comp politics lec 3

comp politics lec 3 - Monday Regime Types Democratic and...

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Monday – September 17, 2007 Regime Types – Democratic and Non-democratic I. Readings emphasize that democratic systems provide opportunities for participatio n in and equal representation by governing processes (note overlap in definitions, which are provided below) II. Readings emphasize the formal procedures (rules, laws) as well as common practices that provide these opportunities III. Readings emphasize/distinguish between “democratic institutions” and “democratic principles”; also, between “procedures” and “outcomes”; the readings focus on the former, and therefore do not emphasize the quality of democracy IV. Ultimately, a society is considered to be an established democracy when is has a high level of social and political institutionalization of those procedures (enumerated by Dahl, expanded by Karl and Schmitter, used by Freedom House , etc.) a. Vibrant civil society is considered crucial to institutionalization (see more on civil society below) b. While competition and contestation are considered fundamental to democracy, they can undermine stability , which is typically considered a marker of a highly functioning democratic system – how significant is this tension? Haynes on non-democratic regimes: While there are a variety of types of non-democracies , they are all identified by a lack of widespread participation and representation – they lack the formal political procedures and the political and social practices associated with democracies c. With non-democratic regimes: - power is in hands of an individual or small group - ordinary citizens are denied political voice - armed forces have significant power, may rule - legitimacy is measured not by representativeness or accountability, but by economic performance (or some other widely-accepted goal or value) d. Most non-democratic regimes are authoritarian , meaning that political systems are dominated by a small group who claim the right to impose rule and deny opportunities for contestation for political power. e.
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comp politics lec 3 - Monday Regime Types Democratic and...

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