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Lecture 2

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Political Science
Jeffrey Kopstein

Modern democracy September-23-12 4:05 PM Democracy in south Africa • 1949 - immorality act - interracial sexual relations illegal • 1950 - group areas act - physical segregation based on race • 1952 - pass law - all blacks must have a pass for when in designated white area • 1954 - settlement laws - no black settlements in Johannesburg • System of political, economic, and physical segregation existed until 1994 • Attractiveness of democracy aka democracy is new Third wave of democratic transitions in 1920 • Reasons o Tremendous economic growth o WWII lessons - autocracy/authoritarian regimes = war o Modernization o Democracy as a form of order/institution = more appealing o Natural progression • Democracy's Virtue o " In democratic states, for example, the people is sovereign: in oligarchies, on the other hand, the few have that position; and this difference of the sovereign bodies is the reason why we say that the two types of constitution differ—as we may equally apply the same reasoning to other types besides these. " • Aristotle - Politics o "Polyarchy is a political order distinguished at the most general level by two broad characteristics: Citizenship is extended to a relatively high proportion of adults, and the rights of citizenships include opportunity to oppose and vote out the highest officials in the government" • Robert Danl - On Polyarchy o "A 20th-century political system [is considered] democratic to the extent that its most powerful collective decisions makers are selected through fair, honest and periodic elections in which candidates feely compete for votes and in which virtually all the adult population is eligible to vote" • Samuel Huntington - On Democracy o Liberty • Freedoms and rights • Freedom of speech, thought, freedom to dissent, to assemble peacefully o Equality • In the political sphere, all individuals are politically equal • 1 person = 1 vote • Modern liberalism is about the individual protected by rule of law o Rule of law • Means by which we do/play politics and/or make decisions • Constitutions = rule of law • Constitutions are the rule of law rather than the rule of man o Pluralism • Sum of liberty, equality, rule of law • Multiple interests/ideas/ideologies • Democracy is about compromises within pluralism o Institutionalized uncertainty • Ability to elect representatives that represent us • Elections allow us to vote governments out • If you're voted out, you are still free to contest it later in another election, to maybe win again • Democracy's Fragility o Democracy can breakdown o Can be taken away • Democracy's Process o The right to vote is not inherent o The right is conferred by the government o Democracy is a long process o Democracy today is part of a longer process o They don't just suddenly appear • Democratic evolution o 3 important choices • Foundations  There must exist previous institutions and the country must have had enough modernizations to support the sift into democracy • Choice of democracy  Someone has to make the conscious decision into democracy. • Choices as citizens  Citizens must fight for the rights and freedoms, it will not be handed down easily. Once it is attained one muststay vig
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