DEMOCRACY AND DEMOCRATISATION PRESENTATION COMPARATIVE POLITICS 18 March 2010 PRESENTATION OUTLINE 1. Summary of readings Huntington Schmitter & Karl Sen Taylor 2. Discussion of key themes 3. Case study COMPARATIVE POLITICS SAMUEL HUNTINGTON, ‘How Countries Democratize’ (1991) • Focused on the ‘3rd wave’ of democratisation (1974-90) • Concerned with the how not why question: ways in which political leaders and publics in the 1970s/80s ended authoritarian systems and created democratic ones • DEFINITION of ‘democracy’: Principal officers of government chosen through competitive elections in which the bulk of the population can participate • Democratic systems defined by a ‘common institutional core’ COMPARATIVE POLITICS SAMUEL HUNTINGTON, ‘How Countries Democratize’ (1991) • Establishes a typology of: (i) authoritarian regimes One-party systems / military regimes / personal dictatorships (ii) democratisation processes (agent-centred) (1) Transformation – elite led (2) Transplacement – joint action between regime elites and opposition groups (3) Replacement – opposition groups led (4) Intervention – foreign role COMPARATIVE POLITICS SAMUEL HUNTINGTON, ‘How Countries Democratize’ (1991) • Reduces democratisation processes to ‘three crucial interactions’: (i) between government and opposition (ii) between reformers and standpatters in government (iii) between moderates and extremists in opposition • Contends relative importance and conflictual/cooperative character of interactions varied with overall nature of transition process COMPARATIVE POLITICS SAMUEL HUNTINGTON, ‘How Countries Democratize’ (1991) ‘Guidelines for Democratizers’ • On the basis of comparative (anecdotal) case evidence, outlines common ‘phases’ in the life cycle of each category of transition process • Draws broad-based instrumental ‘lessons’ from these generalised patterns, ostensibly implementable as proven strategies across generic regime types COMPARATIVE POLITICS SAMUEL HUNTINGTON, ‘How Countries Democratize’ (1991) • Key criticisms: – Focus on how over why underpinned by an implicit normative judgement in favour of democratic regimes as taken-as-given, though varying in ‘quality’, developmental end-points (link to democratisation agenda) – Definition of ‘democracy’ imprecise and ‘electoral’ in focus; that is, institutional rather than systemic, value-based and participatory ‘Genius’ of the Brazilian transformation being that it was ‘virtually impossible’ to say at what point stopped being a dictatorship and became a democracy – Comparative case analysis agent-centric and elite-focused, downplaying structural and social influences on transition processes in favour of focus on ‘strategic interactions’ and disregarding any sense of historic particularity Implications for the notion of ‘importing’ democracy through top-down approach COMPARATIVE POLITICS SCHMITTER & KARL, ‘What Democracy is… and is not’ (1991) • Democracy as a catchword: what is democracy? • Joseph Schumpeter: Modern political democracy is a system of governance in which rulers are held accountable for their actions in the public realm by citizens and acting indirectly through the competition of their elected representatives • Regime or system of governance, rulers, the public realm, citizens, competition, elections, cooperation • Electoralism and the role of civil society as “diverse units of social identity”? COMPARATIVE POLITICS SCHMITTER & KARL, ‘What Democracy is… and is not’ (1991) • Democracy as a procedure and procedures that make democracy possible i. ii. iii. iv. v. control over government decisions about polity is constitutionally vested in elected officials elected officials are chosen in frequent and fairly conducted elections in which coercion is comparatively uncommon practically all adults have the right to vote in the election of officials practically all adults have the right to run for elective offices in the government citizens have a right to express themselves without the danger of severe punishment on political matters broadly defined COMPARATIVE POLITICS SCHMITTER & KARL, ‘What Democracy is… and is not’ (1991) vi. Citizens have a right to seek out alternative sources of information. Moreover, alternative sources of information exist and are protected by law vii. Citizens also have the right to form relatively independent associations or organizations, including independent political parties and interest groups viii. Popularly elected officials must be able to exercise their constitutional powers without being subjected to overriding opposition from unelected officials (reference to the military control on politics, ie Central America) ix. The polity must be self governing, it must be able to act independently of constraints imposed by some other overarching political system (neocolonial arrangements and ideological influence) COMPARATIVE POLITICS SCHMITTER & KARL, ‘What Democracy is… and