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Lecture 2

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Political Science
Judith Teichman

POLC91 Sept 20, 2012 Lecture 2 -have electoral democracies – most except Columbia -how democratic is LA actually? -how has main stream thought about LA democracy? -Hershberg; confines discussion of democracy to purely political realm -does not get in to social realm at all -MacPherson; The Real World of Democracy -1. Liberal democracy 2. populist/revolutionary democracy 3. democratic socialism Liberal democracy (polyarchy) -these are the qualifications of being a liberal democracy -1. Elections -civil liberties, the right to associate, minority parties -2. Freedoms to -remove leaders from power, 3. rule of law -everyone is treated the same by the law, no one is above the law -4. Dispersal of Power – strong parties, civil society organizations -power is shared amongst parties, organizations, etc., it is not concentrated in one group of people -assumption here is that no 1 group dominates; everybody has an opportunity to influence political outcomes -this characterization of lib democracy is an ideal type; probably doesn’t exist anywhere – we formulate these ideal types to see how new countries measure up Political Transition from Authoritarian to Democratic Rule -political liberalization (gradual expansion of political freedoms) -political democratization (free, fair and competitive elections) -democratic consolidation; when democratic values become accepted by society and democratic politics -what is really crucial here is political rights and political liberties and the changing of political power through competitive elections -emphasis on competitive elections, rule of law, etc. -wuality of democracy was a concern, and if the procedural minimum was bring protected -tutaliory democracies; What about poverty and inequality? -they are not part of the definition for what democracy means -we hope they will be solved by democracy, but do not form part of the idea of demo 1 -Hershberg; poverty can be bad for democracy – see what he says about this in his aricle Freedoms to and freedom from -from; homelessness, disease, starvation -freedoms from are less imp’t to lib demo and often don’t form the core of its definition -there can be large variations among countries that would be considered as lib demo’s -eg, in US freedoms to are way more imp’t than freedoms from – just now getting a health care policy/plan – for Cdns this is central to our country Lib Demo in LA -it is certainly found here, there are many ppl who believe in it -what is key it that they don’t think it is the only form of demo, Populist and revolutionary democracy -lots of examples in LA of this -it is rule in the interest of the whole people -the sway of the largest and lowest class -most countries in LA have only a small middle class -may be radical (revolutionary) or reformist (populist) -populist/rev leaders historically are very concerned about getting rid of institutions and existing political parties -populist leaders are often elected with wide spread support -have no problem putting their opposing parties in jail -land redistribution; getting land for the peasants to grow food on -the freedoms from are high priorities, the freedoms to not so much -freedom from; hunger, unemployment, foreign domination -not concerned abt trampling on rights of the upper class in sorting out issues such as poverty -eg. Peron in Argentina – ruled in the 40s-50s -Castro in Cuba; ruled from the 60s until recently -Hugo Chavez in Venezuela – very popular populist leader -most in rest of the world see him as not democratic b/c not concerned with the features of democracy that we have discussed, but those in Venezuela think he is democratic b/c he cares about the lower classes, not so much concerned about the upper classes who do not like him How should we understand these movements/parties/leaders? -those in US frame it as a failure to institutionalize democracy, the importance of having strong and workable institutions, and not weak and stable ones -need political parties with set procedures for deciding leaders, policy platforms, how ppl participate, - this is called having something that is institutionalized -they look at some LA – Chile, Brazil- and say they are highly institutionalized, -what makes it possible to have stable institutions in one state, and the opposite in 2 another? – how do you say one state is democratic b/c it is institutionalized, but say another democracy that is functioning is not just b/c it is not institutionalized -what conditions are there that produce Democratic Socialism -freedoms from and freedoms to are balanced – Prof sees this as an ideal type -adequate housing/food/edu is just as imp’t as political liberties, so you have to have both -in terms of state intervention .. -Examples: Brazil, Pres Lula 2003-2010 – now ruled by workers party, and she – is previous guerilla fighter, fighting to overthrow gov’t -Chile Concertacion – 1990-2010 -Uruguay – Tabare Vazquez- 2005-2010 -Jose Mujica – 2010 – (previous guerilla fighter, fighting to overthrow gov’t) -these examples approach demo socialism –social welfare is imp’t to these regimes Perspectives on LA’s Transition to “Democracy” -in debt crisis there was a rapid rise in poverty – Structural adjustment -there are imp’t implications for what happened to democracy during this period -there are 2 ways of looking at it in
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