George Tsebelis and E. Aleman, “The history of conditional agenda setting in Latin America”, Latin American Research Review 40 (2005), pp. 3-26.

This paper examines the origins of amendatory vetoes in Latin America and shows why presidents’ ability to present a redrafted bill after congressional passage gives them considerable power to affect legislation. Next, it specifies the degree to which different constitutional procedures allow presidents to redraft legislation and shows why the power to introduce amendatory observations provides greater discretion than the power of the better-known block veto, regardless of override thresholds. Lastly, the paper traces the origins of amendatory observations back to the first wave of constitution writing that followed the wars of independence. This work highlights the positive agenda-setting power afforded to the president at the last stage of the lawmaking process.

 

Key Definitions:

Block Veto:  an executive rejection of the entire bill, a prerogative all presidents have
Negative Changes: apply partial veto thereby deleting parts of the bill
Positive Changes: introduce amendatory observations to replace vetoed parts of the bill
 

Method: Game theory approach to executive-legislative relations.

 

 

== Notes ==

 

–           The authors  examine the origins of amendatory and partial vetoes and show why the ability to respond with a redrafted bill after congressional passage gives presidents considerable agenda-setting power
–           This account shows how a minority president, confronted with an overwhelming coalition seeking to enact extensive changes that would risk his political future, responds with an alternative version that eventually beats the original proposal
–           The authors use set theory to specify the authority entrusted to presidents under different constitutional procedures and show why amendatory observations provide greater discretion than the power of the better-known block veto regardless of override thresholds
–           As noted by Riker (1986), the ability to introduce a last alternative that can carry the support of a new majority is a powerful political device
 

Block Vetoes:
–           Block vetoes on the one hand and amendatory observations and partial vetoes on the other provide the president with markedly different authority
–           Presidents with block veto authority can only exercise negative power
–           Using negative changes is preferable for political reasons, but may not stop the bill
–           A block veto that can be overridden by a simple majority merely allows the president to force a re-vote on the bill
–           The first fundamental difference between block veto and these alternative procedures is that in the latter it is the president who makes a counterproposal to Congress
–           As long as the president properly targets his redrafted version of the bill, he would be successful
–           The fact that members of Congress may know the preferences of the president and thereby anticipate a possible veto does not make the prerogative inconsequential; it demands that successful bills  incorporate presidential views
–           The requirement of a qualified majority vote to overrule presidential amendatory observations simply widens the set of alternatives that beat the original congressional bill
–           Even when a simple majority is the override threshold, the president can still select from among a wide set of options (the winset of the bill proposed to him by Congress, and the winset of the status quo)
 

*The authors agree with the view that Latin American presidential systems occupy a location intermediate between parliamentary systems, where the executive (i.e., the government) has almost all the agenda-setting power, and the U.S. system where all legislative agenda setting belongs to Congress (Cox and Morgenstern 2002; Wilmert 1911). However, the emphasis has been on the positive agenda-setting power embodied in the right to redraft legislation, which is considered paramount.

Frank R. Baumgartner and Bryan D. Jones, Agendas and Instability in American Politics (1993).

Main Argument:
Baumgartner and Jones ask how we can theoretically account for both the long periods of stability that mark American politics, as well as the shorter but dramatic bursts of policy change. They use a punctuated equilibrium model to explain both stability and change in policy choice and agenda setting in US politics. The foundation for the punctuated equilibrium idea comes from three different literatures: social choice theory, policy agendas, policy subsystems.

Method: The authors create a framework using social choice theory, policy agendas and policy subsystems.

