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POLS 241 (5)
Chapter 6

Pols241 Week 4 readings part 2 Chapter 6 in Textbook.docx

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Political Studies
Course Code
POLS 241
Dru Lauzon

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Pols241 Week 4 readings part 2 Chapter 6 in Textbook (Political Crafting of Democratic Consolidation or Destruction: European and South American Comparisons) Socioeconomic Efficacy and Regime Legitimacy: the Political “Processing of Adversity”  In the new Democracies of Latin America there is some pessimism about this point because the region is living through a severe economic crisis and many of the intellectual leaders believe that socioeconomic efficacy and democratic legitimacy are very tightly coupled.  Perceptions of a regime’s socioeconomic efficacy are less tightly coupled to perceptions of a regimes democratic legitimacy than is commonly supposed.  There are a number of reasons why democratic legitimacy is thought to be separate from perceptions of socioeconomic efficacy. o 1) Claims to ruling authority based on democratic procedural origins rather than on governmental performance. o 2) citizens perceptions about the past and their worries about the future.  The high bourgeoisie and working class care about being protected from personal human rights abuses.  A regime in which state behavior is constrained by a rule of law is a vital asset in a new democracy.  The more that alternative, non-democratic legitimacy options are not available to dispel serious doubts about their potential respect for personal freedoms, the more the existing democratic regime will be perceived by citizens as the most appropriate political formula for the country.  Post-Franco Spain o The economic situation of Spain deteriorated under democracy  The tightly coupled hypothesis would lead us to predict a corresponding decline in the legitimacy of Democracy.  As the table indicates, the data shows that for Spanish citizens there was virtually no connection between the two.  As such, clearly in Spain other factors besides belief in economic and social efficacy were powerfully affecting citizen’s beliefs about the best political formula for the country.  The implication of the European experience for Lain America o The post-Franco opinion polls and our analysis of interwar Europe lead us to believe that the political perception of desired alternatives has a greater impact on the survival of democratic regimes than economic and social problems per se.  The economic crisis of the 1930s was felt throughout Europe  It was a period of intense and creative political crafting in which new coalitions and new policies were forged.  Part of the glue of post-world II European democracy for the left and right alike is that procedural democracy allowed them to continue to struggle for the advancement of their material interests in a context where there were procedural, constitutional, and legal constraints on government and state behavior.  One of the most important and interesting developments that occurred in Brazil, Uruguay and Argentina as a result of the massive and unprecedented abuses of state power by the BA regimes in these states was the increased valorization of democracy as an important end that needed to be protected in and for itself. o In the past, important parts of the left attached only an instrumental value to democracy. It was a vehicle to be used in pursuit of other goals.  Much of the Bourgeoisie in Brazil, Uruguay and Argentina emerged from the recent bureaucratic authoritarian experience with new worries about their ability to control authoritarian regimes. o Learned from personal experience that the states repressive apparatus was difficult for them to contain. In Argentina many upper-class and middle class families were drawn into the vortex of indiscriminate and criminal state terrorism against which social contacts and economic influences were powerless.  One of the tasks of the democratic forces is to deepen the collective memory of the reality of these recent authoritarian political pasts. Another task of the democratic force is to make citizens acutely aware that attacks on the democratic regime could pave the way for an authoritarian political future in which no personal or institutional guarantees against state abuses are ensured. Control of the Means of Force in Democratic Polities  the management of Non-State Violence o A widespread worry In Latin America is that the military have a very low tolerance for insurgent violent in a political system. Some argue that is it important that the state should use whatever means necessary if it arises.  However, implies giving the military a free hand in suppression. o Guerilla violence, like economic recession creates problems for a new democratic regime. However, the most important variable is the way the political system processes the facts of guerilla and political violence. o Ex. Spanish Case  Despite a sharp increase in deaths due to Basque terrorists in the democratic period, the general belief in the legitimacy of democracy in Spain stayed at a very high level and in fact grew between 1979 and 1983.  A complex series of political actions and attitudes helped to minimize the negative consequences of the growing violence by Basque separatists on the new Spanish democracy.  Not one single national political party chose to use the deaths associated with the Basque issue to attempt to delegitimize the democratic regime. o Instead the democratic government tried to make sure that the
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