Institut for Statskundskab

Democracy against the odds

Publikation: Bog/antologi/afhandling/rapportPh.d.-afhandling

  • Michael Seeberg, Danmark
Why have a number of poor countries sustained electoral democracy against the odds? The extant literature on democracy and democratization consistently points to the importance of socioeconomic development and democratic neighboring countries, in particular, as important prerequisites for a stable democracy. What is it that has enabled these countries to reap the benefits of democratic stability otherwise thought to follow from these structural factors? The dissertation studies these so-called ‘deviant democracies’ in two steps. A descriptive element provides an overview of deviant democracies based on a statistical analysis of most countries during the Third Wave of democratization (i.e., from 1975 until today). The overview provides for a systematic case selection of deviant democracies.
An explanatory element proposes an alternative theoretical framework that qualifies extant theories of democracy and democratization and, in particular, the modernization theory. It seeks to disentangle what is it that contributes to democratic stability after the founding of democratic elections. The main variables of the alternative framework are parties or party systems and civil society. I seek to understand the intersection between these underexposed variables in the extant literature on democracy and democratization in Third World countries. I argue that slightly different combinations of these variables can have a similar effect on democratic stability. My core argument is that democracy endures when political parties and politically active parts of civil society come together, either through parties’ roots in civil society or civil society organizations’ response to political elites’ abuse of power. Moreover, political power must be vested in programmatically coherent and intra-organized parties, which together enable political parties to reach compromises important for regime stability. The framework is used to get a better understanding of four deviant democracies in two time periods, viz. India and Costa Rica during the Cold War and Mongolia and Ghana during the post-Cold War era. The analysis demonstrates the enormous potential of political parties and civil society in processes of democratization.

-------------------------------------------------------------------

Hvorfor opretholder en række fattige lande en demokratisk styreform imod alle odds? Demokratiforskere forventer, at et land må have et vist velstandsniveau og demokratiske nabolande for at kunne opretholde en demokratisk styreform. Men hvorfor har disse såkaldte ’anomale demokratier’ været i stand til at opnå lignende fordele for demokratisk stabilitet, som ellers anses for at være et produkt af især socio-økonomisk udvikling? Afhandlingen søger at belyse dette spørgsmål i to trin. Et deskriptivt element giver ved hjælp af en statistisk analyse, der bygger på stort set alle lande i verden, et overblik over afvigende demokratier i den tredje demokratiseringsbølge (siden 1975). Overblikket er grundlaget for en systematisk case-udvælgelse af anomale demokratier.
Jeg foreslår et teoriapparat som jeg bruger til at forstå, hvordan en række fattige demokratier har kunnet fastholde denne styreform efter demokratiske valg er grundlagt i landet. Partier eller partisystemer og civil-samfundsorganisationer er de centrale variabler i den teoretiske model. Samspillet mellem disse faktorer er underbelyst i demokratilitteraturen, og den foreslåede teoretiske model skal opfattes som en kvalificering af eksisterende demokratiteorier. Mit hovedargument er, at en demokratisk styreform fastholdes, når partier og civilsamfundsorganisationer bringes sammen, enten via partiernes rødder i civilsamfundsorganisationer, eller fordi politisk aktive dele af civilsamfundet siger fra over for politisk magtmisbrug. Det er nødvendigt, at partierne har et partiprogram og en partiorganisation, som tilsammen gør dem i stand til at indgå kompromisser af afgørende betydning for styreformens fastholdelse. Denne alternative teoriramme anvendes for bedre at kunne forstå demokratisk stabilitet igennem to tidsperioder – Indien og Costa Rica under den kolde krig og Mongoliet og Ghana efter kommunismens sammenbrud. Analysen demonstrerer, at partier og civilsamfundsorganisationer har stort potentiale som bidragsydere til at fastholde en demokratisk styreform.
OriginalsprogEngelsk
UdgivelsesstedAarhus
ForlagForlaget Politica
Antal sider81
ISBN (Trykt)9788773351802
StatusUdgivet - 2014
SerietitelPoliticas ph.d.-serie

Se relationer på Aarhus Universitet Citationsformater

ID: 56761283