== Notes ==

The foundation for the punctuated equilibrium idea comes from three different literatures: social choice theory, policy agendas, policy subsystems:
–           From social choice theory, Baumgartner and Jones borrow the idea that there is no equilibrium in American politics
–           Instead, they distinguish between stability and equilibrium, and argue that institutions provide a framework that can promote stability
–           The second literature, that of policy subsystems, helps them explain stability
–           They view policy subsystems as a type of institutional arrangement that can promote stability
–           From the agenda-setting literature, Baumgartner and Jones note the importance of ideas
–           New ideas may successfully invade a subsystem, leading to dramatic policy change, as the existing subsystem is destroyed and replaced with a new subsystem

Policy Change:
–           They place the notions of incremental and non-incremental change within the framework of punctuated equilibrium
–           Incremental change occurs from negative feedback, while positive feedback leads to non-incremental change
–           Negative feedback is essentially criticism of the status quo but within the terms of debate that the status quo established
–           New ideas serve as shocks that alter the terms of debate and may redirect the policymaking process along a new course
–           They also illustrate the impact of institutional and subsystem arrangements, as these policy making frameworks maintain governmental attentiveness to the policy after media attention has evaporated

Daron Acemoglu and James A. Robinson, Economic Origins of Democracy and Dictatorship (2006), Chapters 2, 11.

== Summary ==

== Chapter 2: Our Argument ==
* Analysis of the role of various political institutions in shaping polices and social choices, emphasizing how politics differs in democratic and non-democratic regimes
* Society consists of two groups
** Elites – not always the rich – often ethnically determined
** Citizens
* There is thus inherent conflict over social choices and policies
* Institutions do not simply determine the extent of redistribution, but also regulate the future allocation of political power

=== Democracy vs. Non-Democracy ===
* Democracies – generally approximate a situation of ‘‘political equality’’ – generally a regime more beneficial to the majority of the populace (though it is always defined relatively to non-democracies)
** Schumpetearian definition – focused on certain political processes
* Non-Democracies – correspond more to a situation of ‘‘political inequality’’ – generally a regime for the rich and privileged

=== Building Blocks of Our Approach ===
* 1) Economic approach – individuals have clear preferences over outcomes or the consequences of their actions – people often behave strategically and their behaviour should be modeled as a game
* 2) Politics is inherently conflictual – thus, an emphasis on social groups
** ‘‘Political Power’’ is the capacity of a group to obtain its favorite policies against the resistance of other groups
** Distinction b/w de facto and de jure political power
* 3) Social and political arrangements that allocate ‘‘de jure’’ political power are referred to as ‘‘political institutions’’.
** That democracies look after the interests of the majority of citizens more than nondemocracies is simply a consequence, then, of the greater de jure political power of the majority in democracy than in nondemocracy.

=== Toward Our Basic Story ===
* Citizens have a stronger preference for democracy than elites (‘‘not necessarily true though, see Olson’’)
** Citizens are more likely to secure a transition to democracy when they have more de facto political power
* Thus, a basic story: the balance between the political power of elites and citizens determines whether the society transits from democracy to nondemocracy, and vice versa
* Inclusion of political institutions (as they alter future allocation of political power) helps to create a richer story

=== Our Theory of Democratization===
* Institutions are durable
* ‘‘‘Transition to democracy – or any change in political institutions – emerges as a way of regulating the future allocation of political power.’’’
** The citizens demand, and perhaps obtain, democracy so that they can have more political say and power tomorrow.
* De facto political power is ‘‘transitory’’  – citizens may have political power today, but no guaratnee that they will tomorrow.

Under nondemocracies
* Citizens have ‘‘‘‘‘de facto’’’’’ rather than ‘‘‘‘‘de jure’’’’’ political power
* Revolutions -> Transitions if citizens opt to prefer to get things in the future as much as they want to secure them today
* Citizen demand is rarely sufficient, the elite must for some reason extend voting rights
* Elites have incentive not to assuage the citizens, but the threat of revolution requires that they do so – however, promises about future welfare from the elite are not credible
* ‘‘‘A transition to democracy shifts future political power away from the elites to the citizens, thereby creating a ‘‘credible commitment to future pro-majority policies.’’’’’

