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Chapter 14

Pols241 Week 7 reading notes part 1 Ch. 14 (Toward Consolidated Democracies).docx

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Queen's University
Political Studies
POLS 241
Dru Lauzon

Pols241 Week 7 reading notes part 1 Ch. 14 (Toward Consolidated Democracies)  3 minimal conditions for a democracy to be consolidated o 1) there must be the existence of a state  Otherwise, free and fair authoritative elections cannot be held, winners cannot exercise the monopoly f legitimate force, and citizens cannot effectively have their rights protected by a rule of law. o 2) A democratic transition must have been completed  Must meet the seven basic institutional requirements for elections in a polyarchy. o 3) the rulers must govern democratically  Therefore if freely elected executives infringe the constitution, violate the rights of individuals and minorities ect their regimes are not democracies.  Only democracies can become consolidated democracies o We are not dealing with liberalized nondemocratic regimes, pseudodemocracies or hybrid democracies.  A consolidated democracy means a political regime in which democracy as a complex system of institutions, rules, and patterned incentives and disincentives has become, in a phrase, “the only game in town.” o Behaviorally: this happens when no significant political group seriously attempts to overthrow the democratic regime or to promote domestic or international violence in order to secede from the state. o Attitudinally: This happens when even in the face of severe political and economic problems, the majority of the people believe that any further political change must emerge from within the parameters of democratic procedures. o Constitutionally: this happens when all the actors in the polity become habituated to the fact that political conflict within the state will be resolved according to established norms, and that violations of these norms are likely to be both ineffective and costly.  Within the category of consolidated democracies there is a continuum from low-quality to high quality democracies. Improving the quality of consolidated democracies Is an urgent political and intellectual task. Crafting and conditions  5 other interconnected and mutually reinforcing conditions other than the state o 1) the conditions must exist for a free and lively civil society  However, at the moment of democratic transition democratic leaders often argue that civil society, having played its historic role, should be demobilized so as to allow for the development of normal democratic politics.  This is bad democratic theory as well as bad democratic politics because a robust civil society can help start transitions, help resist reversals, help push transitions to their completion and help consolidate and deepen democracies. o 2) must have a relatively autonomous political society  Key role is to intermediate between the state and civil society, and create a compromise.  They thus, must achieve a workable agreement on the myriad ways in which democratic power will be crafted and exercised o 3) all major political actors (especially the government and state apparatus, must be effectively subjected to a rule of law that protects individual freedoms and associational life.  A rule of law animated by a spirit of constitutionalism is an indispensible condition. Constitutionalism entails a relatively strong consensus regarding the constitution and especially a commitment to self-binding procedures of governance that can be altered only by exceptional majority.  The need for a Rechtsstaat ( a state of law)  Means that the government and state apparatus would be subject to the law, that areas of discretionary power would be defined and increasingly limited, and that citizens could turn to courts to defend themselves against the state and its officials.  Fundamental in making democratization possible, since without it citizens would not be able to exercise their political rights with full freedom and independence.  Particularly crucial for democratic consolidation as it’s the most important way in which the elected government and the state administration are subjected to a network of laws, courts, semiautonomous review and control agencies, and civil-society norms that the state’s illegal tendencies.  Constitutionalism and the rule of law must determine the offices to be filled by election, the procedures to elect those officeholders and the definition of and limits to their power in order for people to be willing to participate in and accept the outcomes of the democratic game.  Some presidential democracies with populist tendencies, delegative characteristics, combined with a fixed term of office and a norelection rule, encourage nonconstitutional or anti-constitutional behavior that threatens the rule of law, and consolidation. o 4) must have a state bureaucracy that is usable by the new democratic government o 5) must be an institutionalized economic society.  These conditions are more likely to be satisfied w
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