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lec. jan. 31

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University of Toronto St. George
Political Science
Sophia Moreau

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 cant tell its a transition to democracy until long after the transition is finished. -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 something else. -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 FUTURE. -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 dont 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 thats another interesting point. -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 thats 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 countries. - 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
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