Basic Theory of Democratization in a Non-Democracy
* Elites have de jure power, and if unconstrained will choose polices that they most prefer
* Sometimes, citizens pose a revolutionary threat, when they temporarily have ‘‘de facto political power’’ (transitory)
* Citizens can use their power to overthrow the system, but only at great cost to all
* Elites want to avoid this situation, so are likely to concede to create credible commitments to future pro-majority policies (democratization)

Most moves toward democracy happen in the face of significant social conflict a possible threat of revolution – Democracy is ‘‘not’’ usually given by the elite because its values have changed.

=== Democratic Consolidation ===
* Need for a theory of coups and /or consolidation
* ‘‘‘Consolidated Democracy’’’: if the set of institutions that characterize it endure through time (a tad minimalist, no?)
* Shifts to non-democracy from democracy are the same as the reverse story – elites have temporary de facto power, and seek to guarantee future policies that favour their interests
* Coups allow the elites to turn their transitory de facto political power into more enduring de jure political power by changing political institutions

=== Determinants of Democracy ===
==== Civil Society====
===== Democratization=====
* Relative importance of a threat of revolution from the citizens
* Some degree of development in civil society is necessary for democratization
===== Consolidation =====
* Civil society also protects democracy, easier to resist coups

==== Shocks and Crises====
===== Democratization=====
* Times of crisis create opportunities for shifts in regime – democratization more likely in the midst of economic or political crisis
===== Consolidation =====
* Coups are also more likely to arise in moments if crisis

==== Sources of Income and Composition of Wealth====
===== Democratization=====
* Landowners have more to fear from democracy (land is easier to tax)
* Social & political turbulence may be more damaging to human and physical capital owners
* Different sets of economic institutions are feasible in a predominantly agricultural society, which influence the relative intensity of preferences
===== Consolidation =====
* Source of income effects whether or not a coup is pursued – more land, more likely (more damage in democracy, easier to tax); more human/physical, coup is more likely to damage capital

==== Political Institutions ====
===== Democratization=====
* If a nondemocatic regime or elite can design or manipulate the institutions of democracy so as to guarantee that radical majoritarian policies will not be adopted, then democracy becomes less threatening to the interests of the elites – and thus they become more willing to democratize.

===== Consolidation =====
* Giving elites too much power will undermine democracy

==== The Role of Inter-Group Inequality====
===== Democratization=====
* High levels of inequality make revolution more attractive for the citizens
* Also discourages democratization, as higher levels of inequality makes democracy more costly for elites, making repression more attractive
* Thus, Kuznet’s curve – non-monotonic relationship between inequality and democratization
===== Consolidation =====
* Greater the distribution away from the elites, the more likely they are to find it in their interest to mount a coup against it
==== The Middle Class ====
===== Democratization=====
* Middle class is the driver of the process – buffer b/w elite and citizen conflict
===== Consolidation =====
* The limit redistribution – large middle class will engage in only limited redistribution

==== Globalization ====
===== Democratization=====
* capital is more easily taken out of a country – more difficult to tax the elites
* globalization does not necessarily lead to democratization (depends on international climate, factor endowments)
===== Consolidation =====
* Ditto
* Coups may be more costly in an integrated world

=== Political Identities and the Nature of Conflict ===
* Identity of the elite is irrelevant

== Chapter 11: Conclusions and the Future of Democracy ==

=== Paths of Political Development Revisited ===
=== Extensions and Areas for Future Research ===
=== The Future of Democracy ===

Stephen Wilkinson, Votes and Violence: Electoral competition and ethnic violence in India (2006), Chapters 1, 7.

