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Transitions to Democracy; Democracy & Elections. Updates:. Do not forget (i) weekly contributions & (ii) final papers Also, updates & comments on final papers (later this week) As well as updates/changes in the topics + reading list Final & final papers due: Monday, January 22, 5 PM, Schuman.

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  • Do not forget (i) weekly contributions & (ii) final papers
  • Also, updates & comments on final papers (later this week)
  • As well as updates/changes in the topics + reading list
  • Final & final papers due: Monday, January 22, 5 PM, Schuman
gender imbalance selected countries wikipedia
Gender imbalance, selected countries (Wikipedia)
  • Male/female ratio (over 65):
  • Russia 0.46
  • Latvia 0.48
  • Ukraine 0.52
  • World 0.79 (birth: 1.06; 15-64: 1.03)
  • G7: 0.70–0.75 (birth: 1.05-1.07; 15-64: 1.00-1.04)
  • Kuwait 1.71 (birth: 1.04; 15-64: 1.77)
  • U Arab Emirates 2.73 (birth: 1.05; 15-64: 1.55)
  • Qatar 2.84 (birth: 1.05; 15-64: 2.24)
i revolution
i. Revolution
  • Radical, long-term reconstruction of the political, social and economic order
  • Examples: France, Russia, China (possibly U.S. and Iran)
revolution three stages
Revolution = three stages

State breakdown

Struggle for power

State reconstruction

theories of revolution
Theories of Revolution
  • Social & psychological explanations: individual- rather than societal-level explanation
  • Political-structural approach: what really matters are broad structural conditions
social psychological theories
Social & psychological theories
  • Relative vs. absolute deprivation

Absolute deprivation →

struggle for survival

  • Relative deprivation: when people feel they receive less than what they deserve
social psychological theories relevance
Social-psychological theories: relevance
  • Perception more important than condition itself!


  • Relative deprivation: necessary, rather than sufficient condition
  • A theory of violence, rather than revolutions?
structural approach
Structural approach
  • What matters are structural conditions
  • Revolutions occur in a state
    • weak internationally and
    • ineffective domestically
ii third wave
ii. “Third Wave”
  • Huntington: three democratic “waves”
  • 1820s-1920s: first, long wave
  • 1922: first “reverse wave”
  • WWII – 1962: second wave
  • 1960s – early 1970s: second “reverse wave”
  • 1974 – Third Wave (# of electoral democracies increased threefold since)
third wave why
“Third Wave”: why?
  • Causes: internal & external
  • Internal:
    • “performance legitimacy” problems

(is lack of performance a bigger problem in a non-democratic regime than in a democratic one?)

    • economic growth
external international environment
External: International environment

* External actors (EU, Soviet Union, United States)

Eastern Europe: from Brezhnev Doctrine to “Sinatra Doctrine”

* Changing role/doctrine of Catholic Church: liberation theology

* “Snowballing”

democratic transitions
Democratic Transitions

* Liberalization: opening of an authoritarian regime (without becoming democratic)

*Democratic transition: moving from an authoritarian regime to a democratic one

Beginning: first signs of collapse or negotiating exit

End: first freely elected government takes office

*Democratic consolidation: democracy has become “the only game in town”

Huntington: the two-turnover test

iii elections democracy lindberg
iii. Elections & Democracy (Lindberg)
  • Questions:
  • What is Lindberg’s major point?
  • Is it a theoretical point? Empirical? Both?
  • How does he go about “proving” it?
  • How convincing do you think he is?
  • If you are not persuaded, why is that the case? What would persuade you?
comments reactions to lindberg i
Comments/reactions to Lindberg I:

“[Lindberg] argued that elections are in and of themselves largely insignificant to democratization.”

Lindberg, first paragraph:

“In 2002, Thomas Carothers […] argued that elections are in and of themselves largely insignificant to democratization.”

comments reactions to lindberg ii
Comments/reactions to Lindberg II:

“The holding of elections is an indicator of democratization.”

“The center statement of this text is that holding of elections is an indicator of democratization.”

Lindberg, second paragraph:

“This begs the question: Is there a value inherent in the holding of elections, or is the holding of elections merely an indicator of democratization? I believe that the former is the case.”

african elections significance
African elections: significance?
  • Challenge the mainstream scholarly view of elections
  • (Why Africa?)
  • An empirical test: elections → democracy
  • How do elections promote democracy?




elections democracy
Elections & Democracy

 Positive view: elections = hallmark of democracy

 Skeptical view: little value for democracy

Elections – in and of themselves insignificant for democracy

lindberg s argument
Lindberg’s argument

Elections are not just a mere indicator of democracy

There is an inherent value in holding elections:

Elections → Democracy


More elections → More democracy

“Measure” for democracy:

e.g., Freedom House scores:

Democracy = Political Rights + Civil Liberties

Is this measure tautological?

freedom house s political rights checklist
Freedom House’s Political Rights checklist

A. Electoral Process:

1. Head of state and/or head of government elected through free and fair elections?

2. Legislative representatives elected through free and fair elections?

Yes, the measure is tautological

Avoiding tautology:

Democracy ≈ Civil Liberties

freedom house s civil liberties checklist
Freedom House’s Civil Liberties checklist:
  • Freedom of Expression and Belief

(e.g., free & independent media and other forms of cultural expression)

  • Associational and Organizational Rights

(e.g., freedom of assembly, demonstration, and open public discussion )

  • Rule of Law

(e.g., an independent judiciary)

  • Personal Autonomy and Individual Rights

(e.g., gender equality)

how do elections promote democracy
How do elections promote democracy?

1) “Citizens become voters”

2) “Democratic lock-in mechanisms”

3) “Self-fulfilling prophecies”

4) “Civic Organizations”

5) “New roles for state institutions”

6) “Media”

iv final paper
iv. Final paper
  • 10-20 pages long (excluding notes, bibliography, tables, figures, appendices)
  • Double-spaced, Times New Roman 12
  • Highly recommended:

King, “Battling the Six Evil Geniuses of Essay Writing”

[McCubbins, “Guide to Writing a Scientific Paper”]

criteria for evaluation
Criteria for evaluation
  • Clear thesis
  • Quality of argumentation
  • Quality of writing
  • Logical consistency
  • Argument ↔ Evidence (connection)
  • Only relevant arguments and information & evidence included
  • Make good use of relevant literature
economic development democracy
Economic development ↔ Democracy
  • Is there a relationship between development and democracy?
  • If so, why is that the case, and what is the nature of this relationship?
  • Causal (endogenous):

Economic development → Democracy

b) Exogenous (ED sustains democracy, but does not make a country democratic)