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Political and Economic Change

Political and Economic Change

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Political and Economic Change

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  1. Political and Economic Change Dr. Afxendiou AP Comparative Government and Politics Sachem North High School

  2. Where are we? Unit I – Introduction to Comparative Politics • Sovereignty, Authority and Power • Political Institutions • Citizens, Society and the State • Political and Economic Change • Public Policy • Comparison: Sources and Analysis of Data

  3. Τypes of change • REFORM – does not advocate the overthrow of basic institutions. Reformers are only seeking to change some of the methods that political and economic leaders use to reach their goals. Examples?

  4. Τypes of change • REVOLUTION – involves a major revision or a total overthrow of basic institutions. • What basic institutions did the Industrial Revolution change? • What basic institutions did the French Revolution change?

  5. Τypes of change • COUP D’ ETATS – French expression meaning “blows to the state.” They replace the leadership of a state. Typically occur in countries with weak government institutions and where the leaders have taken over by force. They use force to depose leaders. Usually carried out by the military. • Are you aware of any coup d’ etats?

  6. Attitudes toward change • RADICALISM – believe that RAPID, dramatic changes need to be made in society, including the political system • Radicals believe that the existing system cannot be saved therefore it must be overturned and replaced with something better. Can you think of an example of radicals bringing change?

  7. Attitudes toward change • LIBERALISM – support reform and gradual change rather than revolution. • Liberals do not think that the political and/or economic systems are permanently broken, they believe that they can be repaired or improved. They support the notion that eventual transformation needs to take place but they almost always believe that GRADUAL CHANGE is best.

  8. Attitudes toward change • CONSERVATISM – less supportive of change than radicals and liberals • Conservatives tend to see change as disruptive and sometimes brings unforeseen consequences. They consider the state and the regime to be very important sources of law and order that might be threatened by making significant changes in the way they operate. Change might undermine legitimacy and/or the basic values of the society

  9. Attitudes toward change • REACTIONARY beliefs – even more against change than conservatives. • Reactionaries are similar to conservatives in that they oppose both revolution and reform, but they differ in that they also find the status quo unacceptable. Instead, they want to turn back the clock to an earlier era, the good old days, and reinstate political, social and economic institutions that once existed. Similar with radicals in their willingness to use violence to achieve their goals.


  11. Democratization • Democracy takes many forms but one essential requirement in any country calling itself democratic is the presence of COMPETITIVE ELECTIONS that are regular, free, and fair. • By this definition, some countries that call themselves democracies are in a sort of grey area as they are not clearly holding competitive elections. • From our AP 6, Russia and Nigeria are in the grey area

  12. Democratization • LIBERAL DEMOCRACIES – countries that go beyond the basic requirement of competitive elections. They have other democratic characteristics such as: • Civil liberties – freedom of belief, speech and assembly • Rule of law - provides for equal treatment of citizens and due process • Neutrality of the judiciary – checks on the abuse of power • Open civil society – allows citizens to lead private lives and mass media to operate independently from government • Civilian control of the military – restricts the likelihood of the military taking control of the government

  13. Democratization • LIBERAL DEMOCRACIES (continued) • Also called substantive democracies • Substantive democracies – citizens have access to multiple sources of information

  14. Democratization • ILLIBERAL DEMOCRACIES – have democratic procedures in place but have significant restrictions on them • Also called procedural democracies • ex. Rule of law may be in place but it is not followed consistently by those who are in power • Presidents often hold disproportionate share of power and the legislatures are less able to check executive power.

  15. Democratization • ILLIBERAL DEMOCRACIES (continued) • Elections lack true competitiveness. Political parties and interest groups are restricted. • Some political theorists do not view them at all as democracies, they prefer to refer to the system as “electoral authoritarianism”

  16. Democratization • The presence of a procedural democracy is a necessary condition for the development of substantive democracy, but many procedural democracies do not qualify as substantive democracies because they are missing the other necessary characteristics

  17. FareedZakaria •

  18. Illiberal Democracy and Vladimir Putin’s Russia

  19. Why has democratization occurred? • The 3rd wave of democratization at present (Samuel Huntington) • Began in 1970s • First wave the gradual historical developments over time (think Magna Carta) • Second wave after WWII until the 1960s – the period of de-colonization

  20. Why has democratization occurred? • The 3rd wave of democratization • Began with end of dictatorial regimes beginning in the 1970s in South America, in Eastern Europe in early 1990s (there was some change in the 1980s, ex. Poland), and some parts of Africa throughout this time period

  21. Why has democratization occurred? • Again, according to S. Huntington – the 3rd wave of democratization occurred because • Both right and left wing authoritarian regimes have lost legitimacy • There has been an expansion of the urban middle class in developing countries • There has been a new emphasis on human rights by the US and EU • There has been a snowball effect – when one country in a region becomes democratic it influences others to do so as well.

