INTD Review - Chapter 16

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INTD Review - Chapter 16
2011-09-30 13:39:19
INTD Chapter 16 Democracy

INTD Midterm I REview - Chapter 16 - democracy
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  1. Political regime, what if democratic?
    a set of principles that rules and that govern power relations btw society and the stae

    If democratic, these rules mean the state is the instrument of society and therefore must answer to them
  2. Authoritarian regimes
    state officials actively prevent society from participating in the decision-making process, resort to arbitrary violence against the popualtion, and are rarely held accountable for their actions
  3. Semi-authoritarian regime (hybrid regime)
    refers to countries that undertook democratic reforms at the beginning of the 1990's and although they officially abolished the one-party system, elites of the old regime still perpetuated healiy authoritative political practices
  4. Differentiate between the 2 phases in the process of democratization
    • Democratic transition - when authoritarian insitutions and practices are in the process of being reformed and being replaced by more democratic versions
    • - this traditional phase is characterized by a degree of uncertainty -not clear if democracy will be achieved

    Democratic consolidation - more stable phase characterized by a solidification of the democratic foundations - question now is how they should go aobut reinforcing the democratic system
  5. Procedural (aka what?) definition of democracy

    - how do we use this approach to classify different countries
    -under this definition what has happened to the number of democracies sind 1974
    Procedural (minimalist) approach - supporters argue a country is democratic as long as certain political procedures are enforced:

    1. Citizens regularly choose political representatives who govern their name through fair elections, the right to vote regardless of gender, ect.

    2. State must guarantee fundamental freedoms of all its citizens (e.g. rights ot participation, expression, ect)

    *minimalist = only a minimum nubmer of elements required to be present to determine if a state is democratic or not

    • - using procedural approach to classify different countries by distinguishing democracies from non-democracies or by classifying them by their degree of democracy
    • - most democratic countries = "liberal democracies" or "electoral democracies" and less democratic = "ambiguous regimes" "competitive authoritarian" and "politically closed authoritarian regime"
    • - "free" - democractic, "partly free" and "not free"
    • - democracies have increased in number since 1974 and today represent 47% of countries
  6. Substantive Approach to democracy

    3 components

    thinkers - shaffer, bertrand, romain
    important to look at the substance of democracy, not just its procedures

    3 components:

    • 1. Cultural - democracy, while it does have a universal worldwide dimension, should incorporate local meanings of the term
    • - American understanding is different from Senagalese view

    - Schaffer - concept of democracy as being variable between different national and sub-natinoal cultures

    • - Bertrand - it was not that democracy didnt exist in Indonesia, but rather than political actors proactice democracy throught a cultural lense that is "omnipresent" (invisible)
    • --> there, they must also study the role of "supernatural experts" and religious leaders who, to Indonesians, play a critical role in politics

    - Romain - cant understand democratization if we focus only on electoral results / parlaimentary reforms

    2. Socio-economic - says procedural approach is too minimalist and that it ignores the fundamental characteristics of any political system: the distribution of wealth - country cant be democratic if it has serious socio-economic inequalities

    • 3. Question of citizenship - in order to be truly democratic, rights must be applied universally, eqally, and systematically
    • - Ex: In Latin American countries, access to justic, social/public services, and security, depends on whether the person lives in the city or the country
    • - there are zones of "complete citizenship" and "brown areas" of violence and identity-based descrimination
    • - raises the question of who is a citizen? - some ppl distinguish btw real "sons/daughters" of the country and foreingners

    - state cant be called democratic if it doesnt grant full politcal and social citizenship
  7. Division between the 2 main camps of democracy EXAMPLE - Mali vs India
    Mali - in the 80's and 90's was ruled by the military regime of Moussa Tradoré (a "not free" regime) which was toppled in '91 and political actors began to design a constitution that guaranteed fundamental liberties

    India - according to Ambedkar, its constitution lacked democracy bc it didnt take into account the massive socio-economic gap that separated the"untouchables" and the "noble" casts of Indian society
  8. Waves of Democratization

    - what idea does this metaphor invoke

    - 3 historical periods
    - metaphor invokes the idea that it has affected lots of countries simultaneously within a short period

    3 historical periods

    • 1st (Middle of 19th c, beginning of 20c)
    • - many euro, north american, and latin american countires established representative insitutions (parlaiments, heads of state)

    • 2nd (after WWII - beginning of 60's)
    • - colonies gained independence and often inherited democratic institutions from colonial power; however, many were then replaced with authoritarian rule

    3rd - started in '74, with the democratization of Portugal
  9. Causes of democratization on 2 different levels - from 2 different ways of thinking

    so 4 answers
    international (exogenous) and national (endogenous)

    structural vs agency
  10. Structural / systemic approach vs Agency based explanation

    identify appropriate authors/thinkers
    1. Fundamental causes of democratic transitions are structural and systemic in nature (identify with Durkheim)

    - starting premis that major social and political phenomena (including democratization) are the result of changes that take place within political, eocnomic, institutional, cultural, and social circumstances


    The source of political and social change is from individuals and their relationships with other people --> agency-based explanation

    - democratization based on preferences, identities, and strategies of politcal actors

    - it is the decisions of political actors, not structural forces, over which these actors have control, that explain important political change like democratization
  11. Democratic transitions caused by any of 4 principal approaches, what are these 4 approaches - define briefly - full explanation of separate slide
    1. National Structure approach - democratic transition cause by political, economic and social structures withing borders of nation state

