Political Science 2 – Comparative Politics - Power Point #5
Dr. Tabakian’s Political Science 2 Modern World Governments – Fall 2012Power Point Presentation – September 25th & September 27th
COURSE LECTURE TOPICSThis Week’s Lecture Covers:•Defining Democracy•Direct Democracy•Democratic Transition•Democracy – 5 Generalizations•Democratic Peace Theory•Republican Forms Of Government•Human Rights•Capitalism & Open Markets•Capitalism Efficiency Innovation•Similarities Of Democracy & Capitalism•Seeking Market Share
COURSE LECTURE: WEEK #5 (2)Reading Assignments For Week #5•Course Pack Articles: “The Paradoxes Of Contemporary Democracy” By: Evelyn Huber, Dietrich Rueschemeyer and John D. Stephens “Reflections On The End Of History Five Years Later” By: Francis Fukuyama
DEMOCRACY (1)A successful democracy is based on the consent of thegoverned along with widespread support. Democraticgovernments allow its citizens the right to speak freely andelect its leaders. A formal democracy is a political systemthat possesses four factors:(1)regular and fair elections.(2)universal suffrage.(3)accountability of government policies to elected representatives.(4)guaranteeing right to free expression, association and reasonable protections against capricious government action.
DEMOCRACY (2)Elites would agree that power and power sharinginfluence all democracies. Pluralists would argue that thesubordinate classes are driven to self-organization byuniting together as evidenced in associations, unions, andparties. This gives them power although all do notnecessarily possess property, high social status, orcommand over cultural hegemony. Elites show favortowards formal democracies, for they do not seesubordinates as posing much of a threat as theirorganizational power base is weak.
DEMOCRATIC TRANSITIONTRANSITIONING FROM AUTHORITARIAN RULEMany researchers attest that transitions from authoritarian rulehave begun with discord emerging from within militarygovernments and their relations with bourgeois allies. Mostdisagreements have been found to be over economic problems.The push for liberalization and democratization would be pushedforward by a reemerging civil society that may be calling forgreater representation due to their influences with capitaldevelopment. Constant conflict developed fissures with gapsdeveloping between those groups in control. These divisionsallowed civil society to surge into these free areas, enablingcoalitions to form between soft-liners in the state apparatus andthose in the democratic opposition. Decentralization can lead tothe formation of new positions of power that local elites staff for thebenefit of clientelistic networks.
TWO CONDITIONS FOR DEMOCRATIZATIONTwo Conditions For Successful Democratization:1. Settled borders2. Popular consensus that supports an inclusive definition of the nation.Evidence has shown that nations having more authoritarian orcontrolled economies are more prone to failure than theAmerican economy. Elites show favor towards formaldemocracies for they do not see subordinates as posing muchof a threat as their organizational power base is weak. It alsohelps that the most powerful members of the economic elitesupport the capitalist economic model. Subordinates living informal democracies are especially in favor of the currenteconomic model.
DEMOCRACY – CHANGE FROM WITHIN Arguing that external environments encourage states to become democratic cannot adequately explain why the Soviet Union fell from superpower status into a consortium of democratic republics. Threat assessments from within Soviet society had changed whereas the external environment did not change significantly. The only change was from within the Soviet Union in terms of its ideology, which in turn determines how threats are assessed. Ideology can serve as a filter of sorts that helps determine whether a people are dedicated to peaceful coexistence or war with other peoples. Distributions of power in the international system serve only as a second consideration, especially how the international community reacts to a change in the internal ideology of a state.
DEMOCRACY – 5 GENERALIZATIONSThere are five generalization inherent in the comparative study ofdemocratization that are pertinent to new democracies as well as alldemocracies regardless of when they had taken form:1. High levels of capital development helps to maintain democracy.2. Political leaders are needed to create and maintain democracies both in good times or bad.3. Parliamentary rather than presidential systems seem to be more successful in maintaining democracies.4. Issues pertaining to national and state power structures have to be determined early on for democracy to survive.5. All democracies, regardless of their age or fragility are never certain about the future, but share a common adherence to procedures of governance that should not change.NOTE: Regional effects in terms of general historical experiences canhelp determine whether democracy can easily take root in certainregions.
DEMOCRATIC PEACE THEORYDemocracies have not fought each other not out of respect for otherdemocracies, but that the threat of a third party helped to unitedemocratic states. Democratic peace theory is unfounded, for if itwere valid then the United States would not have helped overthrowthe democratically elected Juan Bosch of the Dominican Republic bysending 23,000 troops whose mere presence helped to topple hisgovernment. Henry Kissinger would validate this action under thetenets of democratic peace theory by arguing that the DominicanRepublic is a “wayward” democracy that may be in danger of tiltingtoward communism or authoritarian rule. Kenneth Waltz claims thatdemocracies may currently live at peace with other democracies, buteven if all states became democratic that the international systemwould remain anarchic. Democracies may fight as often as otherstates, but rarely if ever fight one another.