Overview
A political theory of ethnic (religious, racial, linguistic) violence: When politicians need minority support, they prevent violence. When they don’t, they don’t. And if they need to incite ethnic polarization (e.g. in order to bring more of their ethnic group into the majority party), then they might just promote ethnic violence.
Chapter 2: Town-level factors
Although Wilkinson’s theory is state-level, he uses this chapter to examine the town-level causes of ethnic violence. Why a state-level theory? Because although local factors may influence whether violence breaks out, it is the state-level authorities who must order in police and reinforcements to contain it. Even federal troops can’t be deployed unless the state government orders it. Thus, they key argument in this book concerns the state-level decision of whether to prevent or encourage violence. However, local can also matter. Hence, this chapter.
Electoral benefits of ethnic violence
The Hindu nationalist parties tend to represent primarily the upper castes. These upper castes cannot attract lower-caste Hindus with promises of redistribution for two reasons: The promise wouldn’t be credible, and it may alienate the upper caste supporters. So if the election is going to be close, what can an upper-caste party do to win more votes? Incite Hindu-Muslim riots. This will pull more lower-caste Hindus into the upper-caste party.
Inciting these riots is costly. Often, the mechanism for doing so is to schedule a religious processional (innocuous enough, right?) to go through a Muslim neighborhood, or to raise a Hindu flag over some disputed piece of land. But organizing these processionals and whatnot takes time, money, and so on. In addition, riots can have economic costs. So we should expect these mechanisms to be used primarily when the extra electoral support is most needed, namely:
    * When elections are coming up
    * When the margin in previous state elections was close
Other explanations from literature
* Economic competition: Violence is most common when the ethnic groups compete economically. Wilkinson finds that economic variables do not predict the outcome of violence, but they do explain its severity. Thus, once groups realize that the police aren’t going to stop the violence, they might loot the other group’s stuff, but looting won’t be the cause of the riot.
* Violence begets violence: Expect violence where it has occurred before. Why? When faced with uncertainty about the prospect of violence, people think about how the other group has responded in the past. Thus, a history of violence makes violence more likely.
* Ethnic parity begets violence. As the number of Muslims approaches 50%, violence is more frequent.
Chapter 5: Electoral incentives for Hindu-Muslim violence
Primary argument (see Fig 5.1): In states with high partisan fractionalization (i.e. high partisan competitiveness), parties have greater incentives to compete for the Muslim/minority vote (under certain conditions), therefore there should be less violence. The argument has three elements:
1. Politics In India are multidimensional, though this varies. As politics becomes more multidimensional, we can expect more overtures to minorities. For example, Northern white industrialists (in the US) had incentives to court the Southern minority vote to gain political power over Southern white planters (in the 1920s-50s). As the number of cleavages rises, the potential for such overtures increases.
2. It is worthwhile to compete for the minority vote if the electoral benefits of winning the minority vote exceed the political costs of giving the minority what it wants. Since India’s Muslims tend to be poor and populous, they tend to have a single demand: security. This might change as Muslims become wealthier and better educated (they might start demanding bgovernment employment, economic privileges, and so on). But for now, there are many Muslim vote that can be bought with security.
3. Providing security is not costly. It might be if providing minority security threatens the majority; for example, if it involves putting substantial numbers of Muslims in the police and military forces. But most Indian police and military forces have very few minorities, so providing security isn’t costly.
How Indian states fit this model
First, there is multidimensionality. Though Muslims favor security, most Hindus are more concerned with economic redistribution and other issues than with holding Muslims down. Second, since Muslims demand less than most Hindu voting blocs (they only want security), they are a low-cost constituency, so they are attractive to parties that need more votes. Finally, less than 1% of the armed forces is Muslim, so granting security doesn’t scare Hindus.
Test #1: Statistical relationship btw ENPP and violence
* Y: Number of riots, and number killed in riots (by state)
* X: ENPV: Effective number of parties. As it rises, violence goes down (Fig 5.2).
* Controls:
