Chapter One—The Challenge of Third World Development
§ LDCs: less developed countries
§ NICs: newly industrializing countries
§ HDI: human development index (best single measure of a nation’s quality of life)
§ Many of the issues concerning countries such as Afg hanistan [religious intolerance],
Colombia [poverty and revolutionary conflict], Iraq/Nigeria [ethnically based massacres],
and Zimbabwe/Burma [political repression] are present in industrialized democracies but
in a milder form
§ Developing nations (areas) is the term used by political scientists
§ Third World countries is the label most frequently used [this term is imprecise]
o Africa, Asia, the Middle East, Latin America and the Caribbean that do not belong
to the First World
o 3 world includes non-European communist nations such as China, Cuba, and
Vietnam, which resemble other developing nations on many dimensions
Countries fall under its banner not because of any specific quality, but simply because they are
not members of either the First World or Second world.
3 world commonalities: the nature of underdevelopment
Despite their differences, 3 world countries share a number of common characteristics
§ They all suffer from some aspects of political, economic or social underdevelopment
o South Korea/Singapore/Taiwan are no longer economically underdeveloped, they
still share a high vulnerability to global economic forces and continue to suffer
from political underdevelopment
§ Poverty is the biggest characteristic for some countries
§ National level; this is manifested by some combination of low GDP [gross domestic
product] per capital [a measure of per-capita income], highly unequal income
distribution, poor infrastructure [including communications and transportation], limited
use of modern technology, and low consumption of energy
§ Grassroots level; economic underdevelopment connotes widespread scarcity, substantial
unemployment, substandard housing, poor health conditions, and inadequate nutrition
§ GDP is a measure similar to GNP (gross national product) – the indicator most frequently
used in the US – but it excludes “net factor income from abroad”.
§ Per-capita income refers to GDP per capita based on parity purchasing power (PPP). This
is a measure of economic production per person, statistically adjusted to each country’s
cost of living. PPP adjustments allow a more meaningful comparison of what per-capita
incomes in different countries can actually purchase
§ In 2008, the World Bank estimated that 3.14 billion people in the LDCs lived in poverty § It is believed that income is more equitably distributed in economically advanced nations
than in LDCs. Exception: the poor in the US live better than most people in LDCs, yet
the gap between rich and poor is greater in the US than in countries such as Ethiopia,
Egypt and India.
§ A positive correlation between two measures means that as one factor goes up, the other
factor generally does as well
§ A negative correlation means that as one factor rises, the other one declines
3 world poverty tends to correlate with poor social conditions such as high infant mortality and
low literacy rates, which in turn narrow opportunities for human development in other areas. In
order to modernize and develop economically, they must improve their educational systems.
This would result in:
§ More trained professionals
§ Higher labor productivity
§ Increase political participation
§ Greater government accountability
[See table 1.3; page 10]
§ Since 1960, life expectancy in the 3 world has increased impressively following a
number of national and international campaigns against infectious diseases, improved
sanitary conditions and other advances
§ Life expectancy and literacy are particularly valuable indicators of development as they
are not distorted by skewed distribution (unlike per-capita income)
§ Despite economic decline in Africa, Latin America, East Asia, 3 rdworld has enjoyed
considerable social development in the past 40-50 years
o Example: adult illiteracy is almost 2/3 below its 1965 rate, falli ng from 59% to
about 21%. Improved health care and sanitation have helped reduce infant
mortality rates by 60%. This in turn helped raise life expectancy from 53.4 yrs in
1960 to some 65 yrs today
§ UNDP: united nations development programme
[See table 1.4; page 13; reveals the substantial socioeconomic differences between 3 rdworld
§ East Asia is the world’s fastest-growing regional economy
Political development involves:
§ Creation of specialized and differentiated government institutions that carry out different
o Collecting tax revenues
o Defending national borders
o Maintaining political stability o Stimulating economic development
o Improving the quality of human life
o Communicating with the citizenry
Any government satisfying these standards would enjoy a reasonable level of legitimacy,
encouraging individuals and groups to pursue their political objectives peacefully through
established political institutions rather than through violent or illegal channels.
Accepted definitions of full democracy: honest and competitive elections in which opposition
parties have a realistic chance of winning; universal or nearly universal adult suffrage;
widespread opportunities for political participation; free and open mass media; and go vernment
respect for human rights, including minority rights.
Some relationships between the Components of Development
§ Responsive and legitimate governments, constrained by competitive elections, are more
likely to educate their citizens and to make informed economic decisions
§ Bord economic and social development tend to correlate with political development
§ 3 world countries are not likely to become democracies or to maintain democracy unless
they have reached a minimal threshold of socioeconomic development
§ Some scholars suggest that an authoritarian government might be helpful in the early to
middle stages of industrialization in order to control labor unions and workers’ wages,
thereby increasing company profits and attracting new external investments
The Causes of Underdevelopment
§ MNCs: multinational corporations
§ IMF: international monetary fund
§ Causes are interpreted in different ways by scholars depending on their personal
background, country of origin, ideology
o Dependency theory & world systems theory which view Western exploitation as
the root cause of 3 world underdevelopment, have been particularly popular
among Latin American and African analysts
§ Dependency theory: originated in Latin America in the 1970’s and ofrdred radical
perspective on development, one particularly popular among 3 world scholars
Modernization Theory and the Importance of Cultural Values
§ Figures in comparative politics: Gabriel Almond, James Coleman, Samuel Huntington,
§ Most 3 world nations follow a path of political and economic modernization parallel to
the one first traveled by the advances Western countries.
