3.6-3.8lapol

3.6-3.8lapol - Latin American Politics March 6 2007...

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Latin American Politics 06/03/2007 16:33:00 March 6, 2007 – Democratization In 1980s, prospects for democracy began to look less bleak In late 1970s there were some returns to democracy Part of a broader, global swing to democracy, beginning w/ Greece in 1974 About 30 countries in all transitioned from democracy b/w 1975-1990 “Third wave of democratization” (Samuel Huntington) 1) Why do we have transition at all? 2) are there differences in types of transition? We need definitions Minimal definition: Maximal definition: free and fair elections, freedom of association for all interests, civilian control of military, absence of discrimination, etc. o Under this interest, no LA countries would be ‘democratic’ Middle definition Contestation of policy Participation of citizenry (voting, protests, other types of collective action) Accountability of rulers to the ruled Civilian control over military What is at stake with our definitions?
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We want one that is not too broad, but we also want one that allows us to distinguish b/w those that are democratic and those that are not How do our theories explain shift to democracy? Modernization theory doesn’t help: more developed and less developed states made the transition; so, we don’t know if development causes democracy or if democracy causes development o Argentina and Peru saw declines, yet became democratic; Chile grew, but middle class did not Dependency theory doesn’t work, since it would predict democracy only in cases where country withdrew from world Cultural approaches don’t work either o Wiarda argued that Latin American culture was intrinsically authoritarian o Cultural would argue that Catholicism/hierarchy is incompatible with democracy We may want to abandon our search for general preconditions to democracy and instead focus on individual interactions Transitions can be attributed to confluence of internal and external factors External factors 1) Shift in US foreign policy, beginning in 1974 1974: House subcommittee ties human rights amendments to new trade pacts these amendments were applied selectively and where they did not interfere with US interests President Carter emphasizes human rights and places it on world agenda Reagan shifted away from human rights, but over time (and under pressure from Congress) Reagan administration became more human rights-friendly and less inclined to support military regimes Financial support for opposition parties, support for fair elections, and military aid for democratically elected governments helped promote new US view o Also, ambassadors were very significant in mediating differences b/w opposition groups and military governments Washington was very selective about when and how LA regimes would be pressured
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Pressures were most effective when regimes were weakest 2) End of Cold War end of CW undermined communist models, and made democratic liberalism
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This note was uploaded on 04/08/2008 for the course POLS W4461 taught by Professor O'neal during the Spring '07 term at Columbia.

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3.6-3.8lapol - Latin American Politics March 6 2007...

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