o Surprisingly, increased disparity (GINI) and decreased literacy lead to less violence. Though Wilkinson doesn’t discuss it, this seems to fit his theory: More poverty and less education make make [Muslim] voters more concerned with security.
Test #2: Do A, Bi, and Bii states fit the model (see Fig 5.1)
As shown in Table 5.4, Gujarat is the only Bii state (see Fig 5.1). It’s also the only state that allowed violence.
* [Concern: Is there really enough variance in X and Y, then, to be confident in the statistical tests?]
* [Concern: Why does percentage of Muslims supporting the governing party matter? What should matter is the percentage of the governing party\’s supporters that is Muslim.]
Test #3: Evidence of politically strategic considerations?
Yes. Looks at a couple case studies. People apparently are thinking the way he says they are.
Concerns
In addition to those mentioned in the summary, this is major: What about reverse causality? In light of Chapter 2, shouldn’t we expect ethnic provocations (riots) to lead to less partisan fractionalization, since lower-caste Muslims join the upper-caste party? Violence makes ethnicity the primary cleavage, potentially reducing ENPP.
Chapter 7: Applying the theory comparatively
This chapter applies the book’s theories to historic cases. Basically, it argues that an increase in electoral competition can lead politicians to pay more or less attention to preventing violence. “Governments … decide whether to prevent antiminority violence by calculating whether doing so will help or hurt them politically.” If the ruling party needs the minority’s support to win, it will suppress violence. But if it doesn’t, it might allow violence. And if it needs a few more votes from the majority, it might encourage violence, since ethnic violence will polarize the ethnic groups and (possibly) bring more of the majority ethnic group into that group’s party. Examples:
* Ireland. At first, Catholics and some protestants were going liberal, and the Tories were primarily Episcopalian. However, they began to lose to the Liberals, so they turned their party into the anti-Catholic party. Thus, they managed to pull some protestant Liberals (Methodists, Presbyterians) into the Tories. Violence was limited, however, since the colonial administration in London did not face these ethnic incentives; rather, London’s incentives were for peace and stability, so they promoted an ethnically balanced police force that generally suppressed violence.
* Malaysia: Independence came through a joint Chinese-Malay struggle. However, soon after independence, the independence party realized that it might not do so well electorally. By provoking ethnic violence against the Chinese, it established itself as “the” Malay party and won comfortably in elections.
* Romania: Under Ceaucescu, Hungarians [living mostly in Transylvania] were somewhat “Romanized.” After independence, the first government sought to allow the Hungarians more freedom. Soon, the Romanians in Transylvania began to be upset that the Hungarians were becoming strong. Fearing that pro-Romanian parties would rise and defefat it, the ruling government allowed significant anti-Hungarian riots to continue for several days before intervening and stopping them. With its pro-Romanian credentials firmly established, the party won comfortably.
* US: For years, the northerners stayed out of the South, allowing Southern Democrats to use racial issues to remain dominant. By around the 1940s, however, winning the presidency required either party to win key swing states in the North, including Illinois and Michigan. To win in these states, the Democrats played to their strength: urban voters. But with the urban areas in these states becoming increasingly black, the Democrats realized that they would need to win the black vote to remain competitive. Thus, the Democratic leadership ceased allowing blatant intimidation and ethnic attacks in the South.
Concerns
* Can you really attribute ethnic conflict primarily to political incentives?
   o What about hate, religiosity, and cultural explanations for the tension?
* What is the solution to ethnic conflict? An end to democracy?
   o After all, it was the (less democratic) colonial influence of London that minimized ethnic conflict in Ireland.
* Is this theory presenting only a necessary condition for violence (i.e. violence occurs when politicians allow it to)? What is the sufficient condition? (Ch 2 makes an attempt at this)
* Where’s the logic against reverse causality (for chapter 5)? It seems that high party fractionalization presents a strong incentive for violence–especially since this violence (according to Wilkinson’s own logic) can build support for the inciting party.
* Is this really a theory of violence, or only of electoral heavy-handedness? It seems that the conditions Wilkinson identifies might lead governing parties to engage in massive fraud, not necessarily to incite major violence. Why violence instead of fraud?