§ Transforming traditional cultures was considered the first, and by most accounts, most
crucial step in the modernization process
§ Max Weber and Talcott Parsons distinguished the difference between “traditional” and
modern” values. They saw many traditional political and economic values as somewhat
irrational, or at least unscientific.
o Caste system: assigned people their rank in society at birth, a rank th at was
difficult to change § Modernization theorists identified education, urbanization and the spread of mass media
as central agents of change
§ Diffusion of modern ideas from highly indrdtrialized nations to the developing world and
from city to countryside within the 3 world. At the same time, developing nations trying
to modernize need to create more specialized and complex political and economic
institutions to complement those cultural changes.
o Example: tribal culture might have a council of elders responsible for legislative,
executive and judicial activities; a modern society needs separate, specialized
institutions for each of those tasks. Modernizing societies also need trained
bureaucracies, which base professional advancement on merit rather than personal
connections and make decisions according to uniform and consistent standards.
§ Analysts were particularly disturbed to find that the very process of social and economic
modernization often ushered in political instability and violence.
§ Modernization theory’s initial optimism gave way to conflict theory. Developing nations,
this new perspective argued, would have to make hard choices between seemingly
irreconcilable development goals.
§ Democracy might have to take a backseat to stability, at least temporarily. Many
economists and political scientists argues that the early stages of economic growth
required wealth to be concentrated so that incipient capitalists could acquire sufficient
capital for major investments.
§ Reconciliation approach offered by contemporary modernization theorists, maintains that,
with the right policies, developing nations can simultaneously achieve goals previously
thought to be incompatible.
o Example: Taiwan and South Korea have shown that it is possible to achieve rapid
economic development together with equitable income distribution
§ Major criticisms of modernization theory: culturally biased, assuming the superiority of
§ 1 All modern or modernizing cultures are not identical
§ 2 Scholars now agree that the differences between traditional and modern cultures are
not necessarily as stark or clear-cut as originally thought
§ 3 Now it appears that some traditional values contribute to political and economic
§ 4 while modern values have indeed swept across the 3 world, they have not been
o Example: Afghanistan, Iran, Saudi Arabia and other parts of the Muslim world
have rejected Westernization in favor of Islamic fundamentalism
Dependency theory: the core and the periphery
§ Under the banner of dependency theory, modernization was challenged on most
fundamental assumptions. rd
§ Dependentistas rejected the contention that 3 world countries can follow the same path
to development as western nations had, if only because the earliest industrialized nations
changed the landscape for those that followed them § Countries borrow capital and purchase advanced technology from highly developed
countries, thereby making them dependent on economic forces beyond their borders and
beyond their control.
§ Western influence is seen as beneficial as it spreads modern values, technology, and
institutions. In contrast, dependency theorists maintain that western colonialism and
economic imperialism are precisely what first turned Africa, Asia, and Latin America
into prostders of cheap food and raw materials for the developed countries.
§ Many 1 world nations have continued to use their economic power to sustain dependent
relationships that disadvantage the 3 world
§ The most profitable economic activities along with major control over world finance
remained primarily in the control of the core, the dependentistas label for the
industrialized West (and japan). In the past, 3 world nations, located in the periphery,
were generally relegated to the production and export of agriculture goods and raw
materials and had to trade for industrial impords on unfavorable terms.
§ Within the periphery, the argument went, 3 political, military, and economic elites,
backed by the might of the USA and other core nations, maintained a political system that
benefited the powerful few at the expense of the many
§ Associated-dependent development: active intervention of the state and the linkage of
domestic firms to MNCs, some developing countries had industrialized and experienc ed
considerable economic growth.
§ Fernando Henrique Cardoso: argued that countries such as Argentina, Brazil, Colombia
and Mexico could modernize and expand their economies while still remaining
dependent on foreign banks and MNCs for loans, investment, and technology. Brazilian
industrialization had been stimulated largely by a sharp rise in foreign, corporate
investment. He considered associated-dependent development tainted for these reasons:
o MNCs were making critical economic decisions affecting developi ng countries,
but were outside the developing nations’ control.
o Foreign corporations tended to invest in capital-intensive production that needed
fewer workers than more traditional, labour-intensive firms did.
o These industries tended to manufacture products for more affluent middle and
upper-class consumers. They had little incentive to raise wage levels in order to
enhance working-class purchasing power
§ Rather than reduce poverty, dependentistas maintained, associated -dependent
development had widened the income gap
Modernization and Dependency theories compared
Dependency approach offered useful corrections to modernization theory. It also highlighted
important influences over 3 world societies that the earlier theory often neglected:
international trade, finance, investment.
§ Dependency theory shifted the focus of research from exclusively internal factors to
international economic development heavily stressed the goal of economic growth;
dependency theorists also emphasized the importance of more equitable economic
distribution and greater social justice. § Despite its contribution, dependency theory suffered from serious failings. They
emphasized internal causes of underdevelopment, dependentistas erroneously attributed
virtually all of the 3 world’s problems to external economic factors [international trade,
foreign investment, credit]
§ Cardoso refined dependency theory by insisting that the types of constraints imposed by
core economies on the periphery varied from one developing nation to another.
§ The effects of external influences emanating from the core are mediated by conditions
within each developing country
o Example: a country’s class structure and the influence of particular classes on
government policy shape the type of associated-dependent development it
Countries that have the lowest levels of foreign investment and foreign trade tend to have the
poorest record of economic development. There is considerable evidence that those developing
nations that reduce barriers to free trade, such as tariffs tend to enjoy faster economic growth
than countries that limit international trade.