  22. Democratic Consolidation • An authoritarian regime may transition to a democratic one as a result of a “trigger event,” such as an economic crisis or a military defeat. • It may have a gradual transition caused by political discontent “the revolution of rising expectations” • fueled by a period of relative improvement in the standard of living

  23. Democratic Consolidation • The changes that occur because of this may not necessarily be democratic • system changes to a democratic one only when the ruling elite accept to share power with the people and the people are willing to participate and support the process – DEMOCRATIC CONSOLIDATION • Democratic consolidation creates a stable political system that is supported by all parts of the society. All institutions and many people participate so that democracy penetrates political parties, the judiciary and the bureaucracy. The military cooperates with political leaders and subordinates its will to the democratically-based government • A state that progresses from a procedural democracy to a substantive democracy through democratic consolidation is said to experience POLITICAL LIBERALIZATION – it is now a liberal democracy.

  24. What is the greatest obstacle to democratization? • Discuss

  25. Move toward market economies • Market economies characterized by economic liberalism • Market economy – right to own property; private industry; competition and profit not controlled by government • Economic liberalism – economic freedoms; economic goals should be free of government interference

  26. Move toward market economies • Political scientists examine the relationship between marketization and democratization • Disagreement if there is causation • Often the two are found together • Mexico – exemption. Moved toward market economy in the 1980s and democratization followed in the late 1980s • China – exemption. Moving toward capitalism since late 1970s and there is no sign of democratization

  27. Move toward market economies • Liberalism – ideas that began in the 19th century. Liberals supported political and economic freedoms; they were the bourgeoisie • Bourgeoisie – middle class professionals or businessmen who wanted their views to be represented in government and their economic goals to be unhampered by government interference. Believed in political freedoms – of religion, press, assembly – and the rule of law, and economic freedoms such as the right to own private property, free trade with low or no tariffs.

  28. Move toward market economies • Radicals - believed that liberals accepted too much inequality in their society as long as they had their rights. Radicals emphasized equality more than liberty. • Karl Marx – a radical whose came up with theories of communism applied in communist countries of the 20th century. • Communist countries – in order to achieve more equality, these countries relied on command economy • Command economy – government owns almost all industries and sales outlets. Based on socialist principles of centralized planning, quota-setting, and state ownership so that economy is managed by a party-dominated state planning committee which produces detailed blueprints for economic production and distribution, often in the form of five-year plans.

  29. Move toward market economies • All societies of the 21st century are moving toward market economies • Market economies – based on private ownership of property and little interference from government regulation • Economic liberalization – the process of limiting the power of the state over private property and market forces

  30. Move toward market economies • What type of market economy will be more successful, a mixed economy or a pure market economy? • Mixed economy – allows for significant control from the central government

  31. Move toward market economies • Factors that promoted the movement toward market economies (marketization): • Belief that the government is too big – reaction to command economies where the government, in order to take care of all issues in the economy grew in size. In the 1980s during a time of economic stagnation, in the US and other western countries there were anti-big government movements as a solution out of the economic problems.

  32. Move toward market economies • Factors that promoted the movement toward market economies (marketization): • Lack of success of command economies – once the Soviet Union collapsed, Eastern European countries moved their economies away from command towards market economies; the Soviet Union was seen as proof of the ineffectiveness of the command economy model. China, a big command economy that was almost near economic collapse in the 1970s, infused capitalism into its system that is today an economically successful socialist market economy.

  33. Move toward market economies • Marketization- a state’s re-creation of its market system where property, labor, goods and services function in a competitive environment to determine their value. • Privatization- the transfer of state owned property to private ownership

  34. Move toward market economies • A disadvantage of the free market economy is that it goes through cycles of prosperity and scarcity • Recessions – small market downturns • Depressions – big market downturns But the market will correct itself eventually following the adjustment of supply and demand. Because of this, most countries have opted for the mixed economy model. • Mixed economy – more government involvement than in a market economy but less control than in a command economy

  35. Move toward market economies COMMAND ECONOMY MIXED ECONOMY MARKET ECONOMY • Restricted rights to own property. • All industry owned by the government • Competition and profit are prohibited Elements of command and market economies are present (mixed) • Guaranteed right to own property. • Most industry is owned by private individuals • Competition and profit are not controlled by the government More centralization Less centralization

  36. Revival of Ethnic or Cultural Politics • Fragmentation – divisions based on ethnic or cultural identity • Dominant focus of the 21st century is the politicization of religion • in the United States • In the Middle East