Dietrich Rueschemeyer, Evelyn Huber Stephens and John D. Stephens, Capitalist Development and Democracy (1982).

_Key point:_ capitalist development and democracy are primarily related through changes in the class structure, and democracy has progressed because the class most favouring it, the working class, has increased, while the class most opposed to it, the landowning nobility, has decreased. This is the case in both 19th century Europe and in developing areas in the Western Hemisphere in the 20th century, where similar class alignments worked either to retard or to advance democracy. Strong landlord classes aligned with autocratic states hindered democracy while working-class and middle-class coalitions encouraged it – and since capitalism is responsible for weakening the landed upper class and strengthening the working class and other subordinate classes, capitalism creates democracy.

 

_Method:_ comparative historical examination of European, South American, Central American, and Caribbean democratic development.

 

_Critiques:_

*because of the focus on the relationship of capitalism and democracy, politics is treated as a residual, determined by extrapolitical influences. This thesis is problematic due to its incongruence with the empirical finding that virtually all full-fledged democracies are associated with capitalist economies, whereas not all capitalist economies enjoy democratic political support.

*a quantitative enlargement of the subordinate classes does not guarantee their self-organization and subsequent increased political participation, as has been demonstrated in the East Asian developmental states.

*class attitudes to democracy can be impacted by sectoral differences relating to both organization and inter-class dynamics.

 

 

—-

 

*examines the transformation of European states from autocracies to democracies during the nineteenth century. The authors find that both economic crises and warfare during the latter decades of the century created new class alignments.

**where the agrarian landlord elite class was reduced as the dominant force in society, other groups, particularly working- and middle-class elements (but not the bourgeoisie), forced a transformation to democratic rule.

**working-class mobilization in particular was crucial in most cases of democratization (contrast with Moore).

*extending their model to South America, several necessary preconditions for the establishment of democracy are established, including consolidation of state power, export expansion, industrialization, and an alliance between the working class and middle class.

**when only several of these conditions held (e.g. Brazil and Uruguay) the establishment of democracy was difficult.

**but in Bolivia, Peru, Venezuela and Chile, a mineral-export economy and an active working class combined to help form the foundations of democracy.

**also key was the involvement of the military, which, when divided, gave more impetus to democracy than when it was unified, as in the case of Chile.

*in Central America, a combination of landlord power, US political intervention, and Spanish traditions made the establishment of democracy difficult.

*in the Caribbean, British traditions both weakened the landlord class and provided the philosophical underpinnings of participatory government.

Gregorz Ekiert and Stephen E. Hanson, (eds.) Capitalism and Democracy in Central and Eastern Europe (2003)

Key point: looks at the tension between the concept of historical legacies and the obvious fact that the uniformity of Communist rule was replaced very quickly by diversity: how can legacy account for diversity? The authors seek to rescue the concept of legacy in three ways: first, by pointing to the impact of diverse pre-Communist legacies as influences in post-Communist polities; second, by reminding us of the diversity within the post-war Communist world – what might have been uniformity before 1945 was never so uniform after 1945 and became ever more diverse from 1956 onwards; and third, by pointing out that political and cultural legacies are just like family legacies – resources to be used, refused or squandered by later generations.

Carles Boix Democracy and Redistribution (2003), Chapter 1

_Summary:_ democracy prevails when either economic equality or capital mobility are high in a given country. On the one hand, economic equality promotes democracy. As the distribution of assets and income becomes more balanced among individuals, the redistributive impact of democracy diminishes and the probability of a peaceful transition from an authoritarian regime to universal suffrage increases. On the other hand, a decline in the specificity of capital (i.e., a reduction in the cost of moving capital away from its country of origin) curbs the redistributive pressures from non-capital holders. As capital becomes more mobile, democratic governments must curb taxes – if the taxes were too high, capital would escape abroad. Accordingly, the extent of political conflict among capital holders and nonholders diminishes, and the likelihood of democracy rises.

 

_Method:_ formal modeling (with predictions tested empirically in later chapters)

 

_Critique:_ state socialist systems are difficult to analyze in terms of contestation over private property and income, which remain central to Boix’s analysis.

 

 

 

—-

 

*a democratic outcome becomes possible when the inequality of conditions among individuals, and therefore the intensity of redistributive demands, falls to the point that an authoritarian strategy to block redistribution ceases to be attractive to the well-off.

*the likelihood of democracy of democracy increases when the mobility of capital goes up, since taxes necessarily go down, making democracy cheaper than authoritarianism to the holders of assets.

