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Democratization

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Democratization James Robinson Harvard University Basic Questions How do we measure democracy? Why are some countries democracies and others not? – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Democratization


1
Democratization
  • James Robinson
  • Harvard University

2
Basic Questions
  • How do we measure democracy?
  • Why are some countries democracies and others
    not?
  • In what circumstances will a non-democratic
    regime become a democracy?
  • In what circumstances will it stay a democracy
    (will democracy consolidate)?

3
Measuring Democracy
  • Schumpeter (1950, p. 250) argued that democracy
    was the institutional arrangement for arriving
    at political decisions in which individuals
    acquire the power to decide by means of a
    competitive struggle for the people's vote.
  • One measure is the Polity index, which is the
    difference between Politys Democracy and
    Autocracy indices. Democracy Index ranges from 0
    to 10 and is derived from coding the
    competitiveness of political participation, the
    openness and competitiveness of executive
    recruitment and constraints on the chief
    executive. The Polity Autocracy Index also ranges
    from 0 to 10 and is constructed in a similar way
    to the democracy score.
  • I normalize the index to be between 0 and 1.

4
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5
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6
A Big Fact
7
A Simple Framework
  • Two groups in society, the citizens and the
    elite.
  • Dictatorship is rule of the elite. Many sorts of
    elites.
  • Policy (say income redistribution) in a
    dictatorship tends to favor the elite, but
    democracy would favor the citizens.
  • If citizens are relatively poor they favor
    redistribution, while elites oppose it.
  • This implies the elite prefer dictatorship while
    citizens prefer democracy.

8
Figure 1. Preferences over Income Redistribution
Redistribution Tomorrow
Citizens better off in this direction
Uc
Elite better off in this direction
Ue
Redistribution Today
9
Social Conflict
  • If there is dictatorship and the elite do not
    like democracy how can democracy ever come about?
  • Even in dictatorship the citizens can riot,
    strike, even threaten revolution.
  • I can conceptualize this as a revolution
    constraint that the elite must satisfy.
  • To keep the citizens contented (under control?)
    the elite must give them favors today and also
    promise them in the future.
  • There are limits to how much they can credibly
    promise.

10
Figure 2. When Redistribution satisfies the
Revolution Constraint
Redistribution Tomorrow
C
Tc
The Maximum Credible amount of redistribution is
enough to avoid revolution
Tmax
UR
Ue
C
T
Redistribution Today
Tc
11
Democratization
  • If elite cannot buy off (avoid a revolution) the
    citizens with redistribution they can repress
    them or give away their power democratize.
  • Which they do depends on which is less costly for
    them.
  • Imagine there is a cost of repression k, then
    democracy arises when the utility of the elite
    from democratization is greater than from
    repression UeD UeO-k.

12
Figure 3. When Redistribution cannot satisfy the
Revolution Constraint
Redistribution Tomorrow
Indifference curve of elite Corresponding to
democracy
Tc
UR
Tmax
C
UcO
UeD
C
UeO
Redistribution Today
Tc
13
Comparative Statics
  • These generate the predictions of the model and
    help us to understand when democratization will
    take place.
  • Example imagine inequality increases, then
    citizens want more redistribution in democracy,
    democracy gets worse for the elite, therefore
    they a more inclined to repress.

14
Figure 4. Some Comparative Statics of the Model
Redistribution Tomorrow
T c(new)
Tc
UcO
UR
C
UeD(new)
UeD
C
UeO
Redistribution Today
Tc
Tc(new)
15
Back to the Data
  • What are the implications for the Big Fact and
    the Modernization hypothesis?
  • Why are rich countries more democratic than poor
    countries?
  • The model does not imply that higher income
    per-capita induces democratization.
  • It does imply however that there is a natural
    affinity between poverty and dictatorship. For
    instance, if property rights are insecure,
    investment is low, society will be poor, but also
    huge benefits from being in power and greater
    incentives to avoid democracy by using repression.

16
In Fact as Incomes rise 1970-1995 societies do
not seem to become more democratic
17
Even over a longer period
18
But if we go far enough back it must happen
19
Modernization
  • So is the modernization hypothesis right, but
    with a huge lag?
  • Not necessarily. The model suggests that factors
    that lead to low incomes lead to dictatorship,
    while factors that lead to high incomes lead to
    democracy.
  • What factors?
  • More basic ways in which society is organized
    compare the history of North and Latin America.
  • So democracy and income co-evolve but income does
    not cause democracy.

20
Taking into account the historical determinants
of development paths
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