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Transitions

Non-Democratic Democratic

Samuel Huntington:
1st Wave = 1828-1926: western countries consolidated
democratic regimes
2nd Wave = 1943-1962: several “third world” countries
moved toward democracy.
3rd Wave =1974-present: democratization of Portugal, then
Eastern Bloc countries, and now some countries in Africa,
Asia, Latin America, and Middle East.
Transition: Authoritarianism  Establishment of democratic
institutions

Consolidation: When democratic processes actually take


root and become part of the political culture.
EX: the peaceful transfer of power between the first
elected executive and his/her successor after elections.

Consolidation is the most critical period of


democratization.
Example of issues that inhibit consolidation:
Venezuela:
Corruption
Bonapartism: Strong “man” who will “save”
the country.
Danger of rejecting respect for
Executive Office and turning
into Personalistic Regime
(often a sign of dictatorship).

President Hugo Chavez (1998-present)


Guatemala:
Bonapartism: Promise to establish “order” in the
face of rising crime/insurgency can lead to
“justified” violence.

President Alfonso Portillo (2000-2004)


Of the party (Guatemalan Republican
Front) headed by Rios Montt, the former
dictator responsible for Guatemala’s
bloodiest period, who served as the
president of the National Assembly
under Portillo.
Patron-Clientelism: It’s not what you know, it’s
who you know

EX: Nicaragua
Working on a political campaign, not
because of ideology, but for a good job
Political Culture matters to consolidation.
Becomes a tricky issue if the country is divided by
ethnicity and/or class
EX: India
Muslim separatists and upper caste
protests led to state of emergency
rule (absolute power) by Prime
Minister
Hindu Nationalists
Can India remain a single democratic
federation?
Is democracy a western export?
How to synthesize foreign and indigenous elements
into a new political order?
EX: Japan after WWII and U.S. occupation
But: dominated by one party,
culture demands respect for
authority and eschews
individualism (a building block of
Western democracy)
Must all democracies look like Western democracy?
Africa:
In the 1990’s democratic elections held in more
than 20 countries
Few led to functioning multi-party
systems
Many threatened by extra-judicial violence
How to convince contenders for
power to accept loss without resorting to
violence?
EX: Zambia:
Autocratic leader for 27 years lost a free multiparty
election and relinquished power in 1991
But, new ruling party harassed opposition parties to
keep them from running in 1996 election
After 2001 election, 3 parties went to court to
challenge results
Lost the case, but new president,
Mwanawasa, began anti-corruption
campaign
Led to prosecution of
President Chiluba
(1997- 2001) even
Mwanawasa, Chiluba
though of the same party
EX: Ghana

Former Dictator/President: Jerry Rawlings


Kufor, the Gentle Giant
"No amount of lip-service to democratic good governance as prescribed
by our self-appointed Western mentors and executed by gentlemen in
three-piece suits, can satisfy the dwindling hopes of the disadvantaged
and suffering people. The only way to engage their trust and confidence
is to be honest, open and transparent".
--Rawlings,2005
The Third Wave in Africa:
Not like in Eastern Europe
Instead = a series of democratic stirrings; a few
transitions, but very few consolidations.

When and if democracy comes to stay in Africa, it will


not likely be Western-style.
EX: Ethiopia held multiparty elections in 1995,
but the new president insisted that parties can only
represent ethnic groups. (Ethiopia now on the verge
of being a “failed” state).
EX: Kenya, 1992: President won a U.S. style multiparty
election, but then limited freedom of speech, association,
and political parties because he claimed they fostered
tribalism

Single-party governments = common in Africa

Democratic Institutions do not a democracy make


Post-election violence in
Kenya, 2007

Odinga and Kibaki agree to


power sharing deal
Elections

Violence

Power sharing deals between opposing sides


(Incumbent and the Challenger)
Single party states: in transition to democracy or
simply authoritarian?
Lopez-Obrador of the PRD party lost
(?) election by less than 1% of vote.

Massive protests against alleged fraud


How to reconcile history, political culture, and
democratic institutions?
Elections in Bhutan, March, 2008
Voter Turnout at 80%
Why wait for a revolution?
"We do think that plurality of viewpoints, and giving
the voters a genuine choice of alternative ideologies, is
important in democracies….And this is one of the
things we will highlight to the Bhutanese authorities,
something they might want to work on in the future."

-- EU observer Holly Ruthrauff.