§ Using cross-national data over time to analyze the effects of several indicators of
dependency, including levels of foreign trade and aid, foreign investment and foreign
§ Dependency theory literature rarely uses comparative data and statistical analysis to test
its hypothesis. It often lacks any testable hypotheses that can be confirmed or disproved.
§ Postmodernists charge modernization theory with trying to impose its values on the 3 rd
§ Hey favor “bottom-up” development based on the plans and desires of the
underprivileged rather than “top-down” development projects designed by governments,
international agencies, or NGOs (nongovernmental organizations).
§ Some say globalization has benefited only a small portion of the population and has
further impoverished many others
How much (or how little) progress has been made? [all statistics; page 28-29]
§ 3 world population living in absolute poverty has been dropping regularly for a number
of yrs The Challenge of Third World Development: Chapter 2:Version 1
The Explosion of Third World Democracy
Mohamed Bouazizi on December 17, 2010 set himself on fire to protest the harassm ent from
the Tunisian police. This incident went viral because of the internet and cell phones. This
incident led to protests in Tunisia. After 3 weeks of massive demonstrations, dictator Zine el-
Abidine Ben Ali fled to Saudi Arabia.
The Arab withstood the wave of democracy that swept over most of the developing world at the
end of the 20 century. Throughout the Middle East and North Africa, power remained with the
military men, authoritarian political parties or monarchies.
Analysts believed that
• Aspects of Arab culture inhibited democratic values
• The distorting effects of excessive economic dependence on oil exports which has
obstructed democracy in countries like Iran, Libya, Saudi Arabia, Russia and Venezuela.
Middle Eastern dictators have all retained power through police and military oppression. Hosni
Mubarak was a former military officer in Egypt that led a pro -western government
characterized by political oppression, enormous corruption and a failure to alleviate the
A massive wave of demonstrations swept the country with a group of leaders consisting of 15
young professionals. All the members were diverse and it consisted of liberals and leftists. This
groups stages “field tests” in Cairo slums before the demonstration. Slo wly Mubarak’s
government lost support and the armed forces refused to use force on the protesters. After 18
days of demonstrations on February 11, 2011, Mubarak resigned from office.
Common characteristics of the two democratic revolutions
• Long term dictatorships that failed to address widespread unemployment and poverty
• Extensive government corruption at the top
• Opposition from either prodemocracy or Islamic political groups had been repressed
• Young people who suffered from high unemployment rates formed the backbone of the
• Young professionals found ways to use information technology to outwit the security
forces to organize protest activity
• Demonstrators were remarkably disciplined and non-violent • Military decisions to not use forces on the protesters were critical to the movements’
• Protests across the Arab world in Bahrain, Yemen, Syria and Libya
• Unlike in Egypt and Tunisia, armies in Bahrain, Yemen, Syria and Libya used force to
quell the protesters
How likely is it that this democratic surge will succeed in other Arab countries?
• Countries like Egypt and Tunisia’s armed forces shower restraint against the protesters
and used nonviolence. But in other countries, their armed forces did not use the same
Several other factors have bolstered other governments.
• 1) Arab monarchs have enjoyed considerable legitimacy particularly those that have
introduced progressive reforms like the Kings of Morocco and Jordan and the Sultan of
• 2) Some regimes have such a repressive grip on society that it is more difficult for any
opposition movement to win or even get off the ground. Regimes like Syria, Saudi Arabia
and non-Arab Iran.
It is very difficult to determine or not if revolts lead to democracy. The revolts in Egypt and
Tunisia resulted in a transitional military rule, led by the same commanders who were the
anchors of the previous regimes. In Egypt, the ruling generals make decisions in secrecy with
no outside scrutiny. Ongoing demonstrations have forced Egypt’s transitional governments to
pass a number of reforms and to remove some of the hated civilian officials.
The alliance created between liberal democrats and Islamists (Muslin Fundamentalists) to bring
down Mubarak started to unravel.
The early years of the 21 Century have been difficult for a number of former dictators
and quasi dictators throughout the developing world.
• Yugoslavia – Slobodan Milosevic
• Chile – Augusto Pinochet
• Argentina – Jorge Videla
• Indonesia – General Suharto
• Peru – Alberto Fujimori • Iraq – Saddam Hussein
• Sudan – Omar al-Bashir
• Libya – Muammar Qaddafi
• Liberia – Charles Taylor
The UN affiliated International Criminal Court (ICC) was established to prosecute individuals
for war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide. The treaty establishing the court has
been signed by 148 nations but not the U.S, China, India and Russia.
With the liberation of Nelson Mandela, it ended the white minority rule in South Africa. It
created a “second independence” – a wave of Political Liberalization – (easing of repression)
that has often led to either electoral or liberal democracy.
In the Philippines Corazon Aquino, leader of the “people’s power” took power and forced
Ferdinand Marcos to step down from power. It inspired South Korean students to lead
demonstrations against the military regime. In Indonesia, the “people’s power” demonstrations
toppled the 30 year dictatorship of President Suharto. The most sweeping democratic change
happened in Latin America. Most countries in Latin America had authoritarian regimes and
only a few did not.
Democratic Transitions – often grew out of extended negotiations between authoritarian
government and opposition leaders, culminated by a relatively peaceful, gradual transfer of
Latin America enjoyed 2 important advantages over Africa and Asia
• 1) Prior to its surge of military takeovers in 1960s and 1970s, the region had enjoyed the
Third World’s strongest democratic tradition.
