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Pol201 week 15 democratization

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University of Toronto St. George
Political Science
C Jung

10/16/2012 11:13:00 AM Pol201 Week 15 (Winter) Democratization The Third Wave- Samuel Huntington Wave: a group of transitions from non-democratic to democratic regimes that occur within a specific period of time According to Huntington, there have been three waves. The first wave was a long wave, lasting from 17 thto 19thcentury. Long social and economic processes that often culminated in revolution (Britain, France). In the first wave, the cause of democracy was simply modernization. The wave ends as countries regressed; as some countries move back from democracy to non-democracy. The second wave was after WWII. Countries became democratic in two ways: ImpositionGermany, Italy, Japan. Democracy was imposed on them. Decolonizationmany countries that gained independent after WWII became democratic The third wave began in April 1974, when the Portuguese dictatorship was overthrown by a coup. Portugal had never been a democracy before, it was always associated with fascism and Franco’s Spain. The Portuguese armed forces movement was split amongst conservatives, and moderates. The triumph of democracy in Portugal was a surprise and it was the beginning of a long wave of democratization that lasts to this day. When the third wave began in 1974, there were only about 40 democracies in the world, and these were mainly in the advanced industrial countries (Canada, New Zealand, US, Japan, etc.) Military and one-party dictatorships were the norm in the Caribbean, Latin America, Asia, and the Middle East. The number and percentage of democracies in the world expanded greatly during the third wave. Collapse of communism in Greece, Franco’s death in Spain 1975 Military rule also began to unravel in Latin America, Ecuador, Bolivia, Argentina, Brazil. Also in 1989, by the third wave had travelled to Asia, Philippines, South Korea, Taiwan. By 1991, Pakistan, Nepal, Bangladesh, Taiwan By 1987, the third wave had spread to the point where 2 out of 5 countries in the world were democracies, but that obviously still left gaping holes around the world. Democracy looks like a regional problem, not a global problem. The end of the Cold War brought profound changes to Africa as well. The two superpowers, the US and the Soviet Union—mutually assured destruction, nuclear war. However the Cold War was still fought all over the world for 40 years, mostly in developing countries in what was understood as proxy wars (ex. Vietnam, Korea) The whole world was divided as wars were fought in places that were either strategically important or seemingly up for grabs. The war in Angola started basically when the country gained independence in 1974. Angola was a colony of Portugal and after Portugal became democratic they disbanded their colonial affiliations. Opposition began to fight the local Angolan government following independence. The government identified itself as socialist (African Socialism) looking to get help from China, USSR, Cuba, Angola is right on the South African border (bordering Namibia, Mozambique) South Africa is under apartheid at this point in time, and fears that the internal conflict in Angola will lead to it becoming a Soviet sphere of influence. The South African military becomes involved in this war as they see it as a security threat. The United States joins South Africa and the supporting rebels UNITA. Soviet Union collapses in 1991 and the Cold War is essentially over. USSR and Cuba both withdraws from Angola, as they are no longer interested in sustaining the proxy war. Later on, South Africa and the United States both withdraw as the threat is no longer present. Angola is an example of a country that was completely destroyed by the Cold War. Starting in the early 1990s, much of Africa as well as many countries in Asia and Latin America, become free from the prison of war conflict. Benin In Benin, a coalition of forces and civil society organized a national conference that declared themselves sovereign, launching a democratic transition. Nelson Mandela released from prison in February 1990, after almost three decades of imprisonment. This started a process of dialogue that led to universal suffrage in South Africa in 1994. At the time of these two seminal events in Africa in 1990, there were only 3 democracies in Africa. Earlier in the third wave, democracy had been attempted in Ghana, Nigeria, and Sudan, but in each case it was shut down. After 1990, there was a rolling tide in African democracy—most African states felt pressure to at least liberalize, and at least tolerate opposition. Huntington notes that in 1974, there were 41 democracies out of the 150 states in the world. Of those remaining 109 states, 56 subsequently make a transition to democracy. And of those 56, fewer than 10 are not democracies today. In post-colonial states (European), 15 states make the transition and 6 join in later. Today, over 3/5ths of the world are democracies. Modernization Theory In the Third wave, democracy came about not because of long, deep-rooted social and economic factors, but instead through negotiations. These democracies came about because political elites engineered
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