Contemporary China and Democracy
• Office hours Monday 12 pm.
• Main Q: Will or Should China Democratize Eventually?
o Democratic centralism: those at the top has to consult before making
significant decision. Responsible government is what is called Canada
government. there are some form of electrical system.
o The term of democracy is contested, no one version of democracy. The
Western traditional democracy theory and in practice, which borrows from
Hobbes and Leviathan.
o Look history of democracy within Liberal tradition, Europe was first
liberal in term of individualism and individual rights, in process was
democratized and extend political rights. In the process, the notion of
democracy that goes back to Greek time was liberalized. Both are there.
And another system which was Capitalism socialist system. A
comprehensive system in terms of right, etc.
o Democracy never go to war. That the ideology of liberal democracy
• Sub Qs: the state of democracy globally?
o The state of contemporary China in the world?
o What kind of Democracy?
What is the state of Democracy in the World
• Economist article: What’s gone wrong with democracy? The dominant
democracy. Most successful idea of 20 century, since WW2 main issue between
capitalist world and real socialism. The communist world.
• What kind of Problem? Trouble?
• By 2000, Freedom House, an American thinkthank, by 2000, there 120 countries
or 63 percent world total using democratic system. The will of the pople was the
base of authority of government. the will of the people is the infact basis authrotiy
of the government. the gov. hold soverighty because they are democratically
• Having seen of fail experiennt with auth form of government, at long last
democracy has failed.
• Eco argue the progress sen the the late 20 century has stalled in the 21 .
Although more people live in country that have freely elections,
• Democratuc deficits and the democratization impasee
o Low turn out in elections, less people care about politics, vote. This
political attitude nothing is going to happen.
o One men one vote. Through that system, unfortunately some people have
more than one vote. They have the power, and shape others vote.
o Elcteroal system no longer produce democratic government. Parties come
into power haven’t necessary won popular vote. The other problem is that
since 1500 has being developing, this system in western societies has been
reproduced through democracy through last 500 years. People vote in
doing so, the system is reproduced. So what kind of democracy is to rule by rich? Legally, notion of judicial review. Judges more power, why? They
can review the government of the policy and talk about constitution
o Than this neoliberalism, represented has lost power to global forces.
o Furthermore, turfing out an autocrat turns out to be much easier than
setting up a viable democracy government.
Ukrainian: demo elected president, removed from power.
• The economist economic crisis of 2008 and China Economic Growth. Democracy
and the economic related in the liberal capitalist society. If Economic problem
forget about democracy.
• Critical Approach: contradictions of capitalism in general and the failure of
globalization and neoliberal policies. This is some extent, connection between
pol and eco and since globalization and accused of human right.
Impact of economy on democracy?
• Russia: 80 percent more economy is important. 20 percent argue that democracy
Impact of economic crisis on the US?
• The economy is more important, you are weighted by economic success.
• From above: mainly of globalization, changed national politics. National
politicians, more power over trade etc. if you don’t give power to these strong
forces, they will not help you. Government has lost their democratic power to
Financial crisis has starkly exposed the unsustainability of debt financed democracy.
Majority of government has deficit, borrow money from debt. These are debt running
countries and not able to balance their deficit. Democracy is form of government is good,
but not vital economy to basis of the people than its useful. Rights are not just political
and freedom is not just political. You need socioeconomic freedom etc, to exercise
Europe: Apathy and Illusion
• As the economy goes bad, people don’t care about politics.
• There is never a democracy that hasn’t yet committed suicide. This suicide is
more economics, lack of long term thinking, etc.
China and Democracy
• Justin Trudeau: he admires China. Their basic state issue allowing them to let
their economy around. Their stability in Chinese model, that Harper must dream
about. There is a strong government in power, the government knows what they
are doing, they are not just being dictatorship. The objective is to maintain certain
economic performance and assume global power. You cannot assume global
power when power at home.
