NON-DEMOCRACIES and TRANSITIONAL DEMOCRACIES Reading: Haynes: ?Non-democracies? (Sakai) Non-democracies are devoid of most conventional democratic credentials Category of non-democracy is a residual term: as it categorizes what countries lack in terms of representative political institutions. Two categories of Non-Democracies Authoritarian: E.g. Myanmar (military junta), Iraq under Saddam Hussein (kleptocracy) Gov?t claims to have the right to impose its values and decisions on its population, who do not have the right or means of responding or reacting freely. Majority of people are kept out of policy and decision-making processes Totalitarian: E.g. USSR, North Korea, Nazi Germany The state, through its instruments, dominates both the political and social systems. State sees no limit to its power Maintains power through ideology and propaganda Leader(s) have an all-pervasive presence- secret police, mass repression, surveillance Lack of civil society Characteristics of non-democracies: Power is the hands of a powerful individual or small elite group. Political system deny a political voice to ordinary citizens The armed forces have significant political voice Regime legitimacy is primarily measured in economic success rather than democratic accountability or representativeness 4 general types of nondemocratic regimes Communist Non-communist single-party states Personalist governments Military administrations 1. Communist E.g. China, Cuba, Laos, North Korea, Vietnam Government achieves power through a revolution Theoretical justification: only ?The Party? (communist) has the capacity to organize the defense of the revolution against counter-revolutionary forces, plan and oversee expansion of the forces of production and supervise the reconstruction of society. 2. Non-communist single-party states E.g. pre-2001 Mexico, pre-1998 Indonesia, many countries in Africa until 1990s Come to power by ballot box or coup d? étatLegitimacy is rooted in claimed ability to preside over satisfactory rates of economic development. 3. Personalistic regimes and Autocratic Monarchies E.g. countries in Middle East and North Africa (Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia UAE) Regimes are led by rulers who enjoy large amounts of personal power Countries often have substantial oil wealth and relatively poor populations Legitimacy is rooted in claim to ensure political stability and economic development. 4. Military Regimes E.g. until recently, military regimes could be found in Latin America, Asia and Africa Ruled by armed forces Some military gov?ts are dominated by a charismatic military officer, others are led by small groups of military personnel (juntas) Legitimacy is based on claim to be in power temporarily to rid country of corruption generated by civilian rule and put the state back in order. However, they are more often than not reluctant to leave office Although the number of military-led regimes have declined the military still plays a extremely dominant role in politics, often a civilian gov?t can only get elected and say in power with the support of military Institutional relationships between state and society in non-democratic regimes 1. Elections and Electoral Systems: In communist and single-party regimes, elections often still take place but are not competitive either because the party has such a control over the political process and over societal groups (Mexico?s PRI), no choice is offered, state-sanctioned candidates are simply presented to the voters for ritualistic approval (China, Cuba, former-USSR) or the candidates have to be approved of by the communist party (China at local level, and former communist Europe in 1980s and 1990s) In personalistic regimes/autocratic monarchies and military regimes, political parties and elections are rarely, if ever held. 2. Civil Society and Interest Groups: Typical civil society is weak and/or fragmented thus, ineffective counterweights to state power. Rulers see strong civil society organizations as potential threats to their position so they either co-opt them into the state power structure or repress them. Sometimes civil society can oust an authoritarian or totalitarian gov?t or at least encourage them to implement democratic reforms, but there needs to be constant pressure from below focused in and through a strong civil society (not one that is weak or fragmented). Also, since this can create political instability, it is necessary that robust electoral and institutional forms are put in place to institutionalize democratic government. 3. Political Society and Party Systems: Political parties other than the ruling parties are less significant under authoritarian and totalitarian regimes, either institutional and politically subservient or outlawed. 4. Constitutions and the Legal framework They are weak, often flouted or ignored by those in power because the kinds of constraints on rule that constitutions set out to identify are seldom recognized. Rulers typically keep the judiciary on a tight leash, particularly when there are important with political issues to decide. Structures of Government in Non-democracies 1. Subnational government Local government exists but its authority is typically weal and inconsequential. Local gov?t often functions merely as a local administration, a local expression of the power of the center, and does manage to have a role as a manifestation of local autonomy. Central and local power-holders are linked together by patronage. The national ruler procures the support of local big men by financial means- clientelistic relationship Center-local relations are often both more personal and less structures than the institutional relationships that characterize established democracies. 2. Legislatures Lack autonomous substance, often functioning instead as mere ?shadow institutions? Exist to offer at least a cosmetic legitimacy and they provide the bring to the fore citizens? grievances and ability to petition for local interest, helping to link state and society and offer the possibility of providing new recruits to the government. 3. Political Executive Unlike the legislature and judiciary, which are less autonomous under authoritarian rule in comparison to democratic states, the objective is to achieve as much power as possible for the national leader. Three categories: exclusionary, inclusionary and sultanistic (despotism) 4. The Bureaucracy Often more powerful compared to their political role under democratically elected governments. They fill the gap usually played by civil society in democratic regimes; they work hand in hand with the armed forces and often become a leading political and economic force because they can claim both technical expertise and can resist popular pressures Communist bureaucracies are heavily politicized and large in scale. Transitional Democracies Often times as a result of an authoritarian past are stuck in an a democratic limbo, remaining transitional in nature, exhibiting some democratic features yet, strongly influenced by a recent authoritarian past (persistence of clientelism, oligarchies) Often times, power monopolies held by an oligarchy remain power political forces. To democratize requires the removal from public policy making certain aspects of authoritarian rule, including a high degree of secretiveness, exaggerated distrust of public involvement and a tendency for the political executive to itself from constitutional constraint and a reordering of institutions from political culture to another. Challenges Transitional Democracies face: Adoption of new principles of both governance and economic management Develop robust national identity Restructure organs of national and local gov?t and develop institutional linkages Develop and embed society-wide democratic ?rules of the game? Decrease significance of armed forces Deal with opportunities and constraints resulting from enhanced regional and global interdependence.
Want to see the other 4 page(s) in Non-Democracies Handout.docx?JOIN TODAY FOR FREE!