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Authoritarianism.docx

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Department
Political Science
Course
POLB92H3
Professor
Lucan Way
Semester
Fall

Description
Authoritarianism They are countries those aren’t democratic. Democratic countries are those that have free trade election, civil liberties and universal adult suffrage. There are broad ranges of authoritarian regimes: Hybrid or competitive authoritarian, “normal” authoritarian, and totalitarianism. Authoritarianism can be explained through democratic failures.  “Normal” authoritarian regimes are those most seen today. It is focused on keeping and increasing power. Active support is not must sought after and more of controlling active opposition. There is no ambition for a radical social change.  Totalitarianism is radical rejection of old order. There is no independent civil society so there could be total control over citizens. There is also constant mobilization to have active support of citizens rather than passive acceptance. State also has control over economy and can control prices and production. In addition they use terror to reign over population Approaches to democratic failure: (Are also known as sources of authoritarianism) a) Leadership/values (Voluntarist side of spectrum)  Look at two things: the values of leaders and leadership skills b) Institutionalist (Institutional design on voluntarist side of spectrum)  We look at institutional design because what’s written in the constitution affect political outcomes. Parliamentary regimes are seen of a more stable democracy because parliament selects executive. c) Polarization (structural side of spectrum)  Ethnic/ideological tensions: no consensus on rules of game Threat of violence Volatile electorate  Creates stalemate and chaos that leaves an opening for authoritarian leaders  Survival valued over democracy d) Economic development (Structural side of spectrum)  Wealthy counties tend to be more democratic: Western European and North America both are wealthiest per capita and overwhelmingly stable and democratic.  Poorer countries like Africa and former Soviet Union are less democratic (with a few exceptions like Ghana, Singapore) Modernization  Is viewed as wealth, industrialization, urbanization, education  In order to become wealthy, a country needs to industrialize (This would help boost the country’s economy)  In order to industrialize, need urbanization and education in order to bring people closer to factories and give them work skills.  Modernization empowers population to demand democracy  However it is more difficult for rural population to organize and empower. With an increased urban population it is easier. In addition having access to mass communication helps spread ideas and news about other movements.  Success = Greater participation Presidentialism v parliamentarism Parliamentarism:  Executive directly elected for fixed term.  Strong constitutional powers over cabinet  Governments authority dependent on parliamentary confidence Presidentialism:  President holds too much concentrated power which can lead to dictatorship  It can become a rigid regime and lead
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