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[POL101Y1] - Final Exam Guide - Ultimate 40 pages long Study Guide!


Department
Political Science
Course Code
POL101Y1
Professor
Jeffrey Kopstein
Study Guide
Final

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UTSG
POL101Y1
FINAL EXAM
STUDY GUIDE

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Kaplan: Was Democracy Just a Moment?
IN the fourth century A.D. Christianity's conquest of Europe and the Mediterranean
world gave rise to the belief that a peaceful era in world politics was at hand, now that a
consensus had formed around an ideology that stressed the sanctity of the individual.
But that belief was wrong: “Christianity made the world not more peaceful or, in practice,
more moral but only more complex.” The main argument of the paper: “Democracy,
which is now overtaking the world as Christianity once did, may do the same.
Communism’s collapse does not imply that democracy must win in the long-term:
“no guarantee that subtler tyrannies do not await us”
“I submit that the democracy we are encouraging in many poor parts of the world
is an integral part of a transformation toward new forms of authoritarianism”
future regimes are likely to be more oligarchic than democratic
a pessimistic, tragic, but arguably prudent perspective
Democracy is value neutral (compare Sen): “HITLER and Mussolini each came to
power through democracy. Democracies do not always make societies more civilbut
they do always mercilessly expose the health of the societies in which they operate.
Example, Sudan: “Sudan's newly elected democracy led immediately to anarchy, which
in turn led to the most brutal tyranny in Sudan's postcolonial history: a military regime
that broadened the scope of executions, persecuted women, starved non-Muslims to
death, sold kidnapped non-Muslim children back to their parents for $200, and made
Khartoum the terrorism capital of the Arab world, replacing Beirut” (“ If a society is not
in reasonable health, democracy can be not only risky but disastrous”). Other examples
he offers are Tunisia, Algeria, Kurdistan, Afghanistan, Bosnia, Sierra Leone, Congo,
Mali, Peru, Haiti, Russia, etc.
“Because both a middle class and civil institutions are required for successful democracy,
democratic Russia, which inherited neither from the Soviet regime, remains violent,
unstable, and miserably poor despite its 99 percent literacy rate. Under its authoritarian
system China has dramatically improved the quality of life for hundreds of millions of its
people. My point, hard as it may be for Americans to accept, is that Russia may be
failing in part because it is a democracy and China may be succeeding in part because it
is not.”
The lesson to draw is not that dictatorship is good and democracy bad but that
democracy emerges successfully only as a capstone to other social and economic
achievements.”
“The very fact that we retreat to moral argumentsand often moral arguments
onlyto justify democracy indicates that for many parts of the world the historical and
social arguments supporting democracy are just not there
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Argument against democratization: in a society that has not reached [a certain] level of
development…a multi-party system merely hardens and institutionalizes established
ethnic and regional divisions
Argument against democratizing places that aren’t ready for it: States have never been
formed by elections. Geography, settlement patterns, the rise of literate bourgeoisie, and,
tragically, ethnic cleansing have formed states. Greece, for instance, is a stable
democracy partly because earlier in the century it carried out a relatively benign form of
ethnic cleansingin the form of refugee transferswhich created a monoethnic society.
Nonetheless, it took several decades of economic development for Greece finally to put
its coups behind it. Democracy often weakens states by necessitating ineffectual
compromises and fragile coalition governments in societies where bureaucratic
institutions never functioned well to begin with.
Because democracy neither forms states nor strengthens them initially, multi-party
systems are best suited to nations that already have efficient bureaucracies and a middle
class that pays income tax, and where primary issues such as borders and power-sharing
have already been resolved, leaving politicians free to bicker about the budget and other
secondary matters.”
Argument in favor of authoritarian governments as a precursor to democratization:
“Social stability results from the establishment of a middle class. Not democracies but
authoritarian systems, including monarchies, create middle classeswhich, having
achieved a certain size and self-confidence, revolt against the very dictators who
generated their prosperity.”
“Foreign correspondents in sub-Saharan Africa who equate democracy with progress
miss this point…[and] seem to think that the choice is between dictators and democrats
[whereas] for many places the only choice is between bad dictators and slightly better
ones”: “To force elections on such places may give us some instant gratification. But
after a few months or years a bunch of soldiers with grenades will get bored and greedy,
and will easily topple their fledgling democracy
Also: “our post-Cold War mission to spread democracy is partly a pose” [Egypt, Saudi
Arabia, Jordan]
--
Author argues for a position that is between the optimistic moral progressive liberal
thinking and pessimistic hard-headed realist thinking (Hobbes): “Where a political
system leans too far in either direction, realignment or disaster awaits
“Democratic South Africa…has become one of the most violent places on earth that are
not war zones… The abundant coverage of South Africa's impressive attempts at coming
to terms with the crimes of apartheid serves to obscure the country's growing problems.
There is a sense of fear in such celebratory, backward-looking coverage, as if writing too
much about difficulties in that racially symbolic country would expose the limits of the
liberal humanist enterprise worldwide.”
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