• 2) Latin American countries were among the first LDCs to achieve the levels of literacy
and economic development that are generally associated with stable democratic
Latin Americas democratic wave has been more sweeping and more successful than elsewhere
in the developing world, ultimately affecting virtually every country in the hemisphere.
Democratic demonstrations have not been successful in all countries. In China, army tanks
crushed demonstrations in Tiananmen Square which quelled any more democratic movements
in China. The increase in political freedom coupled with the breakdown of communism in the soviet bloc
has produced history’s greatest democratic transition. By the end of the 20 thcentury,
democratization has largely ended by a lot of the new democracies endured.
The definition of a democracy is a political system that holds fair, contested elections on a
regular basis, with universal (or near universal) adult suffrage.
Electoral democracies – Countries that only meet the minimal standard
Semi democracies – electoral democracies whose governments regularly repress civil liberties
and breach the principles of a free society.
Liberal Democracy – a political system that conforms to the following conditions
• Most of the country’s leading government officials are elected
• There is universal or near universal suffrage
• Elections are largely free of fraud and outside manipulation
• Opposition party candidates have a realistic chance of being elected to important national
• Civil liberties – including minority rights are respected, with guarantees of free speech,
free assembly, free press and freedom of religion
Liberal democracies also include the
• Rule of law
• Civilian command over the armed forces
• A vigorous civil society
Civil Society – the array of voluntary organizations – including churches, unions, business
groups, farmers’ organizations and women’s groups – whose members often influence the
political system but are free of government control.
This definition suggests that competitive elections mean little in unel ected officials or groups
who are nor accountable to the public direct elected officials from behind the scenes. Free
elections do not bring full democracy elected officials violate their citizens’ civil liberties or
arbitrarily arrest opposition leaders. Some scholars argue you that real democracy not only requires fair elections and proper
government procedures but also fair and just government policy outcomes. This is called
Substantive democracy requires that citizens have
• Relatively equal access to public schooling and health care regardless of their social class
• Any procedural democracy such as Pakistan or Brazil that tolerates gross economic
inequalities, ethnic prejudice, or other social injustices is not truly democratic
Procedural democracy does not guarantee a just society but it is a step in the right direction.
Since governments in procedural democracies are accountable to the people, they are
• Less vulnerable to revolution and other forms of civil unrest
• Extremely unlikely to make war against other democracies
• Prodded by a free press and public opinion, they are more responsive to domestic crises
such as famines
• While some have violated their critics’ civil liberties, most respect their citizens’ rights
Democratic Transition and Consolidation
Democratic Transition – the process of moving from an authoritarian to a democratic regime
• The transition period begins when an authoritarian government shows the first observable
signs of collapsing or of negotiating its departure from power
• The transition ends when the first freely elected government takes office
Democratic Consolidation – When democratic institutions, practices, and values have become
deeply ingrained in society.
This consolidation is a process through which democratic norms become accepted by all
politically influential groups in society – including
• Business groups
• Labor unions
• Rural landlords
• Military And no important political actor contemplates a return to dictatorshi p. Consolidation may only
begin after the democratic transition ends and is completed only when democracy is securely
Even though there are many successful democracies, there have also been failed democracies.
There are successful consolidated democracies like Taiwan, South Korea and Uruguay;
democratic values predominate among politically relevant individuals and groups.
Even though many countries tried to set up democracy, many democracies end up falling to
monarchies, dictatorships and authoritarian rule. Middle Eastern nations generally have been
ruled by monarchs or dictatorships.
Justifying Authoritarian Rule
Dependency theorists declared that democracy was unlikely to emerge in LDCs because of
powerful industrialized nations and multinational corporations had allied with Third World
elites to bolster unrepresentative governments
Other scholars worried that the levels of mass political participation in democratic or semi
democratic states were often exceeding their governments’ capacity to accommodate all the
new political demands. Unless Third World political institutions were strengthened, political
unrest threatened to derail economic and political development.
Many Third World leaders argue that democracy is not right for countries in the early stages of
economic and social development. Many military dictators take power because they claim that
civilian leaders were too corrupt and too weak to govern efficiently. In Singapore, Taiwan and
South Korea, the governments’ claim that their dictatorships were needed to ward off external
The Third Wave and Its Effect on the Third World
• First democratic wave started in 1828-1926 was the longest and began under the
influence of the American and French Revolutions (as well as the industrial revolution)
and was brought to an end by the Great Depression. During this time, Democratization
was largely confined to Europe and to former British colonies with primary European
• Second Democratic wave started in 1943-1962 and was precipitated by the struggle
against fascism during World War II and the subsequent demise of European colonialism in Africa, Asia and the Middle East. In this wave, democratic governments emerged in a
number of LDCs, though most of these only met the standard of electoral democracy
• Third democratic wave started from 1974-2011. The wave was most dramatic in the
European and Central European communist bloc, which brought the Cold War to an end.
Samuel Huntington states that the first 2 waves were followed by reverse waves, a change back
to authoritarian rule. This has not happened following the Third Wave.
International Causes and Consequences of the Third Wave
A number of factors contributed to the Third Wave’s democratic transitions
• The economic crises that devastated so many LDCs in the 1980s revealed that most
authoritarian regimes were no more effective and no less corrupt than the elected
governments that they have contemptuously swept aside.
• Since dictatorships lack the legitimacy that free elections bestow on democratic
governments, their support depends much more heavily on satisfactory job performance.
