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Lecture 6

Lecture 6--Authoritarianism.docx

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University of Toronto Scarborough
Political Science
Lucan Way

Lecture 6 MIDTERM: Last names A-L 9-10AM Study sheet on Blackboard 2-3 MC 3-4 short answers ● Is it a structural or voluntarist explanation? Give the opposite response. 1-2 sentences on the opposite perspective, must be specific facts. Do the damn readings Know evidence vs. voluntarist approaches to French, Russian, 1848 Revolution, PLUS the terms on study sheet. Authoritarianism ● Any regime that are not democratic ● Democracy: ○ Free and fair elections determine who’s in power ○ Civil liberties ○ Universal adult suffrage ● Authoritarian regimes: broad range of regimes ○ Hybrid or Competitive Authoritarian (Have elections but violations in civil liberties etc.) ○ Normal authoritarian (Don’t have any elections at all. e.g. China and Cuba) ○ Totalitarianism (Stalinist Russia and Nazi Germany) Explanations? ● Structural ○ Economic development ■ Wealthy countries tend to be more stable and democratic ● WENA both wealthiest per capita and overwhelmingly stable and democratic ● Africa and former Soviet Union poorer and less democratic ■ Increase in global wealth over time = greater number of democracies ■ Modernization = Wealth, industrialization, urbanization, education ● In order to become wealthy, a country needs to industrialize (build factories to sell stuff) ● In order to industrialize, need urbanization and education in order to bring people closer to factories ● Empowers population to demand democracy ○ Rural population: People are more isolated and therefore hard to organise (no collective action) ○ Increased urban population: Much easier to organize and defend their own rights ○ Access to mass communication which leads to the spread of ideas and news about movements ● Leads to successful demands for greater participation ■ Why is this a structural theory? This is a long-term process. Wealthy countries take a long time to become wealthy. ○ Ethnic/Other Polarisation ■ Some societies have ethnic tensions and ideological tensions ● No consensus on rules of the game ● Threat of violence ● Therefore this creates a stalemate and chaos that leave openings for authoritarian leaders ● Leads people to value survival over democracy. If your well being is threatened, you are less likely to care if your government is free and fair. You just want to live. ● Voluntarist ○ Institutional Design ■ Focus on what is written in the constitution. This directly affects political outcomes ■ Parliamentary regimes → more stable democracies ● Parliamentary regimes: ○ Parliament selects executive (Prime Minister) ○ No fixed terms ○ No elected President with any serious power ■ Presidential regimes however: ● Executive directly elected for a fixed term (U.S. = every 4 years) ● Strong constitutional powers; control over cabinet ■ Presidentialism undermines democracy ● President has too much concentrated power, which makes the establishment of dictatorship that much easier ● Conflict between President and parliament → Stalemate/instability → Regime breakdown ○ “Slippery slope to dictatorship” ○ Nothing gets done, an autocrat may emerge and take a stand for order (e.g. Russia) ● Presidentialism rigid (because you have 4 year term) → Polarization/High-stakes fight for power (you rule for a long time, people feel like they have everything to lose for the election, and may violate to get into power) → Democratic breakdown ■ Why Voluntarist? Well, where does the institution come from? The initial process can
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