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Demo S08 Syll Final

Demo S08 Syll Final - COLLEGE OF THE HOLY CROSS...

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COLLEGE OF THE HOLY CROSS DEMOCRATIZATION Political Science 258 Professor Vickie Langohr Spring 2008 326 Fenwick TTh 2-3:15 p.m. 793-2763 [email protected] The term “democratization” refers to the process of transforming an authoritarian political system – in which leaders are not chosen in free elections and rights to engage in political activity are severely limited - to a democratic political system in which citizens can hold political leaders accountable through regular, fair elections and political and civil rights are protected. As leaders and citizens in many countries in Latin America, Eastern Europe, and Africa have tried to transform their authoritarian regimes into democracies over the last three decades, the study of democratization has become one of the most active areas in comparative politics. Some of the questions central to the study of democratization - can any country, regardless of its history, become democratic, and are certain cultures inherently anti-democratic? – have also become central to American foreign policy, as their answers affect the ultimate success of American interventions in Afghanistan and Iraq. In this course we will cover a wide variety of theories about factors which facilitate or hamper democratization and assess their usefulness in understanding developments in Indonesia, Nigeria, Iraq, and China. The Indonesian and Nigerian cases have been chosen specifically because they are countries which have dealt – with varying levels of success – with many of the key challenges that face post-invasion Iraq. These include: x How, if at all, does being a Muslim-majority country affect chances for democratization? Very few Muslim-majority countries are democracies, but in Indonesia - the world’s largest Muslim country – Islamic political groups played a key role in bringing about democratization. We will use the case of Indonesia to test the validity of common theories connecting Islam and authoritarian rule: does Indonesia disprove these theories, or does Indonesia’s practice of Islam not demonstrate the characteristics which are deemed to hinder democracy in most other Muslim countries? These questions are of great relevance to the potential democratization of Iraq, an overwhelmingly Muslim country in which a coalition of Shi’ite Islamic groups holds the majority of seats in parliament. x Do countries whose economies depend heavily on oil or natural resources – like Nigeria, Indonesia, and Iraq - find democratization particularly hard? An equally important question for Nigeria and Iraq regards the distribution of oil revenues among citizens. If, as in both countries, oil resources make up the
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vast majority of state revenue but are concentrated in only some parts of the country, what is the fairest and most practical way to distribute these resources so that those living in areas without oil are not left out and encouraged to resort to violence to reallocate resources in their favor? Nigeria
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