• By contrast Asian countries like South Korea, Indonesia, Taiwan and Singapore, they
enjoyed spectacular economic success but there was a burgeoning middle class that had
both democratic aspirations and the political skills to pursue them. As the number of
politically informed citizens grew, they increasingly resented government repression,
state corruption and the lack of meaningful political participation.
Throughout the world, no sooner had democratic upheavals occurred in one nation, they quickly
spread to neighboring countries.
The perquisites of democracy in individual countries
What determines whether or not a particular country embarks on the road to democracy,
whether it completes the voyage successfully and whether it eventually consolidates democratic
values, practices and institutions?
• Social and Economic Modernization– Democracy is far more prevalent in
industrialized countries than in poorer countries because industrialization leads to
increases in wealth, education, communication, and equality. When all other factors are
held constant, there is a strong correlation between the extent of a country’s mass
communications and its degree of democracy. A free and active mass media and
opportunities for students to exchange ideas promote a free society. Countries with higher
per capita incomes are more likely to be democratic than poorer one s. This does not mean that a country becomes more democratic as their economies develop. Middle income
countries are frequently less stable and more prone to dictatorships.
• Class Structure – Economic development supports stable democracy only if it induce s
appropriate changes in the country’s class structure. The middle class serves as a bridge
between the upper and lower classes because it tends to be politically moderate. The
members of the middle class also have the political and organizational skills n ecessary to
create political parties and other important democratic institutions. An independent and
influential business class (bourgeoisie) also seems essential for developing democracies.
Barrington Moore Jr. identified 3 discrete paths to modernizati on, each shaped by
the relative power of the state and strength of the major social classes.
1) Modernization was led by a strong state allied with a powerful and antidemocratic
agricultural landowners and a bourgeoisie that was dependent on the state. This was
personified by 19 and early 20 century Germany. These combinations resulted in
Fascism and far right authoritarian regimes.
2) A highly centralized state, a repressive landowning class, a weak bourgeoisie and a
large and eventually rebellious peasantry. The end result of this alignment was a
communist revolution fought by the peasantry. This is seen in China.
3) A weaker state and a strong bourgeoisie class at odds with the rural landowning elite.
This alignment of forces, distinguished by the bourgeoisie’s powerful and independent
political roles, had led to liberal democracy.
On the other hand scholars have argues that organized labor plays a role in building democracy.
While the bourgeoisie and the middle class generally foster democracy in Western Europe,
Latin America, and the Caribbean, those groups not only tended to favor restricted form of
democratic government that enhances their own political strength but also limited the political
influence of the lower class.
• Political Culture – A nation’s democratic potential is also influenced by its political
culture. That is, its cultural beliefs, norms, and values relating to politics.
Some of the most important values needed to sustain democracy include
1) A belief that the vote and other forms of individual and group political participation are
important and potentially productive
2) Trust in government institutions and in fellow citizens
3) Tolerance of opposition and dissenting political opinions and beliefs, even when those
views are very unpopular
4) Accepting the outcome of free and fair elections as definitive, regardless of who wins
5) Viewing politics as a process that requires compromise 6) Rejecting violent political action or other circumvention of democratic institutions
7) Commitment to democracy as the best form of government, regardless of how well or
poorly a particular democratic administration performs.
• The Curse of Oil Wealth – It is expected that oil rich nations will democratize because
of the economic growth brought by oil wealth. Instead, almost all countries whose
exports and government revenues are dominated by petroleum have been unable to
democratize. Oil rich counties are unable to democratize because
1) The petroleum industry in most oil rich developing nations is owned or largely
controlled by the government.
2) The new oil wealth strengths the power of the state, providing funds for the military
and police and funding large government bureaucracies that offer patronage jobs to
3) Major, private sector firms are heavily dependent on the state for credit, licenses and
the like. Thus these nations do not produce the independent bourgeoisie class.
4) The middle class also fails to challenge state power because so many of its members
depend on job in the government bureaucracy.
5) With little industrialization, a large portion of the working class is employed in the oil
industry, making them dependent on the state and renders them incapable of
challenging state power.
Oil dependent countries have particularly high rates of governme nt corruption.
1) Heavy concentration of economic power in the hands of the state
3) Capitalist and middle class dependency
These factors have all effectively impeded the growth of democracy in oil rich nations.
How do Democracies Perform? Public Policy Compared
Democracies outperformed authoritarian regimes in several important economic indicators.
• Democratic economies were less volatile
• More predictable
• Paid better wages to workers
• Could handle adverse shocks much better
Democratic countries spent more on • Public education
• Had higher school enrollments
• Higher literacy rates
• Greater public access to health care services.
Democracy is contagious. The more prevalent democratic government becomes in o ther
counties, the more likely any particular Third World country is to sustain its own democracy,
regardless of its per capita incomes, literacy rate or economic growth rate.
Developing and maintaining effective political institutions, including represen tative and
influential legislature, a strong but not unlimited executive branch, an honest and independent
judicial branch are absolutely critical for sustaining stable and effective democracy.
Improving the Quality of Democracy
Evaluating the quality of democracy in terms of 7 dimensions
Procedural Dimensions – The procedure used to elect the government officials and the
procedures that public officials use to govern must be honest, fair, and equitable. These
procedures can be divided into 4 categories.
1) Participation – All or nearly all adult citizens must have the right to vote as well as to
participate in the political system in other ways. Powerful groups should not intimidate
the poor or ethnic minorities from participating. A politically aware citizenry should not
allow apathy to restrict their own participation.
