Presentation on theme: "International Politics of Democracy Promotion PO229 Session 1: Framing the Module and Basic Vocabulary 1."— Presentation transcript:
International Politics of Democracy Promotion PO229 Session 1: Framing the Module and Basic Vocabulary 1
Framing the module United Nations Sec. Generals statement The when of democracy promotion. The who of democracy promotion. The where of democracy promotion. A roller coaster ride. Questions the module addresses. Dispelling three myths. Do you have any questions? 2
3 Vocabulary Democratisation Means movement towards/in the direction of democracy. In practice that usually means western style liberal democracy. But we can challenge that reduction if we think other forms of democracy may be more appropriate
4 Democratisation Includes both transitional phase in the installation of democracy, and subsequent progress, for example from new, fragile, unstable, defective or imperfect democracy, towards more established, stable, and more democratic democracy. Open question of how to assess democraticness or a democracys quality.
5 Democratisation No end point: no country has reached the ideal typical position; the ideal itself may be dynamic, as for example new technology makes new forms of mass political participation possible.
6 Democratisation Democratisation is analytically distinct from the political liberalisation of authoritarian regimes, which may not produce democracy
7 Democratisation Democratisation is analytically distinct from authoritarian break down, which may not lead to democracy. Locating the borderline (the tipping point) between authoritarian break-down and democratic transition is somewhat arbitrary: the one merges into the other. Of course we can only know if the one merged into the other with benefit of hindsight, i.e. after the event.
8 Democratisation Backwards Increase in attention paid to examples of democratic decay and authoritarian persistence and revival, and, even, the diffusion of authoritarian and semi- authoritarian or illiberal rule. New theoretical perspectives required.
9 Democracy Assistance Concessionary (i.e. grant-aided) and largely consensual projects and programmes. But can become politically contentious – borderline with non- consensual forms of democracy promotion difficult to locate.
10 Democracy Promotion All the different methods and approaches to promoting democracy that range from assistance and soft power (e.g. influence) through pressure to hard power (i.e. coercion, including for example military intervention)
11 Democracy Support; Supporting Democracy-Building Can cover assistance and also knowledge- sharing about democracy/democratisation and diplomatic engagement, but not coercion. Sometimes preferred by non-governmental practitioners. Shared democracy-building (IDEAs preference) echoes the evolution from foreign (economic) aid, thru development assistance, to internat. development cooperation, and now partnership for development.
12 Regime Change The attempt to bring down a government (as distinct from changing the type of political regime or political rule or political system) by the use of military force. Born of the invasion of Afghanistan and Iraq by US and coalition forces. Clausewitz famously said war is a continuation of politics by other means. Regime change might be thought of as an endeavour that sometimes masquerades as democracy promotion but employs other means than assistance, most notably physical violence, and in the first instance is driven by other purposes and goals. It might or it might not lead to democracy.
13 International Dimensions of Democratisation Dwells on context or environment or causes rather than consequences of democratisation. Comprises both active and passive international democracy promotion Active form comprises intentionality, i.e. deliberate assistance and/or promotion, by whatever means. Passive sense refers to democracy being spread or diffused (or the opposite) by international influences (positive or negative) other than intentional democracy promotion and democracy assistance. Example: effects of living in a good, or conversely bad, neighbourhood; effects of global economic trends.
14 Towards a Borderless World? International itself a contested dimension Impact of globalisation on the national/international or foreign/domestic distinctions: the transnational dimension (e.g. global civil society) and the mutually constitutive nature of the internal and the external, whereby each stimulates or provokes and shapes the other and influences its effects. Assigning causality in democracy promotion even more difficult than identifying democratisations causes.
15 IPDP Session 2: Evolution in the State of Democratisation as Reality and as Subject of inquiry Aim of Lecture: to introduce the apparent paradox that democratisation and its international promotion warrant close inspection even though, possibly, the best is already behind us. The rise of democracy is ' the most important thing to have happened in the twentieth century' (Amartya Sen, 1999). Since then the optimism has dimmed, the romance has faded away. Unclear whether the Arab awakening is coming to the rescue.
16 Main points 1.The study of democratisation has been driven by events that were not foreseen in advance. 'the likelihood of democratic development in Eastern Europe is virtually nil' (Samuel P. Huntington, 1984). Five years later…. 2.Although American political science tended to dominate the study of democratisation, especially early on, the best way to understand democratisation is to approach it in the spirit of politics as an open discipline. 'the suggestion that the student of politics is an eclectic is very well observed, for he draws on so many ways of analysis as seem to suit his purpose' (W. H. Greenleaf, 1968). A multidisciplinary approach is especially well suited to increase our knowledge & understanding of democratisation, if we conceive it to be a multi-faceted & multidimensional process, i.e. about something more than just refashioning the institutions of government.
