Governance in business and government
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Governance in Business and Government. Democratization. Democratisation. ‘ Democratisation studies examine and explain the processes whereby government, states and societies attempt to move away from some form of authoritarianism towards some form of democracy ’ (Grugel: 2002). Democracy.

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Governance in Business and Government

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Governance in Business and Government



  • ‘Democratisation studies examine and explain the processes whereby government, states and societies attempt to move away from some form of authoritarianism towards some form of democracy’ (Grugel: 2002)


  • ‘a mode of decision-making about collectively binding rules and policies over which the people exercise control, and the most democratic arrangement [is] that where all members of the collectivity enjoy effective equal rights to take part in such decision-making directly.’ (Beetham: 1992)

Democratisation in the Arab World

  • How did it all start?

    • On 17 December 2010, Mohamed Bouazizi, a poor vegetable seller had his cart confiscated and was humiliated by a policewomen in the town of Sidi Bouzid. Municipal officials refused to see him. Bouazizi doused himself in a flammable liquid and set fire to himself.

  • This was the catalyst for riots and protests in Tunisia which then spread across the Arab World to challenge other longstanding authoritarian regimes

Democratisation in the Arab World

  • Tunisia

    • After several weeks of anti government demonstrations, the Jasmine Revolution, President Ben Ali fled the country

    • 23 years in power

    • First interim PM too closely identified with old regime and replaced by opposition figures

    • Elections on 24 July to choose a constituent assembly to rewrite constitution

Democratisation in the Arab World

  • Egypt

    • Started with a protest demonstration on 25 January 2011 a national holiday to commemorate the police

    • From ‘a day of rage’ the protest movement moved towards demands for regime change

    • Daily mass protests focused on Tahrir Square

    • 3 March President Mubarak resigned after over 3 decades in office

    • Supposed to be a referendum on constitutional amendment in June followed by an election 6 weeks later

    • Over 400 killed

Democratisation in the Arab World

  • Libya

    • Protests began in Benghazi after police shot two men at a rally demanding the release of a human rights lawyer

    • Colonel Gaddafi (and family) in power for 40 years although he says People’s Committees’ and General People’s Congress rule

    • Developed into civil war

Scenes from the North African Uprisings

What caused the uprisings?

  • First, what DID NOT cause the uprisings:

    • No foreign agency

    • No Al Queda or associates

    • No religious-based ideology

    • No disaffected elites

    • No military participation

  • The democratic uprisings or revolutions came as a surprise – especially to foreign powers which had propped up authoritarian regimes

What caused the uprisings?

  • Poverty

  • Social exclusion

  • Demographic bulge of young people with no work

  • Corruption

  • Personal enrichment of leaders and cronies

  • Rising prices

  • Awareness of political alternatives

  • Lack of political freedoms

  • Feelings of relative deprivation

  • Higher levels of education

General observations: the events

  • The uprisings revealed disillusionment and anger across the region

  • Great structural tensions

  • Secular rather than religious character

  • Distributed leadership in uprisings

  • Coming together of different groups (classes, gender, ideologies)

  • Determination to take national control of history

  • Countries least effected made early concessions or had superior coercive powers

Future prospects

  • Egypt

    • Interim government

    • Working towards constitutional change

    • Elections keenly contested –Islamist President

    • Military a key in Egypt as other government institutions dysfunctional and subject to strikes

    • Muslim Brotherhood could do well in Egypt

    • Egypt still unsettled – riots going on – as people annoyed at slow pace of change and some anti-democratic decisions of the President


  • Most prosperous of the countries in North Africa

    • Former ruling party banned

    • Constitutional change

    • 100+ political parties registered

    • Elections in October 2011

    • 90% turn-out

    • Islamist victory BUT people don’t seem to want an Islamist state RATHER see Islamists as providing the cleanest break with corrupt authoritarian past


  • Murder of leading opposition politician in February 2013

  • Protests and counter protests

  • PM dissolved government and tried unsuccessfully to set up cabinet of technocrats

  • His party objected and he resigned

Future prospects

  • Libya

    • A civil war in Libya

    • Government forces fired live ammunition at protesters – more severe reaction than elsewhere

    • Extraordinary outpouring of hatred for Gaddafi regime from his grassroots opponents

    • Gaddafi forces included foreign mercenaries

    • Some Libyan military defected as rebels marched on to defeat Gaddafi

    • NATO support for rebels

    • Now interim government and patchwork of armed militias

    • Human rights abuses

    • Difficult to judge who has legitimacy and what system of government will emerge

Future prospects

  • Syria

    • President Assad took over from father in 2000 and promised reform

    • Little has changed including 1963 Emergency Law

    • Protests started in March 2011 and spread

    • At least 60,000 killed

    • Military deserters and some citizens turned struggle into armed conflict

    • Government calls them ‘terrorists and armed gangs’ and talks of ‘international conspiracy’

    • Arab League peace monitors no effect

    • Russia and China prevented action from UN

    • No sign of resolution

Future prospects

  • Protests still continue in countries across the region, most seriously in Yemen

  • Some regimes (eg Jordan, Algeria) have attempted to placate protesters by promising changes or bringing in the opposition to the political process (eg Bahrain)

  • After decades of authoritarianism there is a lack of democratic institutions – not only popularly elected parliaments but a free press, an independent civil society, freedom of speech

  • HOWEVER, these are authentically Arab uprisings that will find resolution within the countries concerned BUT in what ways we don’t know.

Hybrid regimes

  • Has been argued that after the Third Wave of democratisation, many regimes are hybrids

    • Not consolidated democracies

    • Elements of authoritarianism

  • Consolidation has occurred

    • Behaviourally when no significant groups are trying to overthrow democracy or secede

    • Attitudinally when the majority of citizens regard democratic forms as the best way to govern collective life

    • Constitutionally when the formal laws and rules are seen as the legitimate ways to resolve conflicts

Hybrid democracies

  • Diamond’s (2002) scheme of hybrid democracies

    • Liberal democracy

    • Electoral democracy

    • Ambiguous

    • Competitive authoritarian

    • Hegemonic closed authoritarian

    • Politically closed authoritarian

Regime Types in Southeast Asia 2001 and 2007

Numerical values = 2007 Freedom House scores for ‘political rights’ and ‘civil liberties’

On a scale of 1-7 where 1 is most free and 7 is least free

Deepening democracy

  • Democratic consolidation is rare in poor countries and UN and other organisations work to reduce ‘democratic deficits’ and ‘deepen democracy’ as measured by eg

    • Voter turn-out

    • Women in parliament

    • TU membership

    • NGOs

    • Open media

    • Transparency

    • Legal impartiality

    • Checks on chief executive

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