2) Competition – There should be free and fair elections between competing political
parties, and the incumbent party should not have any built in advantage in gaining access
to state funds or to the media. The electoral system should not give any party a built in
3) Accountability – A democratic electoral system must guarantee that government
officials are fairly elected. But officials must also be held accountable for their actions
between elections. Vertical accountability refers to procedures that allow citizens or
independent groups to challenge or criticize a government official’s behavior. Horizontal
accountability refers to the ability of one government body to check the power of another
branch, such as the Supreme Court overruling a decision made by the President or the
Parliament removing a Prime Minster.
4) The Rule of Law – The legal system must apply equally to all citizens and all laws must
be publicly known and clear. The judiciary must be neutral and independent. Substantive Dimensions – Beyond adhering to proper procedures, quality democracies must
pursue policies that advance
1) Respect for Civil Liberties and the Pursuit of Freedom – This includes respect for
individual liberty, security and privacy; freedom of information, expression and religion
and due process.
2) Reductions in Political, Economic and Social inequalities - In order to attain political
equality, where there is substantial social and economic inequality, government needs to
reduce sharp incomes haps.
1) Responsiveness – A democratically responsive government is one in which “the
democratic process induces the government to form and implement policies that the
people want.” In order to achieve that, there needs to be a stable political party system,
with parties that offer coherent and distinguishable programs.
Until injustices like unequal land and income distribution, pervasive poverty rising crime
rates, inadequate public health services, corrupt police and judicial systems are addressed,
democracy will remain incomplete and often precarious.
Handelman--Ch.2 Democratization—Version 2
In 2002, the UN affiliated International Criminal Court was established to prosecute individuals
for war crimes, crimes against humanity, and genocide. This has seen this decade many
warlords and authoritarians put on trial. In all, these trials and arrest warrants have established a
new international standard of accountability for former dictators. They al so capped 3 decades of
transitions from authoritarian to democratic government throughout the world.
Numerous authoritarian regimes, particularly in the 3rd world, have fallen in the face of
democratic movements. Most Westerners considered the demise of Soviet and Eastern
European Communism democracy's most renowned triumph in this era.
Also changes in the developing world, particularly with Mandela in S. Africa
He and other freed black leaders eventually negotiated an end to White minority rule. Mande la's
triumph accelerated Africa's second independence- a wave of political liberalization (easing of
repression) that has often led to either electoral or liberal democracy. In Asia, wife of assassinated Filipino leader led the people’s power party- massive pro-
Soon after, student led demonstrations against S. Korea military regime. this accelerated
transition to democracy.
But most sweeping democratic changes took place in L. America, affecting almost every
country in the region. Now only Cuba and Haiti have failed to establish functioning electoral
democracies. Unlike Asia and Africa, L. America's democratization process generally lacked
charismatic heroes in the mild of Mandela, Aquino, or Kyi. Nor did it typically heater mass
demonstrations. Instead democratic transitions grew out of negotiations between the outgoing
authoritarian government and opposition leaders.
L. America enjoyed two important advantages over Africa and Asia. First, prior to its wave of
military takeovers in 60s and 70s, the region had enjoyed the 3rd worlds strongest democratic
tradition, most notably in Chile, Costa Rice, and Uruguay. Furthermore, Latin American
countries were among the first LDCs to achieve the levels of literacy and economic
development associated with stable democratic government.
SOO this regions recent democratic wave has been more sweeping and successful than
elsewhere in developing world. It affected basically every country in that hemisphere.
Not all movements have been successful. In China army tanks crushed student demonstrations.
This put the country’s democracy movement in check ever since. In 2009, massive street
demonstrations for democracy have so far failed to dislodge Iran’s authoritarian govt.
Democracy is measures by the transparency and fairness of the essential procedures governing
the election and behavior of government officials. Some countries are by definition the simplest
kind of democracies-electoral democracies, which just means fair, contested elections on a
Semi-democracies are countries where goats regularly repress civil liberties and breach the
principles of a free society. Their elections may be relatively free and fair, but their societies are
not. Such Semi-democracies include Malaysia, Nigeria, and Venezuela.
A more stringent definition of "full" democracy involves more than competitive elections. It
must conform to the following conditions: Most of the countries leading government officials
are elected; there is universal or near universal suffrage; elections are largely free of fraud and
outside manipulation; position-party candidates have a realistic chance of being elected to
important national offices; and civil liberties- including minority rights are respected, with
guarantees of free speech, free assembly, free press. also civilian command over the armed
forces and vigorous civil society.
Real democracy requires not only fair elections, but also fair government policy outcomes ("substantive democracy") for example citizens have relatively equal access to public school
regardless of their social class or ethnicity.
Transition period begins when an authoritarian government shows the first observable signs of
collapsing or of negotiating its departure from power. It ends when first freely elected
government takes office. Democratic consolidation, when all democratic norms because
accepted by all politically influential groups in society. Has to be the only game in town.
Several internal factors that increased the likelihood that a new democracy would fail, including
ethnic divisions and a failure to build strong political institutions.
Unless 3rd world political institutions were strengthened, they warned, political unrest
threatened to derail economic and political development.
If socioeconomic modernization was necessary to establish democracy, what type of political
system could bring about those necessary economic and social changes? Some social scientists
believe that only a strong and stable authoritarian government could just start modernization,
economic growth, and industrialization.
Only later, others said, when a country was "ready" would dictatorships give way to democracy.
so they argue only when nations developed a democratic political culture and modern social
values could they hope to create stable democracies.
