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POL101 Lecture 2- Modern Democracy.docx

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University of Toronto St. George
Political Science
Jeffrey Kopstein

Lecture 2- Modern Democracy Wong 9/16/2013 8:05:00 AM What does democracy mean?  Apartheid in Africa was one of the most brutal regimes  White south Africans were separated from the black south Africans  This regime was run on the politics of racial segregation  Politically, socially, economically south Africa was divided along racial lines  There was a lot of racism among white and black South Africans. More resources available for white south African versus black  Apartheid system comes to an end in 1994. It was only 20 years ago  Democracy is many ways is still very new. People fight with their own lives for democracy. Millions giver up their own lives  This is a political system that we can’t take for granted  Democracy has tremendous appeal  Over the course of 35 years democracies increased from 46 to 114 from 1975-2010  Global peace can be obtained by promoting democracy  What were once traditional societies are now suddenly post colonial  Consequences of modernization economically and socially = Democracy’s Virtue:  What makes democracy so appealing?  The people is what’s most important (Aristotle)  Robert Dahl on Polyarchy- rights are impersonal and democracy provides us with them  Sam Huntington- government, elections  Democracies virtues are in these 3 principles: the people, rights, and the right to vote  Democracy as its core is a participatory practice; we may elect our representatives and our government. We are participating in a decision  The business of government in a democracy is no longer the business of kings, queens, churches, etc. It is participatory at its core.  Liberty: freedoms; of speech, association, press- these freedoms are rights. You have the right under this principle of liberty to deliberate, to argue, to debate and form your own views. All citizens are equal; race, religion, ethnicity. We get these rights through the right to vote.  Equality: a principle of modern liberalism. It’s about the individual.  Rule of Law: a political system, which is governed with the rule of law. A democracy at its core has to be grounded in a constitution and constitutional rules. It is not the rule of one person.  Pluralism: liberty + equality + rule of law=pluralism. Multiple ideologies. Democracy is basically compromise amongst pluralism  Institutionalized uncertainty: the core of democracy is elections. Elections gives you the ability to vote a government out or in. the democracy in that sense is all about winners and losers. What makes democracy virtuous is that losers are never out. You can lose, but you can compete again. Your party is not banned or anything (jail, etc). NDP for instance loses a lot, but is always in the competition. Democracy is institutionalized because it’s the same process over and over again (repetitive).  Democracy has its core principles (highlights) Democracy’s Fragility:  Democracy has many virtues making it appealing, but it is also very fragile. We should not take it for granted. There are breakdowns. 1974-2010 there was 53 breakdowns in democracy. Key: democracy is fragile. It is fought for and can be taken away.  Democracy is not just simply a final product; Fukiyama guy said there are other alternatives to democracy. Democracy as a Process:  Democracies are dynamic, fluent, and fragile  It is a continual dynamic process. Still new in Canada and America  Hugh Guthrie, MP, 1920- he says the right to vote is a conferred right in every case. Everyone regardless of race should acquire the right to vote as a citizen  Not long ago women, gays, and stuff gained the right to vote  Democracy is a long-term evolutionary process. E.g. women fought for the right to vote; so did first nations people  Democracy doesn’t just appear.  Democracy is a process; 3 dynamics: o Building the foundation o Choosing democracy o Making democracy work Building Democracies Foundation  Modernization theory- democracies foundations are built upon this theory. Theories about how people economically and socially transform themselves. Essentially it argues that the very beginning process of modernization requires economic progress (economic transformation) with economic transformation comes economic development. For instance as you move from a subsistence farmer to a
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