Conflict Theory Seminar
The origins of Political Order- Fukuyama 9/25/2012 4:46:00 PM
- 1970 – 2010 upsurge of number of democracies around world
- transformation of Huntingtons third wave of democratization: liberal
democracy as the default form of govt. was accepted political landscape at
beginning of 21 century.
- formerly passive individuals around world were ORGANIZING AND
PARTICIPATING in the political life of their societies.
Social mobilization was driven by host of factors:
Access to education:- made people more aware of themselves and political
Facilitated rapid spread of ideas and knowledge -> connectivity.
Cheap Travel + Communications:- allowed people to vote with their feet if
they didn’t like their govt.
Greater prosperity:- induced people to demand better protection of their
THIRD WAVE IN 1990- Democratic Recession (first decade of first 21
- 1/5 countries reverted back to authoritarianism or aw “significant erosion
of democratic institutions”
Malaise in democratic world took diff roles:
- outright reversal of democratic gains- Russia, Iran, Venezuala
^ elected leaders were dismantling democratic institutions by
CLOSING DOWN OR BUYING INDEPENDENT TV AND NEWSPAPER OUTLETS
CLAMPING DOWN ON OPPOSITION ACTIVITIES. Liberal Democracy- complex set of institutions that RESTRAIN AND
REGULARIZE the exercise of power through law and a system of checks and
Many countries : official acceptance of democratic legitimacy was
accompanied by systematic removal of checks on executive power and
erosion of the rule of law!
- other countries got stuck in gray zone (Thomas Carothers)when
transitioning from authoritarian govt.
not authoritarian OR democratic. (Successor states to SOVIET UNION)
Transition Paradigm by Carothers- basically that no authoritarian elites had
interest in implementing democratic institutions because it would dilute their
The failure of govts. To deliver basic services that people demand from them
was a category of concern.
THE FAILURE TO DELIVER ON THE PROMISE DEMOCRACY POSES IS THE
GREATEST CHALLENGE TO LEGITIMACY OF SUCH POLITICAL SYSTEMs.
Orange Revolution – Ukraine pg 5.
Latin America- highest level of economic inequality… class hierarchies
respond to racial and ethnic ones.
- Persistent poverty breeds social dysfunctions: gangs, narco trafficking,
and general feeling of insecurity.
- Failure to effectively deal with problems that threaten basic institutions
and state undermine the LEGITIMACY OF DEMOCRACY.
- Corruption of democratic politics in India is nothing like Chinas quick
and efficient decision making.
- China is not constrained by rule of law OR democratic accountability.
- Broad source of political anxiety concerns the economy.
- Global capitalism =productive+ wealth creating but it cannot AVOID
high levels of * volatility in financial sector.
- Free markets are necessary to promote long term growth but are not
- “The systems instability is a reflection of political failure because it’s
the failure to provide sufficient regulatory oversight at both national and
international levels.” - Market countries perform well based on their participation in global
- The political job of finding right regulatory systems to tame capitalism
VOLATILITY …haven’t been found.
Political decay occurs when political systems don’t adjust to changing
Humans=rule following by nature, conform to social norms…give those
rules absolute value and meaning.
When surrounding environmental changes take place…a disjunction
between existing institutions+present needs.
Institutions are supported by legions of ENTRENCHED STAKEHOLDERS
who oppose any fundamental change.
US constitutions prevents govt. excersising tyrannical control
The USA’s debt on both personal and governmental levels threaten
American power around world.
*American political system should facilitate formation of consensus
instead of contributing to problem. ***
-Congress=polarized=passing of legislation=difficult this in return equals
broad homogenization of neighborhoods +regions
DEMOCRACY IS GOOD… people should defend their interests but what
happens when no ones interests can be challenged? Rising anger, a social
reality at odds with the countries own legitimating principles.
Rates of intergenerational mobility lower than what americans think them
Industries use political muscle to dismantle regulation*
- when a society fails to confront major fiscal crisis through SERIOUS
INSTITUTIONAL REFORM- they resort to short term fixes that erode and
corrupt their own institutions. Ie; French monarchy after failure of GRAND
- Quick fixes: giving in to stake holders and interest groups that
represented elites..failure to balance countries budget led to bankruptcy
and delegitimization of the states…and terminated in the French Rev.
FANTASIES OF STATELESSNESS Worries of authoritarian backsliding in Russia to corruption in india to
failed states in developing world…to entrenched interest groups in
contemporary American politics.
- Anxieties of CREATING, MAINTAINING…EFFECTIVE political
institutions…govts that are
- * accountable
- *simultaneously powerful
- *rule bound
- ideas are important to political order; PERCIEVED legitimacy of govt
that BINDS population together and makes them willing to accept its
- -democracy looks right in world opinion- prestige
- authoritarian have to stage elections and manipulate media to
legitimize themselves. (pretend to be democrats)
- govt that is accountable and effective