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Lecture 2

Week 24 Readings

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University of Toronto St. George
Political Science
Sophia Moreau

Notes pol201y1 Globalization and the Strengthening of Democracy in the Developing World by - Nita Rudr • The strengthening of democracy in this analysis refers to increases in political equality • Ultimately, I suggest that under conditions of globalization, if governments expand the size of the welfare state, important advancements in human freedoms are likely to occur. (The author’s thesis); lack of elite cohesiveness prompts radical political change. • But why, then, do some countries become more po-litically repressive after globalizing; o First, with globalization and rising demands for efficiency and fiscal discipline, elites may face strong incentives to decrease social spending in or-der to promote investor confidence and encourage com-petitive exports. This is particularly true of LDCs facing adjustment pressures from international financial insti-tutions. o Second, increasing the level of social spending as openness occurs is a contentious elite decision because of the stress it can place on elite assets. Countries that are high spenders preglobalization are especially vulner- able to this possibility. Elites in these nations may pre-fer to engage in repression without making any signifi-cant changes to the social budget. This helps explain why some more democratic countries that generally maintain higher levels of social spending experienced setbacks in democratization after globalizing. • repression may be more attractive in low-spending LDCs faced with demands for undesirably large compensation packages • Globalization tends to create greater economic risks and uncertainty, diminishing elite control over the economy and affecting both private sector loyalty and large sectors of society. The result is social instability alongside waning elite legitimacy. • If the state is imperfectly democratic, governing elites will fear that the "losers" would use greater democracy to take away their privileges. These elites oppose in-creasing democratic quality (hard-liners), putting them at loggerheads with elites that prefer democratization (the soft-liners). • However, if the state provides social spending to compensate (buy off) the injured majority, the masses will be less likely to attack the elite via politics • Therefore, in such states, (hard-liner) elites will be more likely to agree to increase democracy. • Globalization ultimately moves business groups towards preferring a more liberal political system that would better allow them to pursue their interests at will.; public authorities cease economic control; but globalization benefits is unevenly distributed. • reformist factions of the elite will concur that the costs of democratization will exceed the benefits and repression will occur • Welfare concessions (spending on education, health, and social security and welfare) are a desirable redistribution strategy because they can pacify the disadvantaged and, at the same time, avoid demands for more radical redistribution of assets (e.g., land redistribution, protectionism, and excessive taxation;
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