Demonstration Effects or *Snowballing* Characteristics

Report
Plan for Today: Economic Reform &
Globalization, Diffusion, and the
Snowball Effect
 Conclude debate on shock therapy vs. gradual
economic reform during democratization.
 Learn how indirect international factors may
encourage democratization.
1. Demonstration Effects.
2. International norms/ conventions.
Debate over best reform strategy
Option 1
Option 2
Speed
Rapid
Gradual
Degree
Radical
Moderate
Historical Evidence
 Argue
those who conducted radical
reforms have more successful
economies.
 Poland (radical) vs. Romania (gradual).
Gradual, Moderate Reform
 Defenders
include: Przeworski, Stiglitz.
Arguments for Gradual Reform
1.
We still know very little about how
free markets interact with
democracy.
Arguments for Gradual Reform
2.
Adverse social and political
consequences of neoliberal reforms.
Arguments for Gradual Reform
3.
The state must play a role in
facilitating market economy.



Enforcement of contracts.
Providing collective goods.
Equitable distribution of wealth.
Historical Evidence
 “Alternative
capitalisms” have
succeeded quite well:
 East Asia
 European social democracies
 Some
neoliberal failures:
 Argentina
 Mexico
 Russia
State of Debate
 Debate
still continues on appropriate
approach to economic reform.
 Certainly proponents of most radical
free-market reforms have lost ground
in debate in recent years.
Indirect International Forces:
Globalization, Diffusion, and
the Snowball Effect
Demonstration Effects or
“Snowballing”

Democratization in one country can perhaps
lead to democratization in other countries.
Demonstration Effects or
“Snowballing”
Characteristics
1. More important in the third wave, due to
expanded communications and
transportation.
•
•
Travel and cultural exchange.
Communications technology to link with
outside world.
Demonstration Effects or
“Snowballing”
Characteristics
2. Tend to be clustered in particular regions.
• Portugal  Spain  Latin America.
• Philippines  South Korea.
• Eastern Europe 1989.
• Post-Communist “Colour Revolutions”.
• Current North Africa/ Middle East protest
movements.
Demonstration Effects or
“Snowballing”
Characteristics
3. Can jump from region to region, but weaker.
• Eastern Europe  Zaire & Nepal (incomplete
transitions).
Demonstration Effects or
“Snowballing”
Characteristics
4. Speed up and grow in importance during
wave of democratic transitions.
•
Pro-democracy movements elsewhere begin to
think democratization is natural outcome.
Demonstration Effects or
“Snowballing”
How important is it overall?
Not as important as domestic factors.
 However, some cases of snowballing where
no prior domestic support.

 E.g. Albania.
 But resulting democracy not stable.
International Norms and
Conventions
Governments sign international conventions
that demand democratic behaviour, with no
intention of complying.
 Domestic opposition forces then demand
compliance with international standards.

 E.g. USSR & Helsinki Accords (1975).
International Norms and
Conventions
 “Democracy” as universal international
norm.
 China, Iran, North Korea, Zimbabwe call
themselves democracies – potential fuel for
domestic mobilization.
 Now anti-democracy coalition developing to
change norm?
International Norms and
Conventions
 Desire to join international
organizations  incentive for
democratic consolidation.
 E.g. European Union candidates.

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