*besides the distribution and nature of economic assets, the choice of political regime is affected by the political and organizational resources of the parties in contention. Thus, for example, as the poor become mobilized in the form of left-wing mass parties, the costs of repression increase for the rich.

**a change in the balance of power among political groups has different consequences depending on the underlying economic conditions:

**for low or medium levels of income inequality and asset specificity, the political strengthening of the lower classes speeds up the introduction of democracy.

by contrast, for high levels of inequality and asset specificity, where the costs of democratization are too high for the rich, the mobilization of the poor increases the likelihood of revolutionary explosions and civil wars.

 

 

*in addition to modeling this interaction purely as one between wealthy elite and a lower class, it can also be expanded to incorporate a middle class.

**here again, the growing equality of conditions among individuals as well as the mobility of capital precipitate the historical transitions from aristocratic or monarchical regimes to systems of limited democracy and, then, to universal suffrage. Still, this more complex model has two added benefits:

***first, it allows us to show how the triumph of universal suffrage required the strengthening and equalization of the working class vis-à-vis the other classes – in other words, it shows that the middle class rarely constitutes a ‘natural’ ally of the lower classes.

***second, it accommodates, in a rather straightforward manner, by varying the level of asset specificity across sectors, the phenomenon of cross-class coalitions (e.g. the rural-urban cleavage of several 19th century European countries) that cannot be easily explained if we use only a single dimension based on income distribution.

 

 

*the model matches the well-known finding that democracy is well correlated with per capita income while reconciling this correlation to the fact that authoritarianism prevails among the very wealthy set of oil producers.

**it provides an explanation for the higher rate of occurrence of democratic regimes in small countries and under particular configurations of the international system.

**it accounts for the distribution and wavelike pattern of revolutionary outbursts and regime shifts that have often occurred in the world in the last centuries – such as the revolutions of 1930 and 1848 in Europe, the collapse of the absolutist monarchies after WWI, the decolonization movement of the 1950s and 1960s, and the recent democratization wave of the late 20th century.

Jill Crystal, Authoritarianism and its adversaries in the Arab world”, World Politics 46 (1994), pp. 262-289.

_Summary: _ There is much to learn from the Arab world in terms of authoritarianism. The authors reviewed demonstrate the applicability of theories of democratization from other regions to the Arab world, as well as where it breaks down, suggesting new avenues for research on authoritarianism more broadly.

 

Four central themes:

* 1) “Economic” – Relationship b/w economic change and patterns of state control – they suggest that economic changes commonly associated with the emergence of democratic trends may, in states with a colonial history, actually prompt the emergence of authoritarian regimes

* 2) “Social-Structural” – Relationship b/w social-structural diversity and level of state control – importance of social actors and groups and the role of state efforts to contain them

* 3) “Institutional” – The importance of institutions of repression in sustaining state violence

* 4) “Ideological” – The role of ideological appeals in sustaining authoritarianism

 

Organizes author’s ideas around three sets of forces: those that precipitate authoritarianism, those that sustain it, and those that resist it.

 

==Origins of Authoritarianism==

=== Points of Departure ===

* Violence is historically overlooked in the literature

* Authors agree that political violence is central to the longevity of these regimes – their explanations for this violence and fear is what varies

=== Economics ===

* Gulf authoritarianism belongs to a family produced by colonialism – dependency theory perspective

* Reverses the claims of Rostow and Huntington – economic growth here LEADS to violence

* Oil wealth -> no taxation -> no representation

=== Social Structure===

* Authoritarianism is in part the result of both the kind of (state-led) economic development that occurred in the postwar era and of the resilience of old classes, the adaptability of the new, and their consequent ability to thwart state policy.

* Authoritarianism is not the result of successful efforts at economic development, but of partially successful (there must be a state development authority worth bleeding) but ultimately unsuccessful efforts.

