of the new institutional dispensation is up for grabs by incumbent and opposition contenders (Bratton, Van de walle, 1997:10) Afew key political trends and the mechanism of transition • Transition away from one party and military regimes started with political protest • Democratic transitions involve systemic changes but also highly contingent power transfers. As Przeworski (1986, p. 60) • Democracy, the rule of Law and constitutionalism: Democracy and the rule of law support each other • From arbitrary tyrannical rule to nonarbitrary law-governed political power • From nondemocratic forms of government to the constitutional democratic state • Particular interplay between the continuity of legality and the discontinuation of the political regime’s legitimacy  the concept of “coordinated transition” or “regime change” (Kis 1995), meaning negotiated political transition combined with legal continuity and formalism. • “The first problem to be solved is how to institutionalize uncertainty without threatening the interests of those who can still reverse the process.” • Systematic changes always require a mechanism of negotiations, facilitating compromises between authoritarian politicians and democratic opposition and engendering a minimum level of trust between these parties. • Evolved through liberalization reforms, often culminated in competitive elections, and usually ended with installation of new forms of regimes IV – Approaches to Democratization 1- Structural factors versus individual actions and events Structural factors  Structural analyses consider that the prospects for political change are embedded in the architecture of social systems  “Social patterns, once forged, often persist beyond their original conditions” (Rueschemeyer, Stephens, Stephens 1992:7) Individual or contingent approaches  Afocus on individuals produces a contingent model of change  Acontingent model of change assumes that on agent’s initiative prompt another actor’s response and that political events cascade iteratively from one to another.  Actor dimension (Goran Hyden) – the ability of 1 actor to change the history of a country (in a democratic manner)  “The creative potential of politics” 2- International versus national explanations International approaches  The most drastic account of domination from abroad is found in theories of international dependency or, inAfrican vocabulary, neocolonialism.  The nature and implication of the momentous events and trend that accompanied the end of the Cold War: the include Soviet bloc communism… Two principle forms of international  The first policy condition for democracy reform is imposed by international donors and financial agencies, which are backed by the threat of material sanctions on weak states (view shared by Barry Munslow, Tom Young,African Confidential, and Kathryn Nwajiaku) Asecond form of international  Influence consists of the demonstration effects of opposition political movements, which diffuse spontaneously through civil society as citizens jump on the democracy bandwagon.  An international perspective raises the prospect of a “domino theory” of regime transitions whereby…  The impact of new international conditions was always mediated through domestic state-society relations.  External dynamics played an essentially second role in the collapse of authoritarian regimes  International factors – like changes in the international power, the international diffusion effects of protest movements, or pressures from international donors… (Tony Smith p.33)  Political events in one country evoke effects across international borders  The rash of political openings inAfrican countries from 1990 onward occurred almost simultaneously implying a shared response to a common external stimulus. National or domestic approaches  Propose that prospects for regime transition derive in the first from the actors, organizations, and institutions that inhabit the national arena  Although the incumbents of state office and their domestic opponents may call on international support or be buffered by external influences, they remain the prime movers of, and principal protagonists in, struggle over state power. -international support must be minimal  Tony Smith argues “deprive local histories of their integrity and specificity, thereby making local actors little more than the pawns of outside forces”  Even under conditions of extreme financial dependence, dominant national actors political autonomy and decision-making discretion  Africans continue to resist international pressures  Global power shifts provide the occasion – but not the basic cause – for new or dormant domestic forces to bubble to the surface prolonged periods of repression  The impact of new international conditions was always mediated through domestic state-society relations  External dynamics played an essentially second role in the collapse of authoritarian regimes  International factors – like changes in the international power, the international diffusion effects of protest movements or pressures from international donors (Tony Smith, 33) 3- Economic versus Political explanations Economic approaches  Recession or inflation may spur popular mobilization  Robert packman’s formulation…”all good things go together”  ClauseAke “the demand for democracy inAfrica draws much of its impetus from the prevailing economic conditions within” Political approaches  Approaches that place analytical primacy on the institutions that allocate power  In Africa, the absence of democracy before 1989 has often blamed on such long-standing political tradition  The colonial state is argued to have instituted an antidemocratic ethos that continues to pervade politics to the present day V – Democratic Experiments in Latin America • While dictatorships were the norm in the 1960s and 1970s – only Colombia, Costa Rica, and Venezuela avoided authoritarian rule during these decades – today an elected government rules in every LatinAmerican country except Cuba • Between 1930 and 1980, the 27 coun
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