• Many Chinese are prepared to put up with their system if it delivers growth. 85
percent of Chinese are satisfied with their system. The US is 35 percent
• IS there a democratic undercurrent in China? o China demo will ahead of schedule. Tomorrow China : rule of law,
freedom there is no real democracy. The value of authority without people
o There is need hold demo according to the law, how demo decision
making ,demo supervision gives right to law, express and supervise.
o Chinese limited democracy. The traditional is contradiction to democracy.
Some for of demo has to be in place to maintain level of growth. You
cannot achieve economic growth without having some consent.
o Eric Li: argues that the Chinese communist party has arguably been one of
the most self reforming political organizations in recent world history.
There is elections in the Chinese party.
o China says its model is more efficient than democracy and less susceptible
Go back to 1920 eco depression, 1970 economic crisis and another
one in 2008.
• America when expanded, doubled every 30 years, china has double every decade
for the last 30 years.
• Modern China has become a meritocracy as oppose to democracy.
Chinas village democracy
• Tocqueville argued that local democracy frequently represented democracy at its
best. Bring with people teach, how to teach men use. Have to sell democracy at
the local level, they have to learn from them. Democracy does not take place over
• Village elections may be to next level of governance.
• Under the organic Law of the Village Committees, all of Chinas approximately 1
million villages home to some 600 million votershold elections every three
years for local village committees. Look from wester, half of the country willing
to hold elections. According to the leadership, it can be extended to other level of
Democracy in action China.
• Plans for constructing a nuclear processing plant in Chinas Guangdong province
have been shelved after demonstrations earlier this month
• Chinas modest experiments with local elections have been supplemented with
exercises in what is known as deliberative democracy.
• The regimes obsession with control paradoxically means it pays close attention to
Positive side: today China are freer that at any other period in recent memory.
Negative side: large scale corruption seriously undermines the notion of fairness.
It want to look out corruption.
Further more, Chinas, studding advances conceal deeper problems.
Democracy is always should always be part, it has to be historically specific.
Daniel Bell: a CanadianBorn professor of political theory at Tsinghua University in
Beijing says china may be groping toward a plotical model that works better than
western style democracy A tricameral legislature. China has 4 branches. Confucian system, the reason legis are
elected, another level they are selected. One chamber has to be reserved for the
community member and other by villages. The prospect of Democratic Middle East
• When build a government, have to choose what format government is suitable.
Most countries in Middle East didn’t exist before.
• Very new states, nationstates.
• Prior to 20 century, only 2 states existed in Middle East, Turkey and Middle.
Both went through political modernization. Turkish state, smaller than what
used to be. Prior 20 century, Ottoman Empire was ruling over the Middle East
except the Persian Empire.
• They are not fully developed, part is historical the other part, contemporary.
Turning Points in the Middle East
• Turning points are short. After each turning point, something new happening in
the Middle East.
• One is WW1, the modern of ME, emerged after the WW1. Britain and few other
European countries assumed much more intrusive political role in the ME.
Wanted for their own interest.
• Up until WW2 Britain was master of ME. After WW2, significant. After this,
master changes. US replaces the Britain as the Master of the Middle East, and call
it the modern world.
• The Cold war, the Soviet Union also interested in part of this ME. At the global
level, conflict. Supremacy and hegemony in the economic
• 1979, Iranian Revolution. Islamic Fundemalistim. Islam as a social political force.
Iranian Revolution, getting rid of US regime, the shah. One version of Islam come
to power. Important country in the middle east is Egypt.
• Other important turning point, fall of the Soviet Union, not just in the ME but
globally. In term of US assert unipolar hegemony over the Middle East.
• US exercised hegemonic globally. After the fall of Soveit, no particular reason to
• Soviet fall resulted in US invasion (Iraq).
• The other turning point, is the 911. It has also changed the many things of the
middle east, political, social and economic.Arab Spring has important impact.
How to Study the Middle East?
• Intersection of Imperialism, Religion, Ethnicity, Class, and patriarchy from
• Cant focus just one aspect of above to explain the middle east
• If you ask one to why middle east not democratic, they will just focus on religion,
Islam, which is wrong to look at. It is a Western way of looking and understand it.
There are many different form if Islam, you cannot just look at one aspect to
explain. But you cannot remove religion.