17 Main points 3.The fact that democratisation has had an impact both on politics and on the study of politics around the world means it should be of special interest to political studies and to students of international politics. 'where democracy is strong, political science is strong; where democracy is weak, political science is weak' (Huntington, 1988).
18 Main points 4. Establishing the trend: the flow and the ebb tide of democratisation under the impact of : revisions to our understanding of democracy, raising the bar prevalence of state fragility, collapse even, or at minimum weak government authoritarian persistence & now resurgence
19 Three provocative thoughts to conclude with 1)It is not true that trends towards greater freedom and democracy in the 1990s have since been stalled, reversed or hollowed out. On the contrary, what we see is a moving of the goalposts: the actualité is being subjected to ever more rigorous appraisal. It is as if we were previously blinded by the impression of a glass half full. In contrast, we now focus our analysis more on the half empty portion of a glass that is being redefined in ever more expansive terms (Anon). Discuss.
20 Three provocations 2). There are so many places now where democratisation is, or should be, placed on hold, or even dumped. The priorities must be building state and/or building nation, that is to say creating political and social order and the capacity for (better) governance. Our analytical frameworks & explanatory theories should take account of the implications of this both for politics and for the study of politics. And there are implications for international democracy promotion too. (Anon). Discuss.
21 Three provocations 3).Authoritarian and semi-authoritarian rule are back. Political science in general, and theories of democratisation in particular, need to adjust their sights and explain how this could have happened. And reflect and what it means for the future of world politics. (Anon) Discuss.
Summary conclusion On the ground: democratisation has evolved over recent decades and now faces an uncertain future. Does the Arab spring really make a difference? In the discourse: our knowledge & understanding of democratisation have made progress, but continue to reveal weaknesses, including a repeated failure to make sound prediction. For practitioners: the policy implications of the above for how to (whether to?) promote or support democracy abroad are under major review. 22
23 IPDP Session 3: Distinguishing processes of political change Aim of Lecture: to alert us to the conceptual debate and its significance through an analytical review of key concepts in democratisation: political liberalisation; democratic transition; democratic consolidation; democratic reversal.
24 Political change: transforming the regime rather than changing the state 1.Political transition or opening not same as democratic transition/opening 2.The dichotomy of 'authoritarian' versus democratic regime is oversimplified because it conceals the variety of non-democratic regime types and their different claims to political legitimacy, as well as different governance properties. Examples. 3.Non-democratic not same as pre-democratic. Possible significance: path-dependence.
25 False dichotomy 3.The dichotomy of authoritarian versus democratic regime is oversimplified because there can be a variety of outcomes of political transition from the former, apart from the possibility of reversion back to the same kind of regime. a) transition to a different type of non-democratic regime b) break-down of political order – regime collapse degrades the state (Saddam Hussein). c) intermediate categories of regime from authoritarian to democratic (with adjectives such as semi, limited, partial, etc; hybrids). Stable or unstable? d) democracy a relativistic concept, e.g. electoral; liberal; participatory; deliberative. The differences may be as profound as the difference from some non-democracies. e) certain shared underlying features of non-democratic and democratic regimes may colour how examples of both types operate in some similar ways, e.g. informal institutions. f) The rule of law matters: but is not exclusive to democracy; and may be more a requisite than an inevitable part of democracy. The sequencing debate links state and regime.
26 Transition v consolidation 4.Distinguishing political liberalisation from democratic transition (and from economic liberalisation). 5.Defining democratic consolidation. 6.Is the idea of post-consolidation meaningful? Irreversibility? Beyond the political arena? Scaling up? 7.Democratisation as variable geometry: different flight trajectories offer an alternative view to linear progress marked by agreed stages and tipping points. 8. Mirror image of forward and backwards movement and their explanations (causes)?
27 Different processes/different causes Distinguishing and disaggregating the process is important to identifying causes. Significant for the international promotion of democracy, as well as for pro-democracy actors and opponents of reform inside countries Yet whereas an extensive literature has emerged concerning the causes and consequences of democratisation, emerging types of democracy and issues of democratic consolidation, remarkably little research has been undertaken on the emergence or persistence of authoritarian regimes (Levitsky and Way, Journal of Democracy, 13/2, 2002). This is beginning to change, but there is still some to go, especially regarding international influences.
28 IPDP Session 4: Democracys critiques and alternatives Aim of Lecture: to identify normative critiques of the very idea of democracy – and by implication of the idea of international democracy promotion. This is more fundamental than criticising merely some particular theoretical version or interpretation of democracy. More fundamental than criticising just certain particular institutional models associated with democracy (e.g. presidential, or alternatively parliamentary). And it is more fundamental than criticising the democratic performance of countries that call themselves democracies (i.e. do not judge the idea of democracy by the so-called democracies, which might be falling short).
