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Renewing Global Democratic Progress. To Advance Democratic Consolidation and Prevent a Reverse Wave of Democratic Breakdowns. The Democratic Boom. In 1974 there were only about 40 democracies in the world (27 percent of all independent states) By 1984, there were 60 (36%)

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Renewing Global Democratic Progress

To Advance Democratic Consolidation and Prevent a Reverse Wave of Democratic Breakdowns

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The Democratic Boom

  • In 1974 there were only about 40 democracies in the world (27 percent of all independent states)

  • By 1984, there were 60 (36%)

  • By 1990 there were 76 (46%)

  • Then the Berlin Wall came crashing down:

    • 1991: 91 democracies (50%)

    • 1995: 117 democracies (61%)

    • 1999: 120 democracies (63%)

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A Tidal Wave of Transitions

  • Since 1974, 99 countries (of a total of 196 that have existed in this period) made transitions to democracy.

  • 68 of the existing authoritarian states in 1974 (62%) became democracies during this period (at least for some period of time)

  • 21 of the 27 new, postcolonial states became democracies (78%)

  • 12 of the 20 new post-communist states (60%)

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The Globalization of Democracy

  • During this period, democracy became a global phenomenon. Today:

  • 30 of 33 Latin Am states are democracies (91%)

  • 18 of 28 in Eastern Europe and FSU (64%)

  • 9-10 of 25 in Asia (36-40%) (Bangladesh?)

  • (+9 of 12 Pacific Island)

  • 23 of 48 in Sub-Saharan Africa (48%) (or less?)

  • But only 2 of 19 in the Middle East

  • And there are no Arab democracies today in the ME

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Democracy by Region, 2007

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Freedom by Region, 1974 and 2006

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Freedom Scores of 43 Muslim-Majority States

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Some Facts About Democracy & Development (2008)

  • Of the 22 countries ranking low on the latest UNDP Human Development Index (HDI, for 2005), 9 (41%) are democracies

  • Of the next 37 countries (low-medium HDI), 14 (38%) are democracies

  • In all, 39% (23 of 59) relatively poor countries are democracies today

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The Democratic Recession

  • Since 1999, the proportion of democracies in the world has essentially stagnated, oscillating between about 60 and 62.5 percent.

  • But the number of democratic breakdowns has increased. Of the 24 democratic breakdowns since 1974, 16 (2/3) have occurred since 1999.

  • These have come in some very strategic states:

    Pakistan, Russia, Nigeria, Venezuela. In 2007: Bangladesh, the Philippines, and Kenya.

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Ratio of Gains to Declines in Freedom, 1991-2007

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Oil & Democracy Don’t Mix

  • About 23 countries derive more than 60 percent of their exports earnings from oil and gas exports

  • 12 of these are in the Middle East, 7 in Africa (e.g. Nigeria, Angola, Chad, Gabon, and Sudan), and also Russia, Azerbaijan, Brunei, and Venezuela.

  • Not a single one of these 23 is a democracy.

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Public Support for Democracy: 1Broad but thin

% who say “Democracy is Always Preferable”

62% in Africa (2005, 18 countries) (69% in 2000)

60% in East Asia (ca. 2002)

64% in South Asia (2004)

53% in Latin America (2007)

53% in Eastern Europe (2004)

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Public Support for Democracy: 2

  • Broad rejection of military rule:

    73% in Africa, 83% in E Asia, 60% in S. Asia, 62% in Latin America

  • But significant percentages in many countries entertain authoritarian options

  • Only about half in East Asia and Africa reject all authoritarian options

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The Philippines in TroubleDecline in Public Support: 2001 to 2005

Democracy is always preferable: 64% to 51%

Democ is suitable for our country 80% to 57%

Satisfaction w/way democ works: 54% to 39%

Reject authoritarian strong leader: 70% to 59%

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Nigeria in TroubleDeclines In Public Support, 2000-2005

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Why Democracy is in Danger

  • Weak Rule of Law

    • Corruption, abuse of power

    • Abuse of ind rights, impunity

    • Violence, criminality, lawlessness

      2. Poor Economic Performance

    • Poverty, inequality, injustice

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Why Democracy is in Danger 2

3. Ethnic & religious divisions

4. Weak & Ineffective Political Institutions (parties, parliaments, systems of horizontal accountability)

5. Weak constraints on authoritarian leaders (civil society, intl actors)


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Renewing Democratic Progress& Consolidating Fragile Democracies

Key Goal: Foster Good Governance

  • State Capacity

  • Commitment to the Public Good

  • Transparency and Accountability

  • Rule of Law

  • Participation and Dialogue

  • Social Capital (Civil Society)

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Political Will: The Essential Condition

  • “Political will” is the commitment of a country’s rulers to democratic and good governance reforms, and their readiness to incur the costs necessary to adopt and implement these reforms.

  • In badly governed states, the central challenge is to generate the political will to improve governance, control corruption, and generate real development

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Getting SeriousStrategic Principles for Intl Actors

  • Make support for the defense and consolidation of existing (weak) democracies a higher priority—they are at risk of regression or failure.

  • Expand programs to monitor, engage, and support fragile democracies, and to strengthen democratic forces and institutions within them.

  • Increase assistance to strengthen democratic institutions, with better strategic assessment of priorities, greater utilization of non-governmental instruments (like NED), and a longer-term approach to assist civil society.

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Strategic Principles Cont.

  • Increase aid to NGOs, think tanks, and associations working to monitor and improve the quality of governance in recipient countries—with a high priority on controlling corruption.

  • Link overall levels of international assistance more clearly to a country’s development performance and its will for good governance reform.

  • Grant rewards for demonstrated performance, not for promises made and broken.

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Strategic Principles, cont.

  • Condition general budgetary support for governments on good governance, or implementation of institutional reforms.

  • Where the will to reform is completely lacking, reduce assistance to governments and channel aid mainly through NGOs or direct projects.

  • DO NOT SUBSIDIZE systemic corruption and bad governance.

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Strategic Principles cont.

  • International donors, bilateral and multilateral, must coordinate their policies and strategies to enhance the incentives for good governance and the penalties for bad governance.

  • Where committed reformers can be identified within the state, work with them.

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Strategic Principles cont.

  • Enhance state technical and administrative capacity, but not in states that lack the political will to improve governance. (Study the record of judicial reform).

  • Strengthen the international rule of law: close off corrupt flows of money, crack down on international criminal networks, build the ICC.

  • Reinforce regional and institutional efforts to strengthen and defend democracies (CD, OAS, AU APRM, OSCE, UN)

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Strategic Principles, cont.

  • Increase funding for democracy assistance programs, and increase overall development assistance, but set tough standards; don’t “grade on a curve.”

  • Craft a viable and sustainable strategy for promoting democratic reform in the Arab world. This must include serious leverage (e.g., conditioning aid to Egypt) and talking to moderate Islamists who commit to the democratic rules of the game.

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Strategic Principles, cont.

  • “Physician Heal Thyself”: the U.S. and Europe must improve the quality, fairness, and transparency of their own democracies, so that they become more worthy of emulation.

    * rein in abuse of power

    * fight corruption more vigorously

    * make elections more competitive

    * transcend partisan polarization

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