    2. International structure - wave in 80's caused by massive change in the international system --> world moved from bi-polar configuration (2 superpowers of cold war) to a unipolar configuration (sole superpower)

    3. National Actor Approach - democratization process differs between countries bc of the role of political actors, democratization is not an automatic process

    4. International actor approach - many democratizations caused by leverage of democratic staes used against authoriarian regimes (military pressures and economic sanctions) but authoritarian regimes with lots of eocnomic and military power are better able to resist democratic pressures from 3rd party states
  12. National Structural Approach to democratic transitions

    - affected by what theory?
    - thinkers - Boix, Przeworski
    - Causes of democratic transition by the political, social and economic structures within the borders of the nation stae

    • - Affected by modernization theory - when economic strucures of an authoritarian state begin to develop (rapid industrialization/urbanization) the social structures of the country are transformed --> accelerated growht of working/middle classes concentrated inthe major cities close to political sources of power
    • - before it was easy to deny reform when the majority fo the population was scattered in rural areas but modernization brought increasing incomeand education for the previously disadvantaged

    - Boix - an increase int he level of economic development is not alone sufficient to generate moves towards democracy - must be accompanied by redistribution of national wealth

    • - Przeworski - no statistically significant connnection between the level of economic development and the liklihood of democratic transition
    • - ex: China, Vietman, and Singapore experienced economic and social transformation but that didnt lead to democratization for them
  13. International Structure Approach to democratic transitions

    - context/definition?
    - Context: Wave in the 1980's caused by massive change in the international system moved form a bipolar configuration (dominated by 2 superpowers during the cold war) to a unipolar configuration (sole superpower - US supports democratization)

    - Pressure on authoritarian regimes, dissolution of the Soviet Bloc signaled the vicotry of the model of liberal democracy

    - End of cold war = end of authoritarian regimes that owed their survival to the srurcutral rivalry between the Americans and the Soviets

    - Ex: South Africa and Indonesia - only reason the authoritarian regimes were capable of curshing opposition movements was that they held key positions in the international alliance system of the cold war - Apartheid regime recipient to Western Support

    - question of authoritarianism was subordinate to the East-West rivalry and in the 1980's the regimes cold no longer use the Cold War to garner international support --> vulnerable to prodemocracy movements
  14. National actor approach to democratization theory

    - examples?
    - how does the process actually come about
    Criticize counterparts for giving false impression that democratization is an automatic process --> transitions are acutally full of surprises and failures and procuce politcal regimes vastly different fwhen compared from country to country - what makes difference is the role of politcal actors

    • - EX: studies that explain democratization by analyzing the struggles between governing faction of the authoritarian regiema nd the faction spearheading pro-democracy movemets ex: South African democratization possible bc the ruling block of the apartheid regime split into 2 rival factions - securocrats and technocrats
    • - led to split among opponents of the apartheid regime - African National Confress (Nelson Mandela) vs Pan Africanist Congress

    • - Social movements spearhead the process of democratization in developing countries especially bc they cant rely on coercive measures or financial resources
    • - mobilize ppl through moral agurments (Ex: 1970's - "Madres" in Argentina presented themselves as mothers (legitimate actors in society) rather than revolutionaries and so the military dictatorship stepped down in 1983)
  15. International Actor Approach to democratization theory

    - key players, definiton

    - Boomerang effect (Keck and Sikkink)
    - International NGO's formed around human rights ideals - draw attention to atrocities under authoritarian regimes

    - many democratizations were caused by the leverage of democratic states used against authoritarian regimes (military pressure and economic sanctions) However, authoritarian regimes with lots of eoncomic and military power are better able to resist democratic pressures from 3rd party states

    - Boomerang effect (Keck and Sikkink) - activists solicit internationa actors that are better placed to hit auhtoriarian regimes in question
  16. Are the 4 approaches to development necessarily exclusive?
  17. Factors that contribute to democratic consolidation
    Popular support - e.g. - barometer institutes carried out opinion polls in the counries to gauge support

    Institutionalization of defeat - politicians will not seek to use other non-democratic means to regain power because they have accepted their loss and are stepping down
  18. Obstacles that can weaken democratic consolidation

    Problems of socio-economic inequality and political violence

    Kurtz explains in his study of Latin America that the application of neo-liberal economic reforms promoted under the Washington Consensus had disasterous effects on the quality of democracy of the region - reduced capacity of even most marginalized classes to undertake collective action

    Authoritarian regimes' attempt to associate democratization with instability and ethno-religious tensions
  19. Discuss whether democratization is ultimately an obstacle or catalyst for economic/social development

    if not then what are they good for?
    Claim that democratic gov't could undermine economic and social development

    - problem that since democracies are based on short electoral cycles, this encourages politicians to think only of the short term

    - Huntington's claim that some poor countries would not have eventually achieved sucha high level of development without such a strong authoritarian regime ... H/E, Przeworski argues that these regimes do not produce more wealth than democracies

    Democracies are more appropriate interms of establishing a sound economic base and a socieyt that looks after its citizens and in creating barriers that reduce the temptation to enrich oneself beyond the legitmate salary of a public servant

    Also risks fo political instability and violence are reduced; in holding decision makers accountable they are more likely to make decisions in the general public interest