29 Critiquing the idea is also Not the same as critiquing the motives that are attributed to international democracy promotion generally and the Wests lead in promoting democracy specifically (e.g. US imperialism). And not the same as criticising the slow pace of democratisation in some new democracies, or the unrealistic expectations that people there and/or in the West have about the pace of change in these countries.
30 Also, critiquing the idea can Go beyond the claim that democracy does not solve all problems and procure every good thing that we want (i.e. rejecting democracy is more fundamental than moderating our expectations about what it can achieve or deliver). And it goes beyond the claim that democracy promotion is not a science but a very imperfect art (i.e. the need to moderate expectations about that too). So far all these are different arguments or claims. The following reject democracy as a political solution either for some or for all societies, or for some situations, or for some periods or phases in a societys development (note that these are all different claims too).
31 Alternative values in the world and over time 1.Democracys values are not universal values (contrary to what Sen claimed in 1999). Asian values, authoritarian capitalism, and some versions of political Islam may all offer alternatives. In the past, patriarchal rule/the king equates to father of a family/power to rule is inherited (e.g. Filmer,The Natural Power of Kings,1680, critiqued in Lockes First Treatise). Divine right of kings. In more recent times, theocratic rule/theocracy/Church overrides or supplies the state (Iran; Vatican City State), still claiming legitimacy based on divine source of authority. God is the ultimate sovereign, and not the people. Democracy respects the peoples choice, so if the people prefer an alternative to democracy, then the alternative is what they should have.
32 Who and what are the people? 2. Power should be the preserve of true members of the national community. This may not mean everyone (i.e. non-inclusionary enfranchisement based on ethno-nationalist and racial or racist theories about blood line or colour, or gender and age discrimination (e.g. apartheid South Africa). 3.The people are many, but only the few are wise. Democracy empowers the ignorance, stupidity, and irrational passions of the masses. Philosopher kings (Plato: The Republic) or the modern day equivalent - technocrats – should rule. Contemporary examples include Smith and Shearman on responses to global warming, and recent debates in some European countries over handing power to experts to determine policy responses to sovereign debt crises.
33 Security an overriding value 4. Democracy may be a nice idea, but personal safety, or security meaning both at home/internal (law and order) and external/from foreign aggression must come first (Thomas Hobbes argument for absolute, unlimited and indivisible power off the sovereign, in Leviathan). By dividing or distributing power widely in society and placing limits on what even a government with clear majority support is allowed to do, the ability of government to guarantee security – the individuals basic right to life – would be compromised, and could be fatally undermined – especially in an age of terror(ism).
Democracy requires unrealistic commitment 5.Attaining and maintaining democracy require qualities of self- confidence, energy and vigilance that human nature might not possess, even if people are clever. Soft version: sustainable democracy requires sustained commitent by the people (J.S.Mill, A few words on non-intervention, 1859 ); at best might succumb to the appeal of populist leaders, who are insincere democrats. Hard (scary) version: fear of freedom/ freedom an unbearable burden (Eric Fromm, 1941), provides the conditions for messianic rule that promises a holy grail. Rise of totalitarian dictatorship, e.g. fascism in the 1930s. 34
35 Too expensive 6.Democracy costs too much, for poor countries anyway: just think of the opportunity cost in terms of the basic (material) needs foregone. Similar arguments used recently against changing the voting system and electing the second chamber in the UK.
Historical obsolescence 7. In todays increasingly globalised world the sites of power and leading institutions of governance are moving offshore, and now straddle territorial boundaries between countries. But democracy was designed for - and remains trapped inside - the obsolete shell of the national state. So it can no longer deliver what it claims – rule by (and for) the people (discussed further in summer term – see module programme, week 21). 36
37 Radical views from the left 8. Marxist view of bourgeois democracy – an historically transient part of the superstructure. Of no great value in itself (it is the economic base and social relations make history). And it is pernicious in as much as it is fashioned to serve/prolong class domination/exploitation/alienation. And it is destined to be superseded by communism (alternatively, C. B. Macpherson on democratic socialism of Soviet-style rule). 9. Anarchist rejection of the state (Tolstoy; Proudhon; etc). Democracy presupposes a state, and the state is the enemy of freedom. The end of politics means no place for democracy as we know it.
38 Fatal links, or just remediable flaws? 10.(Electoral) democracy means tyranny by the majority. Is liberal democracy the solution, if it protects the rights of individuals and minorities (e.g. Bills of Rights)? 11.Democracy threatens property rights (Federalist Paper No. 10, debated in US in 1787). Seems overstated. But highlights importance of rule of law to encouraging wealth-creation). 12.Democracy perpetuates male domination (feminist critiques). Yes, but remediable – (only?) by social/economic change. 13.Representative democracy means enslavement between elections(Rousseau in The Social Contract, Book 3, chapter 15, 1762). E-democracy now offers a solution? 14. Contradicts traditional communal rule (e.g., African style, such as Botswanas kgotla). Town hall democracy and deliberative democracy as solutions?
