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Lecture 2

Lecture 2 17-9-12

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University of Toronto St. George
Political Science
Jeffrey Kopstein

Modern Democracy • South Africa: Social, Economic • Third wave of democratic transition • Democracy slowly starting to gain popularity • Natural process of modernization that makes democracy appealing Points • Democracy's Virtue • Democracy's Fragility • Democracy as Process Democracy's Virtue • Rejection of traditional forms of government • Modern form of political organization • Centrality of participation • Form of political order where we all have a say • Ability to participate in politics • Decisions are collectively made Characteristics of Democracy • Liberty: Freedoms and Rights ◦ Right to dissent: Disagree with the government or positions in power ◦ Mediated through institutions • Equality: Democratic or political citizenship ◦ All as individuals equal in the political sphere ◦ Same vote/say as other people regardless of socio-economic situation ◦ Modern liberalism • Rule of Law: Equalities and liberties protected under the rule of law ◦ Constitution lays out the rules ◦ Democracies are the rule of law as opposed to rule of man • Pluralism ◦ Multiple interests and ideologies which all matter ◦ Allows compromise among pluralism • Institutionalized Uncertainty*** ◦ The ability to elect our representatives in government ◦ Empowers us to vote a government in or out ◦ Winners and losers: Losers do not get out ◦ Can come back to fight again ◦ Belief that if you lose today, can win tomorrow ◦ Allows us to have continuous elections Democracy's Fragility • Democracy can breakdown • Can be taken away Democracy as Process • The right to vote is not inherent • The right is conferred by the government • Democracy is a long process • Democracy today is part of a longer process • They don't just suddenly appear Dynamics: Foundation, Choice of democracy, Choices we make to make democracy work Building Democracy's Foundation (I) Modernization Theory • The theory in which countries go through stages in order to modernize: Economic Social and Political Change • 1. Economic Transformation ◦ Modernized trade, infrastructure, technology ◦ Industrial Revolution ◦ Agricultural to Industrialized • 2. Economic Development ◦ Growing your own economy ◦ Rise of the middle class • 3. Demographic Change ◦ Urbanization ◦ Size of families decrease ◦
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