The mid to late 1970s seemed a low water mark for democracy and the empirical trends were
reified by intellectual fashions dismissing democracy as an artifice, a cultural construct of the
West, or a "luxury" that poor states could not afford.
Third wave of democracy and its effect on the third world…Unlike the first 2 waves, there was
no enough counties reverting to authoritarian rule since the 1990s to label it a reverse wave.
Analysts believe this 3rd wave is pretty much over.
Several causes of this wave
The economic crisis that devastated so many LDCs in the 1980s revealed that most
authoritarian regimes were no more effective and no less corrupt that the elected governments
that they had contemptuously swept aside years before. also dictatorships lack the legitimacy
that free elections bestow on democratic goats. when authoritarian goats. dragged their country
into war or economic decay their support eroded.
The prerequisite of democracy in individual countries What are differences between those 3rd world countries that seized the opportunities to
democratize versus those that alternated between authoritarianism and weak democracy,
historical, structural, and cultural variables.
Social and Economic Modernization
Industrialization leads to increases in wealth, education, communication and equality; (not
sure about the last one) these development are associated with a more moderate lower and upper
class and a larger middle class, which is by nature moderate; and this in turn increases the
probability of stable democratic forms of politics.
it has been found that there is a strong correlation between the extent of a countries mass
communications and its degree of democracy, stronger even than the correlation between
economic development and democracy.
A free and active mass media very important also correlates strongly with higher levels of
literacy and education.
Middle-income countries can actually be less stable and more prone to dictatorship. This is
visible in Argentina and Brazil.
As the 3rd wave of democracy has spread to further reaches of the developing world, the
correlation between economic development and democracy has weakened somewhat.
Others say that class structure is what induces and sustains democracy.
Since Aristotle, political theorists have linked democracy and political stability to the presence
of a large and vibrant middle class.
PAGE 42- really in depth but could be important
Summary- democracy tends to flourish best where economic modernization produces a
politically influential and independent bourgeoisie/middle class and where labor unions
effectively defend the interests of the working class. when any of those classes are small, weak,
or politically dependent on authoritarian actors, such as rural landowners, democracy is less
likely to emerge.
Neither a country’s level of socioeconomic development nor its class structure can fully explain
whether or not it has been able to create or sustain democracy.
During the early decades of the 20th century, Argentina was one of the most affluent nations on earth with substantial middle and working classes. Yet the country failed to develop into a
liberal democracy. Instead it embarked on a half-century of recurring coups and military
dictatorships. Even Singapore, S. Korea, and Taiwan retained authoritarian governments for
many years after they had reached the normal social and economic thresholds for democracy.
Many scholars argue that aside from its level of economic development and its class structure, a
nations democratic potential is also influenced by its political culture. A countries constitution
may call for contested elections, a free press, and the separation of powers, but unless t he
people, especially elites and political activists, value these objectives, constitutional protections
are unlikely to have great weight.
* All political systems eventually confront major crises such as economic decline, ethnic
violence, or political stalemate. At those times, many political leaders in unconsolidated
democracies are tempted to seek authoritarian solutions such as imposing martial law or
restricting civil liberties. If however, a broad segment of the population shares democratic
values, democracy can survive the crisis intact.
Developing a democratic culture is a gradual process in which socioeconomic modernization
and political development need to reinforce each other.
In general countries that experienced British colonial rule were significantly more likely to
maintain democracy after independence than other European colonizers.
External intervention has had a mixed record of success.
How political culture influences political system:
- Communities with high levels of mutual tolerance and a politically informed population are
more hospitable to democracy than are less tolerant societies. But how fixed in a nations psyche
are such values? Is there something inherently more democratic or more authoritarian about
Norwegian, French or Chinese cultures? Are some religions or philosophies such as Christianity
more conducive to democracy than others? Predominantly Christian nations, particularly,
Protestant ones are the most likely to be democratic, even when other casual factors are held
Some maintain that Islamic beliefs do not readily support democratic institutions because they
fail to separate religion and politics. but still it is not fair to say that religions lead necessarily to
a political culture. Many first time democracies lack a healthy democratic political culture.
In countries such as Russia this has helped cut short democracy in its infancy.
The curse of oil wealth
We would expect if oil wealth bring economic growth it would also increase the probability of a transition to democracy. Instead almost all countries whose exports and government revenues
are dominated by petroleum have been woefully unable to democratize.
Why--because petroleum industry in most oil rich developing countries is owned or largely
controlled by the government, the new oil wealth strengthens the power of the state, providing
funds for the military and police and funding large govt. bureaucracies that offer patronage jobs
to govt. supporters. Independent bourgeoisie historically crucial for democracy.
With little industrialization a large portion of the working class is employed in the oil industry,
making them dependent on the state and, like the middle class and bourgeoisie, incapable of
challenging state power.
Armed with substantial oil and gas revenues, petroleum states can lower taxes and offer private
companies and the general public inexpensive services and goods. The consequences of this is
that people become clients and not citizens. Wards of the state who are not active in the political
How have democracies performed?
Democratic nations as a group grew faster that the autocracies. Also citizens of democracies
live longer healthier lives.
Above 6000 democracies are impregnable and can be expected to live forever, forev er ever.
Democracy is less likely to survive in countries suffering economic decline, high inflation rates,
or other forms of economics crisis.
Authors discovered that international political conditions exert a more powerful influence on
democratic survivability. DEMOCRACY IS CONTAGIOUS
Clapham – Third World Politics (pg 39-60)
The transfer of power from the colonizing powers to the decolonized entities has been the cause
of slow nation building and development.
The developing state is distinguished by the combination of its power and fragility.
