POL201 JAN 31
PRESIDENTIALISM AND PARLIAMENTARISM
The essay is due the Monday after winter break.
The first thing to focus on, is the nature of the question, is this a transition to democracy? In
Tanzania, it is that you can’t tell it’s a transition to democracy until long after the transition is
-whats happening in the middle east could be anyting, its clearly upheavel, protest, anti-
govenremnt, but whether it ends up in democracy is an OPEN QUESTION, so there is no say
that it is a transition to democracy, but it is a transition from the previous govnerment to
-ther eis nothing that happens in a transition period that shows us x is going to be the end result.
-so the TRANSITION LITERATURE LOOKS TO THE PAST, NOT THE PRESNT OR
-everythuing you read about the middle east, is how its travelling from country to country, the
way the web is being used in different ways, and to what extent can technology be a democratic
tool, technology is empowering, provides info to people that otherwise don’t have it, where
information and capacity to community can be opened up and disable states and makes them
unable to control technology and the flow of information, information is empowering.
---but now people say govnerments are using technology to disempower people, so that’s another
-the transitions literature assumes trechnology is empowering, and new forms of communicatinos
are empowering to democratic movements, but it can also be used as tools of authoritarianism.
-the third thing that’s interesting, is that the transitions literature is, going back a step – the
question was last week, how do we get more democracy, how do we get more democratic states,
the link between modernization theory and transitions theory is how do we get more democratic
The reason people are interested in US and Europe of how coutnries get more democratic, is
because it is assumed that democratic countries are allied with the west, they are in the western
sphere of influence, so in the whole communist democracy way of thinking of the world,
demcoracies were allies of the US, the whole reason we wanted to know how more countries can
become democratic, is because we wanted more countries to become allies with the US.
-infact, if more coutnries in the middle east become democractic, they are more likely to become
anit-democratic. The authoritative leaders are more cooperative with the US and are more on
their sides, than would be if the people elected a leader, for that leader would have to be more