• Imperialism: more modern form of exercise of power
• Ethnicity: many ethnicities in the ME. There are many ethnics in the Middle east
• Class: determining force. Compose of different classes, intermediate classes,
elites, poor people. Class speaks to social economic of a society. Many countries not just capitalism. You can find different mode of countries and have their own
forces and classes.
• Patriarchy: gender issues, women issues. Important force in the ME.
• You have to look intersection, how they reinforce each other from a historical
• Dominant forces in the Middle East. Constitutionalist, against royal despotism.
They want monarchy. There is constitu movement reforming monarchical
political. Trying to democratic. Nationalist, been anti imperialism. Not all
nationalist are progressive. You have to look like and understand sothal formation.
Anti imperialism, have to focus on PAN ARABSIM. It started in 19 century. This
indi, exposed to nationalist in the Europe, modern voice. Saddam saw a PAN
• Secularist: against religious dogmatism. They subscripted under conservative
understanding. They have model, and try to introduce that model in a
• Religion: the power of religion in the ME is social. Majority of people are
Muslim. They adhere to Islam and practice it. It’s a political and social force by its
animosity to western. Don’t mix Westernization with Modernization. Study PAN
ISLAISM, you have in Sunni and Shias. Shias is Khoemism is a form of PAN
ISLAM. Import Islam and make Iran center of Islam.
• Marxist: very important, especially during the cold world. Against dependency
and class domination. These are forces that have been influential. We have to look
at the structure or system in place. Look at the system and the forces to
understand. The Middle East is complex.
Strategic Importance of the Region: OIL and Gas
• Iran, Iraq etc. produce 30 percent of world oil. Holding 2/3 word oil.
• The Persian gold region has huge gas reserves, almost 3 trillion of natural gas.
Accounting 40 percent.
• Venezuela since 2010, first country in term of oil reserve. Canada is the 3 .
• In addition to oil, natural gas. Iran, SA, UAE. There attempt to mix oil and
• If they achieve independence, and get rid of influence, they can achieve a
History of US Regional Hegemony in the Middle East
• oil the core of US involvement in the middle east
• 1930s, before ww2, ME oil awesome source of strategic power. Who ever control
ME will control the global economy.
• 1945 on words, try to replace rival and maintain Hegemony.
• Involved in conti in Iran and Iraq war. Make sure their interest are not jepordized
in the Middle East.
• US invasion Iraq, US foreign policy in the Middle East, afte the collapse of the
Soviet Union. This policies have been informed 3 important objectives. 1) oil
imperialism, 2) process of emprise building (Bush era, neoliberalism, the American century, defeat of socialism, unipolar economics), 3) neoliberal
globalization. US politis, is informed by these processes. There many myths oil
emerging in the ME. US has been motivated in the 1930, US has been main
producers in Oil. 20 million barrels of oil per day. For domestic purposes, 10
million barrels. It consumes 10 and exports 10. They are not engaged in Middle
east, they use it as instrumental exercise power and use rest of world hostage of
US power. They control the everything. That has been in fact main argument.
Open to independent that lead to 1972 oil crisis. From 1945 to 1973, Golden
Global age, after the 1973 on words, the fall of Bretonwoods system, came in to
function of Neoliberalism. OPEC became the exercise of US hegemony. Before,
it was through shah of Iran, which collapsed, than it was king of Saudi Arabia
• Independent was end of OPEC
• The invasion of Iraq, to replace another countries to what aforementioned.
• But, EU 75 percent imported oil, 50 percent come from the Middle East. EU
needs oil from middle east, China , Japan and India. They are rise economies,
without oil and gas they will decline.
• US did not need the oil from Middle east, they had other countries, they just
Democracy or development
• Many democracy is not the first priority. The issues is that, US exercise of
hegemony has come expense of development. Most countries in the region are
underdeveloped (economically socially, and politically). Look democracy through
the lens of development and underdevelopment.
