Lecture 10 October 20

Lecture 10 October 20 - Today in Comparative Politics...

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Unformatted text preview: Today in Comparative Politics Culture and the Evolution of Democracy Do we need a civic culture for democracy to take hold and thrive? Is there a best religion for encouraging democratic development? Are some religions incompatible with democracy? Transitions to, and toward, democracy Revolutions from below Collective action problems A Civic Culture? Almond and Verba, The Civic Culture, 1965 For Almond and Verba, culture is how individuals think and feel about the political system. Whether individuals believe they can influence political decisions. Whether they feel positive toward the political system. Whether they believe citizens are trustworthy. Whether they prefer gradual or revolutionary societal change. Only participant or civic culture is compatible with democracy. A Civic Culture? Inglehart studied 25 industrialized countries and found that countries with high levels of life satisfaction and interpersonal trust, as well as low support for revolutionary change were more stable democracies. He too concluded that civic culture was necessary for democracy. R. Inglehart and C. Welzel, Modernization, Cultural Change and Democracy , 2005, p. 64 Modern studies Improvement on Mill and Montesquieu because they say what it is about culture that matters. Things like life satisfaction, interpersonal trust, and support for gradual change dont seem to be correlated ; that is, these attitudes and beliefs dont necessarily go together as the studies claim. But what is the causal relationship between economic development, culture, and democracy? Taking his cue from cultural modernization theory, Inglehart argues that economic development produces cultural change, which in turn leads to democracy. But subsequent empirical work has shown that it is experience with democratic institutions that causes a democratic or civic culture rather than the other way around. Democratic history Just one example: Staffan Lindberg, Democracy and Elections in Africa , 2006 Holding elections seems to improve civil liberties. Freedom of expression Rule of law And support for them After at least three de jure contested elections, probability of a democratic breakdown in the future falls considerably. Regardless of the quality of these elections Surveys and Democracy Hard to use surveys to study the emergence of democracy because surveys would need to be conducted in dictatorships. Even if surveys were allowed in dictatorships, would the respondents reveal their true preferences? A common problem with all surveys is that individuals in different countries often understand the same question in vastly different ways. Shaky ground Claim: certain cultures are simply more conductive to democratic values than others....
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This note was uploaded on 02/20/2012 for the course 790 104 taught by Professor Staff during the Spring '08 term at Rutgers.

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Lecture 10 October 20 - Today in Comparative Politics...

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