* The persistence of ascriptive categories does not account for authoritarianism

* Neither the absence of modern social structures nor the presence of traditional ones accounts for authoritarian outcomes – rather, the answer is located partly in the form of economic development: these authors agree that state-led development prompts inevitable failure

 

==The Persistence of Authoritarianism==

=== Ideas ===

* Even the most fearful regimes do not rely solely on force – fear->compliance->complicity

* Two different kinds of ideas sustain authoritarianism:

** Developmentalism (belief that the state must play the central role in promoting economic growth, and to that end, individuals and social organizations must relinquish power to it)

** Neotraditionalism (rulers invoke tradition selectively to serve political needs)

* Both ideas aim at legitimation and demobilization

 

=== Institutions ===

* Institutions of force seem to be self-sustaining

 

==Alternatives to Authoritarianism ==

===Human Rights Groups ===

* Human rights movement offers a clear, alternative set of ideas about authority

 

=== Islamist Groups ===

* Clear alternative to the regime

 

_Method: _ Book reviews and synthesis

Eva Bellin, “Contingent democrats: Industrialists, labor and democratization in latedeveloping countries”, World Politics 52 (2000), pp. 175-205.

_Summary: _ Capital and labor are “contingent”, not consistent, democrats. This contingency, moreover, is not random. Support for democratization turns on whether capital and labor see their economic interests served by the authoritarian state. This, in turn, is shaped by two key factors for each social force. For capital, democratic enthusiasm hinges on its level of state dependence and fear of social unrest. For labor, democratic enthusiasm hinges on its level of state dependence and aristocratic position in society. The relationship is an inverse one, with higher values of dependency, fear, and aristocracy translating into reduced enthusiasm for democratic reform.  At the same time, capital and labour’s alliance with authoritarianism is not carved in stone. The political disposition of capital and labour is governed by interest. As political and economic conditions change, interests may change and alliances may be recalculated. Also, for both social forces, the particular conditions of late development may dampen social forces’ enthusiasm for democracy.

 

 

_Method:_ Typology created and tested through in depth case studies (Indonesia, South Korea, Mexico) and supplemental corroborating brief case examinations (Brazil, Mexico, Saudia Arabia, Zambia, Egypt, Tunisia)

 

Barbara Geddes, “What do we know about democratization after twenty years?” Annual Review of Political Science 2 (1999), pp. 115-144.

_Summary_: synthesizes the results of studies of late-20th century democratization from the 1980s and 1990s. Strong evidence supports the claims that democracy is more likely in more developed countries and that regime transitions of all kinds are more likely during economic downturns – but very few of the other arguments advanced in the transitions literature appear to be generally true. This study proposes a theoretical model, rooted in characteristics of different types of authoritarian regimes, to explain may of the differences in democratization experience across cases in different regions.

 

_Key point_: argues that military regimes differ from single-party and personalist regimes because most officers value the unity and capacity of the military institution more than they value holding office (!?) – which leads them to cling less tightly to power than do other kinds of authoritarianism and, in fact, often initiate transitions.

 

_Method_: statistical analysis of a data set that includes 163 authoritarian regimes.

 

 

_Notes:_

 

*most military transitions being with internal disagreements and splits. Transitions from military rule are usually well underway before protests swell.

*most personalist regimes, however, maintain their grip on power as long as possible. As a result, they are more likely to be overthrown by popular uprising or rebellion.

*most military regimes end in negotiation, which accounts for the emphasis on bargaining and the advantages of moderation.

*most personalist regimes, however, end in coups, many of them accompanied by widespread violence.

*leaders of personalist regimes also negotiate when under pressure from leaders or faced with widespread public protest, but the proportion who renege on the deals they make has been very high.

*single-party regimes under pressure from donors and popular opposition are more inclined to negotiation than are personalist regimes.

*like officers, single-party cadres can expect life as they know it to continue after liberalization or even regime change. If they cannot avoid regime change, they are better off in a democracy than in some other form of authoritarianism.

*previously hegemonic parties have remained important in political life wherever countries have fully democratized, but they have been outlawed and repressed in several that did not.