• In US imperialism in the ME: dependency, underdevelopment (political and
economic), rentier state, authoritarianism (maintain the hegemony rely on the
despots rule to achieve the interest), poverty, resurgence of religion as a political
force, Gender inequality and women oppression ( product of US, not directly but
indirectly. , war and conflict
View from a Grain of Sand (Documentary)
• Taliban was repressive. Not much attention to Afgahn women. Some out of
traditional fear, wore the gears.
• Not recovered basic human rights. Shapriary, deported to Pakistan.
• Itnernational Medical Care civil war 19921996.
• In the 1960s, the life was different, it was more modern and boys and girls were
allowed in the same institution.
• In the 1970s women in the cities move freely with out fear. It was druing the
reign of shah 1933, that women participation was vital. The women were able to
participate in male jobs.
• Women education encouraged, 1964, women given the right to vote. Even king
wife appeared to public no veil.
• In rural areas, tribal leaders were still place.
• At the came expense, women were under male control. They reached differently
how they treated, and women were regarded as property of men. • Focus on education for women and girls. Expand their acitvities and response to
events of the last two decades. 1979, soviet invaded Afghanistan. In 1973, a time
where king was over thrown. Regime rose and fell, ties to Soviet. New regimes a
violation of traditional.
• Cold War, fund anti government rebels due to Soviet presents.
• In December 1979, moved troops and stored pupper afghan government.
• Women experienced the educational and open jobs by soviet
• Resistence intensified. Rebels were unorganized. The soviet reacted. In prison
• Millions of people Fled Afghanistan
• Months turned to years, yeard into decades.
• Temporary tents turned into small towns.
• Nationalist stuglle turned to Pan regilous state.
• Women afraid speak their male.
• US prevent soviet at any cost. First few years, good support. HEkmaytar, went to
religious rebel figures. No support in asgfhan. Zia managed the American support
to the fundamentalist.
• Reagan: human right abuse and brutal women treatment. Why did US favor them,
first, fundamental more organized, their relli ideo transent national borders. Maing
struggle liberlaitionnot just afghan but islam one. Jihad, recost as military duty to
fight against communism. A decade, US and SA provided support.
• Women extremist and fndemental figures on the other hand.
• In 1987 the women leader went missing. Body found later. Determined that
murder was by fundamentalist.
• Meena death devastating. March 19, 2014
• Processes that were involved in Afghanistan: division with in a society to
dominate, processes are historical. One process that might do with the origins of
the problem is colonization, commodification for accumulation of wealth.
Expansion of capitalism for the expansion of state for the accumulation of wealth.
New process, is imperialism. Some argue that globalization has nothing to do
with imperialism, others argue other wise. Modernization is another process. It is
more objective: industrialization mode of production, relation of production,
infrastructure development. The other process modernity: its more inter
subjective. It is different from westernization. You can include socialism
• These did not get anywhere when we study democratization in different part of
the world. Why do we discuss them if they do not get us anywhere?
o How do we pinpoint the problem in these places, what is the actual
problem and how do we fix it? these are form of idealism, it is not part of
reality. Relaity there is hierarcy. There is need of separation. They are inter
one, they operate in human established human order with global world
departure that operate in structure. One important, to look for inter
connection of these forces and contextualize them in a stuture and look at
these structures in historically to understand what is the main issue. What
is the determining factor, force. The other aspect is, how to approach in
term of theorical perspective, post model, or western perspective?
o Many when try to narrow down, look at agnecies forces and structure,
look at intersection of agencies and strucutres and know that forces and
agencies are limited by structure. There is limited freedom in the capitalist
world order. If you habe all conditions to approach this problem, they
cannot establish democratic society because you have to look at interest in
the lens of the structure allowing you to do so.
Globalization and Ethnic Conflict
• Main question to ansert does globalization increase or shorten the distance
amounf diff civilization, nation and ethnicity. Does globalization bring all these
three together, in name of creating large number of people.
• Think globalization as the que to all the conflict
• Does globalization intensity ethnic conflict or not?
• Since end of indus, modernization, there are those coming liberal perspective
argue that system, world has come kind of flat. Flat: differences of narrow,
divison of heirarchial, flating it, equalizing it. Come to equalibirating it.
• They opinion that transform the whole objective condition globally (capitalis