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POL Notes - Comparative Politics Page 1 of 48 Sept 26, 2007...

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Comparative Politics – Page  1  of  59 Sept 26, 2007 Transitions to Democracy Socioeconomic pre-conditions  focus on the structure of the country. 1. Economic  pre-conditions  – Richer countries are more likely to democratize. Once  rich countries democratize, they remain that way. In order to democratize, you need support from the masses. Without general support,  democracy can not last. Trust in government, citizens etc. You need these cultural pre-requisites. If you don’t  have these pre-requisites, democracy won’t last. Democratic cultures makes democracy  work and succeed. Why do people support democracy? Cultural democracy has strong policies that need  to be followed. Political analysts analyze which countries are capable of sustaining  democracy and which are not; which countries should be funded and supported and  which should be not.  Example : Iraq- people are not ready for democracy, therefore it  won’t establish. At the same time, we cannot use this theory alone to support the  current situation.  2. Focus on the existing regime and what happens to it-  Look at what is going on in  detail. What is the current government up to?  International Legitimacy -  Do outsiders accept the regime in power? Domestic Legitimacy - Do people of the country accept the regime in power? Example:  Russia; you are providing us with economic growth and development; therefore we will  support your government. Example: Afghanistan after the Soviet rule. The Talebans  stabilized the country after all the civil wars were over. People supported them despite  of the harsh laws etc.  A government losing legitimacy : Losing a war, people gaining education, international  context (regimes around this country), shifting international alliances, harsh repressions  and human rights violations, famine (ultimate) although people would be more 
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Comparative Politics – Page  2  of  59 interested in finding food. Also when a split emerges between the hardliners and the  softliners in the ruling regime.  3. Focus on the opposition – Active opposition to the regime. In order to attain a  democratic transition, you need a civil society. The opposition needs to be civil. The  opposition should make demands, example: the right to express views, the right to a  labor union etc.  Is the opposition unified? Often, the oppositions are not unified; the resistances may be  separate (Allo Allo). The oppositions should work together in order to change the  system into a democratic one.  4. Role of individuals-  Are individuals inclined to resort to violence or are they not  inclined to resort to violence? The role of an individual is extremely important. Would 
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This note was uploaded on 04/21/2008 for the course POL V53.0500 taught by Professor Joshuatucker during the Fall '07 term at NYU.

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POL Notes - Comparative Politics Page 1 of 48 Sept 26, 2007...

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