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Chapter 2

Handelman Chapter 2

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Political Science
POLI 227
Rex Brynen

III. The state, politics and social forces 3.1. Political development Howard Handelman, The Challenge of Third World Development, chapter 2 “The Explosion of Third World Democracy” pp. 32 – 67 Democracy defined Usually defined procedurally. Democracy = the transparency and fairness of the essential procedures governing the elections and behavior of government officials. That is the least demanding definition, it’s solely focused on elections and allows questionable governments to be labeled “democratic”. However, many governments with open elections still manipulate the media and violate the citizen’s civil liberties. They are referred to assemidemocracies”. A “full” democracy, aka a liberal democracy, involves more than just competitive elections. It is a political system that conformsto the following conditions and is thusaccountable to its citizensin a way an authoritarian regime is not: - Most of the countries’ leading government officials are elected - There is universal or near universal suffrage - Elections = free of fraud or outside manipulation - Opposition-party candidates have realistic chances to win against national offices - Civil liberties, including minority rights, are respected (this includes free speech, free assembly, free pass (media), freedom of religion) - Rule of law, civilian command over the armed forces, and vigorous civil society Other scholars also believe a substantive democracy is required, which means fair and just government policy outcomes, but also equal access to public schooling and healthcare, regardless of social class or ethnicity. Thus, according to some scholars, any procedural democracy accepting ethnic inequalities is not truly democratic. PROCEDURAL DEMOCRACY DOES NOT NECESSARILY EQUATE AJUST SOCIETY. However, this chapter is only concerned with procedural democracy, NOT substantive democracy(as in the eradication of sexism, racism and the like). Democratic transition and consolidation Democratic transition = the process of moving from an authoritarian to a democratic regime. It begins when an authoritarian regime shows its first signs of collapse or negotiating its departure from power. It ends when the first freely elected government takes office. When democratic institutions, practices and values are engrained in a society, thus begins the democratic consolidation. Democratic consolidation = a process through which democratic norms become accepted by all politically influential groups in society + when no important political actor seeks a return to a dictatorship. Since 1960, less than 50% or democratic transitions have led to democratic consolidation. Two possible reasons for this: - Ethnic division - Failure to build strong political institutions, including institutional checks on the presidents’ powers. In successfully consolidated democracies, democratic values predominate among political and individual groups. Consolidated democracies are secured for the foreseeable future. Justifying authoritarian rule Modernization theory = the newly emerging African and Asian states were insufficiently economically or socially developed to sustain democracy. Dependency theory = democracy was unlikely to emerge because powerful industrialized nations and multinational corporations had allied the Third World elites to bolster unrepresentative governments. Mass political participation in democratic or semidemocratic states were often exceeding their governments’ capacity to accommodate all the new political demands. Authoritarian regimes considered as necessary stopgaps, because in order to have a democratic regimes, you need to have economic and social stability. But if socioeconomicmodernizationwasnecessarytoestablishdemocracy,what typeof gov’t couldinitiate economic and social development? Some expertsbelieved that onlya strongandstableauthoritarianregime (usually a dictatorship or military rule) could jump-start economic modernization and growth. They attracted multinational and domestic private-sector investment. In countries at early stages of economic development, democracy is considered to be a “luxury”. The third wave and its effect on the Third World Developing countries have played a notable role in history’s most sweeping transition from authoritarianism to democracy. There is a palpable global trend towards democracy since the 1970s. Huntington noted that it’s the third such wave there has been in history. The Third Wave: from 1974 until at least 2011.It has pervasive and seemingly lasting reverberations in the Third World. It’s different from the two first waves because it has not been affected by a “reverse wave”, or at least not yet. The Global Growth of Democracy: 1972 – 2010 Number of Partly Free Countries not Free Year Free Countries (%) Countries (%) (%) Countries in the World 1972 29 25 46 151 1985 34 34 33 167 1998 46 28 26 191 2010 45 31 24 194 Democracy by region: 2010 Partly Free Countries Year Free Countries (%) (%) Countries not Free (%) Latin America and the Caribbean 69 29 3 Asia and the Pacific 41 38 21 Sub-Saharan Africa 19 46 35 The Middle East and North Africa 6 17 77 International causes and the consequences of the Third Wave Causes contributing to the Third Wave’s democratic transitions: - Economic crises that devastated the LDCs in the 1980s - Because dictatorships lack legitimacy, their support depends mostly on how satisfactory a job they’re doing o If the government drags the country into war, economic decay and rampant corruption, there is much less support o HOWEVER, even when dictatorships bring successful economic success, growth and modernization also generate the growth of a middleclass with democratic aspirations AND the political skills to make them a reality - Democratic upheavals spread when they occur in one nation, they influence the neighboring countries The prerequisites of democracy in individual countries Social and economic modernization. Seymour Martin Lipset: “Industrialization leads to increases in wealth, education, communication and equality; these developments 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.” According to Cutright, when other factors are held constant, there is a strong correlation between the extent of a country’s mass communications and its degree of democracy, stronger than the correlation between economic development and democracy. FREE AND ACTIVE MEDIA > OPPORTUNITIES FOR CITIZENS TO EXCHANGE IDEAS PROMOTING A FREE SOCIETY. Countries with a higher per-capita incomes are more likely to be democratic than poorer ones. That does NOT mean that countries inevitablybecome + democratic as their economiesdevelop. In fact, middle- income countries are less stable and more prone to dictatorship. The correlation between economic development and democracy has somewhat weakened. Class structure. Other theories contend that what really matters is the way in which growth affects a country’s social structure. Economic development supports stable democracy only if it induces appropriate changes in a country’s social structure. ARGUMENT: the middle class tends to be more moderate and form a bridge between upper and lower classes. An independent and influential business class also seems essential for developing democracy. Barrington Moore Jr. The Social Origins of Dictators
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