is not’ (1991) • Principles that make democracy feasible : the consent of the people and the normative structures (ie constructional guaranties of private property) • How democracies differ • What democracies are not: – Democracies are not necessarily economically more efficient – they are not necessarily administratively more efficient – they are likely to appear more orderly, consensual, stable or governable than the autocracies they are replacing – will have more open societies and polities than the autocracies they replace, but not necessarily more open economies COMPARATIVE POLITICS SCHMITTER & KARL, ‘What Democracy is… and is not’ (1991) • Key criticisms • Their analysis is on the descriptive level and they don’t elaborate much on the explanatory level • It is (a little) ahistorical • It does not give much importance to the structural/systemic influence on the way we perceive the meanings. AMARTYA SEN, ‘Democracy as a Universal Value’ (1999) • Concerned with examining the case for democracy as a ‘universal value’ (people anywhere may see it as valuable) • Views ‘democracy’ as the ‘normal’ form of government to which any nation is entitled (claim to universality) – linked to changing notions/discourse: ‘fit for democracy’ versus ‘fit through democracy’ – shift accommodating varying histories and cultures, disparate levels of affluence • Article a rebuttal of ‘developmentalist’ discourses challenging the universality of democracy on economic and cultural grounds COMPARATIVE POLITICS AMARTYA SEN, ‘Democracy as a Universal Value’ (1999) • DEFINITION of ‘democracy’: – not just majority rule, voting, elections – requires the protection of liberties/freedoms (especially speech/press), rule of law • Democracy as a ‘demanding system’, not just a ‘mechanical condition’ taken in isolation (contrast Huntington) • Distinguishes three ‘enriching’ functions: (i) political/social participation as intrinsically valuable to human life, well-being (ii) instrumentally valuable in providing political incentives for government accountability (iii) constructive value in helping society form values/priorities (‘needs’, rights, duties) COMPARATIVE POLITICS AMARTYA SEN, ‘Democracy as a Universal Value’ (1999) • Asserts ‘developmentalist’ critique of democracy on economic grounds based on ‘sporadic empiricism’ – Plausibility of no clear relation between economic growth/democracy in either direction (also, correlations versus causal processes in research) • Argues consideration of economic development must go beyond economic growth (need for economic/social security) – Looks at connection between civil/political rights and prevention of major economic disasters (famine); link to instrumental creation of incentives (‘protective power of democracy’) COMPARATIVE POLITICS AMARTYA SEN, ‘Democracy as a Universal Value’ (1999) • Asserts ‘culturalist’ critique of democracy on values grounds (loyalty to family, obedience to state) unsustainable upon historical scrutiny – Political claim rather than scholarly claim (‘Asian Values’ debate) – Case for democracy not regionally contingent, influenced by imagined cultural taboos or assumed civilisational predispositions COMPARATIVE POLITICS AMARTYA SEN, ‘Democracy as a Universal Value’ (1999) • Can view Sen’s article (and the more comprehensive exploration of these ideas in his 1999 book Development As Freedom) as an attempt to re-align debates over democratisation, human rights and economic development • Regards freedom (and hence democracy) as both constitutive of, and instrumental to, development (viewed as capabilities) • Crucially, however, Sen’s democracy is a system of both rules and processes and practices COMPARATIVE POLITICS CHARLES TAYLOR, ‘The Dynamics of Democratic Exclusion’ (1998) • Democratic inclusion versus democratic exclusion • Democracy as deliberation and a need for strong collective identity • Juxtaposing Schmitter and Karl’s notion of civil society as “diverse units of social identity” which is contributing to the democratization process with Taylor’s approach to diversity COMPARATIVE POLITICS CHARLES TAYLOR, ‘The Dynamics of Democratic Exclusion’ (1998) • Varieties of exclusion • ‘Inner exclusion’: the creation of a common identity based upon a rigid formula of politics and citizenship, one that refuses to accommodate any alternatives and imperiously demands the subordination of other aspects of citizens’ identities • Are democracies really exclusive? Who they are excluding ? CHARLES TAYLOR, ‘The Dynamics of Democratic Exclusion’ (1998) • Two models proposed against democratic exclusion – Kantian procedural model: uniting on the procedures – Herder/Humboldt’s model: uniting on the differences – Suggestions for contemporary challenges of integration COMPARATIVE POLITICS KEY THEMES • Difficulty in applying a common definition of democracy – Institutional mechanisms (Huntington) versus system of governance (Schmitter & Karl), bundle of rights/protections (Sen) • Normative judgements underlying discussions of democratisation – Consider context at time Huntington, Schmitter & Karl writing – Instrumentalisation of research: scholarly articles as policy ‘roadmaps’ – ‘Developmentalist’ discourses: economic development/cultural difference replacing ideological conflict • Questions of agency and exclusion (democracy for whom?) – Elites versus popular movements in democratic transitions – Deeper link between democracy, citizenship and identity COMPARATIVE POLITICS Revisiting Authors and Analysis • Contextualizing the concept • Huntington's democratization manual fails to grasp specific conditions of most countries, thus ultimately it is inappropriate for any practical implications • Schmitter&Karl’s analysis of what democracy is and is not lays out the pros and cons of democratization and prescribes democratization as best option. • Sen’s investigation of universality of democracy brings out a legitimate point (is democracy a really universal value) and questions our presentism. • Taylor’s concern over exclusive nature of democracies is a novel approach to look at democratization. Case Study: Zimbabwe • Situation in brief: – Ongoing crisis dates to 1965 when Ian Smith, leader of Southern Rhodesia, issued Unilateral Declaration of Independence from Britain, imposing whiteminority rule (prompting sanctions and guerrilla war) – 1979 peace deal (including ZANU and ZAPU parties) set out steps towards legal independence, including Constitution guaranteeing majority rule – Following 1980 elections, Robert Mugabe (ZANU) became Zimbabwe’s first Prime Minister (huge popular mandate) – In 1987, ZAPU coerced into a merger with ZANU creating ZANU-PF, paving way for constitutional change giving Mugabe executive presidential powers and turning country into de facto one-party state (attempts to create de jure oneparty state failed in 1990, but Mugabe re-elected in 1996) COMPARATIVE POLITICS Case Study: Zimbabwe – Mugabe lost February 2000 constitutional referendum – first time people voted against regime in clear protest; responded with repression and violence – Mugabe defeated newly-formed Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) opposition in June 2000 parliamentary elections; flawed elections held March 2002 (presidential) and 2005 (parliamentary), featuring use of state machinery, war veterans and youth militias to intimidate, suppress dissent, gag media – In March 2008 combined presidential and parliamentary elections (pre-poll manipulation), ZANU-PF lost control of parliament to MDC for first time – Outcome of presidential poll heavily disputed, with MDC’s Morgan Tsvangirai claiming outright victory; electoral commission withheld results for over a month, while ZANU-PF launched countrywide campaign of violence and intimidation – Presidential run off of June 2008 won by Mugabe after Tsvangirai, having been arrested 5 times during the month, withdrew due to election conditions – Power sharing deal signed in September 2008, with Mugabe retaining position of President and Tsvangirai becoming Prime Minister (both to lead cabinet bodies) COMPARATIVE POLITICS Case Study: Zimbabwe • Case demonstrates: – the variability of democratisation processes (backsliding, elite-driven) – the need for conceptual clarity over what constitutes a democracy (apply, for example, Huntington versus Sen’s interpretations) – the implication of foreign judgements concerning the ‘quality’ of developing world democracies (tied development assistance, donor pariah status) – pursuit of democracy, or developmental outcomes (challenge to Sen)? – quasi-democracy (stalemate) COMPARATIVE POLITICS Questions 1) Thomas E. Skidmore’s explains the liberalization of Brazil as the product of an intense dialectical relationship between the government and the opposition. (Huntington, 601) Looking at the various examples of countries which swing back and forth from democracy and authoritarianism, is it possible to deduct that such a relationship should be seen a natural part of democratization efforts or is it an anomaly? If it is an anomaly does it undermine the value of the outcome? 2) Should democracy be a universal value, especially for the regions which need stabilization? (you can focus on empirical examples) Questions 3) Considering the policy implications of democratization theories (ie. In the form of democracy promotion) how do you contextualize Huntington’s views? 4) Can you compare Schmitter& Karl views and Taylor’s view regarding the effect of various “diverse units of social identity”? Which argument is more plausible to you? 5) In Taylor’s view democracy is a form of deliberation which is created by the active participation of people. To what extent such an active participation is significant in achieving a democratic model? Can you correlate any experiences from your own countries?