DIRECT DEMOCRACYA direct democracy requires every citizen to participate in all forms ofpolicy making. This is impossible in a large nation-state like the UnitedStates. America’s Founding Fathers were adamant about maintaininginternal stability, thereby foregoing direct democracy in favor of arepublican form of government. Ensuring elite gains during periods ofinnovation is the best prescription to prevent rampant instability forthey are the ones most threatened. Slow transitions allow enoughtime for threatened elites to prepare for periods of transitions. Opinionleaders then inform the masses about the impending change so thatthe capitalist marketplace retains its consumer base. Destructionensues if the majority of elites and masses do not benefit during theperiod of transition.
WHY SOME DON’T EMBRACE DEMOCRACYVarious reasons exist that help explain why some countries havefailed to fully embrace liberal and free-market reforms.1. The public may have different opinions about these reforms that may or may not be equally shared by opposition forces. Those decisions reached can determine whether state socialism remains or is replaced.2. How the transition to liberal and free-market reforms are undertaken can affect the decision of authoritarian elites to trade in their political capital for economic gains.3. The method of the transition to capitalism can determine what side wins or loses.4. Degrees of nationalism can determine whether political leaders are able to hold their society together during the tribulation transformation to democracy.
CAPITALISM & DEMOCRACY ARE SIMILAR (1)For freedom to rein it is required for the market place to determine the fate of allproducts, services and ideas. No interference can burden this process.Oversight is not necessarily detrimental as is the policy of the United States toregulate various industries. The death kneel comes when powerful spheres ofinfluence serve to squash competition. John Locke argues it best when hesuggests that liberalism can never exist without capitalism. This is thephilosophy of Adam Smith’s “invisible hand” where he explains how marketsdetermine the fate of all competing interests seeking society’s acceptance. Weare today living in a time of unprecedented technological innovation that ishelping to propel humanity further the ladder of evolution. This would not bepossible if vested interests were prevented from pursuing market acceptance.
CAPITALISM & DEMOCRACY ARE SIMILAR (2)John Locke and Adam Smith would agree that there is no fundamentaldifference between a marketed product, service or even political idea. Allinterest groups competing in the marketplace are engaged in the same pursuit:acceptance. Companies competing for market dollars strive to offer the mostcost efficient product or service that is also the most innovative. This in turnencourages competing peers to further maximize efficiency while alsostretching the bounds of innovation in order to offer the best value. Marketingideas is in essence the same we have witnessed with political campaignsstriving for societal acceptance. Political organizations seeking for example theelection of a particular individual to office must secure a majority of the marketwithin a certain region. Competing campaigns offer different ideas to the marketthat seek to offer a better value. This constant battle allows all individuals todecide for themselves what “product” “service” or even “idea” is best. We allbenefit from conflict.
CAPITALISM & DEMOCRACY ARE SIMILAR (3)Let us look at the example of telecommunications to understand the benefits of conflict.Prior to 1996, there existed in Southern California like most other regions in the UnitedStates, two cellular telephone companies. These were the days of analogcommunications, or AMPS (Advanced Mobile Phone System). Southern California washome to Airtouch and LA Cellular prior to 1996. Both companies maintained prices thatprevented the average consumer from fully utilizing their services, or even purchasingthem at all. Everything changed with the signage of the 1996 Telecommunications Act byPresident Bill Clinton. The bill allowed for more efficient use of spectrum, therebyallowing easier access for companies to compete in wireless communications. Variouscompetitors entered to compete for market acceptance, requiring all companies to strivefor greater efficiency, while also providing even greater services. Consumers today face awide selection of companies who individually offer greater communication services thatgo beyond voice services to encompass video calling and broadband internet. Theinvisible hand eliminates those companies that do not provide the greatest benefit forconsumers.
CAPITALISM & DEMOCRACY ARE SIMILAR (4)The ultimate nightmare may be the elimination of debate. Many haveunwittingly called for this in the halls of government. It is not debate thatthreatens society, but the lack of contesting ideas. Policies enacted to preventoverly powerful monopolies help to maintain open competition. To have oneoverly powerful sphere of interest prevent debate is destructive to the systemitself. Pluralism emphasizes both conflict and compromise with interest groupsengaged in a constant pursuit of power that naturally results in establishedalliances to compete with peer spheres that are doing the same, resulting in theformation of two major spheres. Public policy would thereby stall until reachinga compromise between these two majority powers. This in turn helps to protectthe majority of those residing in society. Every policy requires constantimprovement for humanity to arrive closer to perfection. Those that call for theelimination of special interest groups or even the restriction of political debateare ignorant for this process benefits society immensely.