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Democracy and Democratization


Democracy and Democratization Western Democracies Political Systems Global Perspective Three types: Liberal democracy Marxism-Leninism/Communism Authoritarianism ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Democracy and Democratization

Democracy and Democratization
  • Western Democracies

Political Systems Global Perspective
  • Three types
  • Liberal democracy
  • Marxism-Leninism/Communism
  • Authoritarianism
  • Two-transitional periods
  • mid-1970s
  • Greece, Portugal and Spain, Latin America, East
    Asia, parts of Middle East and Africa
  • 1989-91
  • Eastern Europe

Many countries democratic
  • What does this mean?
  • What are the distinct philosophical cultural, and
    political-theoretical underpinnings of democracy
    in different countries?
  • USA gt Locke, Jefferson, Madison, Lincoln,
    Wilson, Roosevelt
  • Continental Europe gt Rousseau

Other countries (cont)
  • Russia path as yet unclear
  • East Asian countries
  • Confucian or post-Confucian?
  • Middle East
  • Islam promotes or denies democracy?
  • India
  • Why does democracy persist in context of Caste
    and extreme poverty?
  • Africa
  • Tribal traditions supportive of democracy?

  • Is democracy one and universal? OR
  • Particular, based on different local, regional,
    cultural traditions and institutions.
  • Will all democracies evolve in similar directions
    -- response to accumulation of wealth/globalizatio
    n? OR
  • Can it exist depending on different philosophical
    and political backgrounds and socio-economic

Answers are important
  • Improved comprehension of different countries and
  • Policy considerations (war, human rights,
    democracy, peace) related to whether democracy is
    universal and the same OR has distinct meanings
    and priorities
  • Rumsfeld and Old Europe
  • Confirmed evidence of VX gas in Afghanistan

Is there a fundamental core?
  • Democracy defined
  • Competitive elections, basic freedoms
  • Identification by objective standard
  • Does globalization force western style democracy
    on non-western cultures?
  • Can US style institutional arrangements work in
    culturally unique settings?
  • Is US style democracy truly universal?
  • How has the cultural heritage of U.S. impacted
    its democracy?

Democracy Defined
  • Institutional arrangement embedded in culture
  • Political concepts
  • Individualism, pragmatism, tolerance,
    rationality, equality (egalitarianism) among
  • Economic concepts
  • freedom in marketplace, economic individualism,
    entrepreneurship, capitalism STRONGLY related to
    general system of rights (property rights) which
    serves to limit oppression.

Democracy Defined
  • Religion
  • Is political freedom related to religion?
  • Breakup of theocracy and absolutist religion
    typical of middle ages? The advance of science?
    Growth of religious pluralism and tolerance?
  • Is democracy possible when basic human needs go
    unmet? no egalitarianism insurmountable gaps
    between rich and poor?
  • Most definitions of democracy assume the special
    conditions of the Western democratic experience.

  • Democracy A system for arriving at political
    decisions in which individuals acquire the power
    to decide by means of a competitive struggle for
    the peoples vote.

  • Democracy competitive elections are the
  • Huntington-Schumpeter definitions assume the
    broader Western tradition allowing democracy.

  • Polyarchy
  • Organized contestation through regular, free, and
    fair elections.
  • The right of virtually all adults to vote and
    contest for office.
  • Freedom of press, assembly, speech, petition, and
  • Still tied to political rights

Unique American Experience
  • Frontier country able to absorb population/ideas
  • Religious non-conformity part of heritage
  • Ideal of government formation with consent
  • Slavery without feudal tradition
  • Wealth and supportive climate
  • Self structured system of checks and balances
  • Grassroots civil society
  • Worlds richest nation
  • Is this replicable?

European Democracy
  • Fundamental Principles of democracy in the
    European context?
  • Popular Sovereignty
  • Full citizenship (suffrage) and national
    self-determination (nationalism)
  • Stable Institutions
  • An elected assembly (parliamentary sovereignty)

Common principles across European countries?
  • Parliamentary Government
  • An assembly with constituencies based on
    geographic divisions, elected by an expanding
  • Subordination of executive to the legislative
  • ministerial responsibility once leadership
    (Cabinet/Ministers) has lost the confidence of
    the full assembly it/they cannot continue to hold

Recent Changes
  • European systems are decentralizing
  • Only Great Britain continues with single member
    plurality electoral districts
  • Other European states have complex multiparty
    systems which results in coalition governments
  • (Frances election system does push outcomes
    toward two party)

Challenges facing European Democracies
  • Economic and Social Foundations
  • Political Institutions and Procedures
  • Regional and Global Policy Pressures

Challenges Economic and Social Foundations to
European Democracy
  • Changing economic and social foundation
  • Technological changes leading to work/economic
    change shift from manufacturing to
    post-manufacturing (industrial) production
  • Demographic and ethnic change homogeneous after
    1945 (ethnic groups living in contiguous areas),
    diversification since 1945
  • Today multiethnicity, presence of non-Western
    peoples (guest workers, permanent immigrants
    15 of population is non-native).
  • Multiethnicity and multiculturalism brings issues
    both long standing and newly emerging. Some
    tensions reduced others re-emergent.

Challenges Political Institutions
  • Political institutions and procedures also
    undergoing change.
  • Constitutional and electoral reform in Italy,
    Belgium, France
  • Trend in changes are for
  • Weakening of traditional political organizations
    such as parties and interest groups
  • Rise of ad hoc and narrowly focused interest
  • Increased use of referenda to decide difficult
    policy issues (EU questions)
  • Increased media access/critical journalism
    negative impact on popular prestige of political

Challenges regional and global policy pressures
  • Regional and global policy pressures are
    requiring new democratic forms and procedures
  • Expansion of European Union from narrow trade
    area into broader organization for European
  • Geographic (new members)
  • Deeper levels of cooperation (policy areas