A developing state has a control structure, or top down structure, because he state and society
have not emerged together, and are not connected, in other words there is a ‘lack of organic
unity or shared values.
Fragility is the weakness of legitimacy, and in turn the absence of legitimacy increases
governmental insecurity. Therefore the lack of value consensus threatens the state’s survival. The government in power is determined to cling on by their growing depe ndence on the
comforts of office and the fear of their opponents’’ retaliation should they come into power. As
a simple means of extraction and control the state is superimposed as a prize for political
competition, and as a way in which those who that competition can serve their ambitions and
suppress their opponents.
A third element is competition for control over the state being extended to include parts of the
state itself among the competitors. Rulers who are feared little by the population will easil y be
toppled by a military coup. When the state is the most powerful source of organized political
influence, government of the state by the state and for the state becomes very probable, and
even rulers who were not directed for power may well fall into these ranks as it is the easiest
and least risky way of running the government.
This raises political management problems both within the state bureaucracy and within the
civil circles and military ones.
One reason for the third world state’s inability to develop into a totalitarian structure of control
is how easily it is infiltrated by its society. The colonial state was not so easily penetrated
because it was alien. They governed through the influence of indigenous local rulers, clerks,
Civil servants became part of the indigenous political process and wee identifiable by their
class or regional group. They sometimes turned themselves into political spokesmen, especially
during military governments when ordinary means of political expression were withdrawn. In
the process the boundary between state and society became blurred, making the state itself less
There was no merging of state and society in terms of shared values. The division between
indigenous society and external political structure was left in Africa and Asia by the colonizers.
Even in non-colonized states such as Thailand or Ethiopia the state is associated with a core
national community, imposing its role on surrounding areas inhabited by other peoples.
‘The lack of organic unity or shared values between state and society […] is the single most
basic reason for the fragility of the third world state.’
This is fragility in the sense of legitimacy of forms of selecting and sustaining political leaders.
Personal and political corruption shows the lack of public values.
The combination of this fragility with the uncontrolled power of a leader characterizes third
world politics. If the state does not work according to the western model, how does it work? Not simply by
force, though that is effective. How could it work? It could work through the consolidation of
leadership, management of domestic political relationships, and the economy.
The organization of the modern states rest on rational-legal authority, whose basis is individuals
in public positions exercising power in accordance with legally defined structured aimed at a
publicly defined goal. For these structures to work there must be a division between public and
private roles. This is an ‘office’ where officials implement there authority within its boundaries.
Delegation of responsibilities works in a patrimonial system, but can complicate things when
imposed on a bureaucratic state.
Neo-patrimonialism is present in third world state and elsewhere. The human ten dency to
distinguish between private and official self corresponds to the normal forms of pre -colonial
social organization. Neo-patrimonialism characterizes tribal societies whose loyalty to one’s kin
group is the main social value and plural societies such as immigrant states of the new world.
The USA, under a modern state façade, has a caste-like social hierarchy and are obvious in the
behavior of the non-elite majority. The artificiality of national communities and the
incorporation of the society into a global economy help corrode common values, indirectly
Third world corruption is often blamed on the presence of cultural values from a patrimonial
past in present day political behavior. Gift giving is traditional in court or when a chief visits a
village, as a recognition and not bribe, and not doing so is seen as an insult. This carries over to
the patrimonial system, in which it is considered to be bribery or extortion. Mutual support
amongst family or village members similarly translates into nepotism in the patrimonial system,
and this support can be used to have a considerable influence on the state.
‘The weakness of accountability by the governors to the governed’ is key in the structure of the
third world state. This is due to the social distance between the elite who are western-educated,
have well-paid modern sector jobs and live in residential areas, and the non -elite majority.
Another cause is the ‘enormous and institutionalized inequality of power’, which is hie rarchical
and uncontrolled by countervailing powers. Low-level government officials are paid little and
so collect from their subjects, while higher-level officials feel they deserve ostentatious life
styles and so require bribery or other types of private profit.
Military regimes usually take power through the ideas of honesty and efficiency but these don’t
last long in government. Military govern through the same systems as civilian bureaucrats and
politicians, and benefit from the same structural inequalities. External connections of the third world state create opportunities for more subtle corruption,
through government contracts, concession agreements, supplier’s credits etc. ‘A regime with a
shaky domestic political base may survive through the support of external powers’ to exploit its
Parochial corruption is small-scale and fits into an existing set of values and obligations,
leading to the redistribution/exchange within a community.
Extractive corruption is large-scale and requires the manipulation of state power, maintaining
the life style of a privileged class of state employees and their confederates.
Petty corruption maybe ascribed to indigenous values that are harmless and even helpful in
maintaining some solidarity, but the weight of corruption is the means for people into power to
get money. It is ‘the failure to link society and government in a shared sense of values.’
The main political difficulty of third world rulers is extending their support beyond immediate
group of courtiers, sometimes to ensure their protection against treason.
For example Edi Amin’s bodyguard was sustained by a weekly airlift of luxuries from the
A successful coup d’état, often launched by small forces, shows that no one outside the leader’s
entourage is prepared to preserve the regime.
If a regime is to seek support, the initial boost of anticolonial nationalism does not sustain itself
for long. The ruling class of European states is so well established that class solidarity is
Clientelist organization is characteristic of competitive party systems and is often used right
before independence when rival parties struggle to control the state. These same attitudes to
politics usually survive into the post-independence period.
It commonly works like this: political party leaders at the national level search for local leaders
who are supported in their areas, offering them a place