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Plan for Today: What do we mean by democracy? PowerPoint PPT Presentation


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Plan for Today: What do we mean by democracy?. Introducing two types of definitions of democratic regimes. Outlining implications of choosing different definitions of democracy. Clarifying some things that democracy is not . Democracy. Demos = people -cracy = “rule”.

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Plan for Today: What do we mean by democracy?

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Plan for Today:What do we mean by democracy?

Introducing two types of definitions of democratic regimes.

Outlining implications of choosing different definitions of democracy.

Clarifying some things that democracy is not.


Democracy

  • Demos = people

  • -cracy = “rule”


“Regime” vs. “State,” “Government”

  • “State”:territorially defined political entity, like “country.”

  • “Government”: collection of particular leaders fulfilling governing positions at any one time.

  • “Regime”: Set of rules & institutions defining political system.


Procedural Definitions

Substantive, “Outcome”-focused Definitions

Different types of definitions of democracy

Minimal electoral definitions

More complex procedural definitions

(“liberal democracy”)

Maximalist definitions


Procedural Definitions

  • Focus on process and rules defining democracy.

  • Most common definitions today in study of democratization.


Procedural Definitions

Complex

Minimalist

Democracy = competitive elections

Additional institutions and/ or liberty protections required


Minimalist Electoral Definitions

  • Define democracy by process used to make up governing institutions.

  • Require only multi-candidate, competitive elections.


Minimalist Electoral Definitions

  • Joseph Schumpeter’s (1943) definition: “individuals acquire the power to decide by means of a competitive struggle for the people’s vote.”

  • Also Przeworski, Huntington


“The fallacy of electoralism”(Terry Karl)

  • The belief that elections equal democracy.


“Electoral democracies”

  • Regimes that have minimal competitive elections, but no other democratic institutions.


More Complex Procedural Definitions

  • Institutions or guarantees of freedoms, as well as elections, must exist to call regime democratic.

    • E.g. Liberal definitions of democracy.


“Illiberal Democracies”(Fareed Zakaria)

  • Everyone has the right to vote among multiple candidates, but human rights and individual liberties are not well observed.

  • Examples: Russia, other post-Soviet, Nigeria, Venezuela.


Complex Procedural Definitions Examples of Institutional Requirements

  • Checks & balances, separation of powers:legislative, executive, & judicial organs separated.

  • Rule of law:legal rules applied fairly and consistently to all citizens.

  • Guaranteed protection of minorities.


Complex Procedural Definitions Examples

  • Robert Dahl’s definition of “Polyarchy”:

    • opposition – contestation through elections.

    • participation – the equal right of all adults to vote and run for office.

  • Includes certain civil liberties, argued to be essential.


Complex Procedural Definitions Examples

  • Schmitter & Karl:Dahl’s requirements plus a few more:

    • Elected leaders must not be subject to veto from unelected officials.

    • Elected officials must be able to make binding decisions without approval of foreign actors.


Complex Procedural Definitions Examples

  • Larry Diamond adds many institutions for protecting liberal democracy:

    • Constitution.

    • Civil society.

    • Independent media.

    • Independent judiciary.


Procedural Definitions

Substantive, “Outcome”-focused Definitions

Different types of definitions of democracy

Minimal electoral definitions

More complex procedural definitions

(“liberal democracy”)

Maximalist definitions


Substantive Definitions of Democracy

  • Demand that democratic regime must succeed in providing outcomes that promote equality among citizens.


Substantive DefinitionsExamples

  • Participatory democracy or deliberative democracy.

  • e.g. Benjamin Barber: “strong democracy in the participatory mode.”


Substantive DefinitionsExamples

  • Equal socio-economic outcomes.

  • e.g. Ann Phillips(feminist): outcomes should allow all women to have equal chance with men at participating.

    • Social and economic inequalities prevent.

    • Actual participation most important measure of democracy.


Procedural Definitions

Substantive, “Outcome”-focused Definitions

Different types of definitions of democracy

Minimal electoral definitions

More complex procedural definitions

(“liberal democracy”)

Maximalist definitions


Is democracy a continuous or dichotomous variable?

  • Dichotomous = 2 values or categories

  • Continuous = a spectrum of infinite measures, not separated into distinct categories


What democracy is not – Not all good things go together(Schmitter & Karl)

  • Not necessarily capitalism or economic freedoms.

  • Not necessarily more orderly, stable, or consensual than nondemocracy.


Diamond on stability:

  • Democracy depends on minimal coercion and maximum consent.

  • Results in three constant paradoxes re: stability:


Diamond: 3 paradoxes related to stability

  • Conflict vs. consensus. There must be disagreements and opposition in order to allow competition…Yet not too much disagreement!


Diamond: 3 paradoxes related to stability

  • Representativeness vs. governability. Governments must be responsive to constituencies, yet must be able to govern effectively.


Diamond: 3 paradoxes related to stability

  • Consent vs. effectiveness.

    • Democracy requires consent.

    • Consent based on legitimacy.

    • Legitimacy based on effectiveness.

    • Effectiveness requires unpopular decisions.


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