39 And democracy promotion? Irrespective of whether the idea of democracy is good or bad, and regardless of what methods are used to promote democracy, the international promotion of democracy may be a bad idea because: 1.All national communities have a right to determine their own future free of external influence. Sovereignty limits democracy support to a request basis only. A matter of principle.
40 And democracy promotion? 2.It is only the people of a society who can really know what that society wants, what it needs, what will work best, when and how to get it. External influence at best gets in the way, even when it is welcomed and is well-intentioned. A matter of prudence more than principle. 2a.Variant on above: international democracy promotion is bound to be ethno-centric, i.e. promote models that reflect their country of origin, which may be unsuited (e.g.at the time of the French Revolution in 1790s Burke saw republicanism as anathema to English traditions of liberty that cherish the wisdom of the ages, so even if it was right for France –which Burke denied – this would mean it could not be right for England).
41 And democracy promotion? 3.Governments, especially democratically elected ones, are obliged to place their own countries interests first. So beware of foreigners (democracy promoters) bearing gifts: (Rousseaus Legislator argument inverted). Policy motives elaborated later in module). 4.If societies in the established democracies do not wish to support international democracy promotion then their elected governments should not use taxpayers money in that way (similar to arguments about spending on international development aid).
42 Homo sapiens destiny is to challenge, and the role of the academy to preserve the critical spirit 5.We should keep alive the idea that faith in democracy could be misplaced, which means that the idea of democracy promotion should be challenged too. Uncritical support for democracy and/or for democracy promotion leads to complacency and susceptibility to error. If they are not challenged, then even the meaning as well as the vitality of attachment and jealous protection of democracy will be more easily lost – in the established democracies (Socratic method; J.S. Mill in On Liberty, 1859).
43 Forthcoming attractions In the weeks ahead: Critiques of particular motives or policy drivers attributed to the democracy promoters (e.g. week 9). Criticisms of specific strategies, approaches, techniques or methods used to promote democracy, claiming they are ineffective or may even be counter-productive (see weeks 11 onwards).
44 IPDP Session 5: Explaining the growth of democracy promotion Aim of lecture: to explain how the 'international community' came to be more enthusiastic about promoting democracy by the late 1980s and took off in the 1990s but did not happen earlier.
45 Historical Origins 1. Post-1945 international order: states are sovereign; non-intervention; national self- determination (decolonisation); UN Security Council hamstrung by first world v second world rivalry. 2.Foreign aid in the cold war era: providers (US, USSR, China, OPEC, Japan, UK, France, Germany; WBankl policy rationales not democracy promotion. 3.The turning point: impact of events in the Soviet Union after Gorbachev became leader (1985) and end of Brezhnev doctrine. Affects North-South relations as well as East-West relations: window of opportunity for West to apply pressure for political change in developing countries without consequences for East-West balance of power 4. Third world countries became more vulnerable as lose second world financial, economic and political support; also, fear aid diversion of Western aid to transition countries in former second world; collapsing appeal of alternative ideology(communism). 5. Do not underestimate domestic pressures for political change inside the developing world, provides a demand-pull complement to the supply side push in political development support. Gives legitimacy. But were domestic demands for change primarily aimed at political reform or at economic improvement?
46 From Foreign (Economic) Aid to Political Development Support 4.Supply side aid institutions opportunistic response to growing 'aid fatigue' at home. Origins of 'aid fatigue' in the US (disappearance of cold war rationale); and everywhere a growing frustration at aid's weak developmental performance notwithstanding introduction of economic conditionality, and sensitivity to domestic public concern about aiding corrupt and/or incompetent governments, while having to impose fiscal austerity at home. 5. Early precursors of democracy promotion: President Carters human rights policy in late 1970s did not last. 6.Political (development aid) rejuvenates aids moral purpose – a good sell at home – and costs less than economic development aid!
47 New Thinking about International Relations 5.Evolving thinking about an international regime of rights - rights belong to people, not governments - and about international obligations – the former state-based notions of national sovereignty are put on the defensive against the role of the international community in protecting and/or furthering the rights of peoples (even against their own government ignores or represses the peoples rights). Democracy an entitlement? Modelling a new norm of international democracy protection and/or promotion on the evolving doctrine of humanitarian intervention (which may even justify use of force and ignoring the objections of the government). Is it a right – or an obligation – of the international community to do this? And who/what is the international community – same as the UN; other organisations?
Conclusions Conclusion: the collapse of the USSR and relaxation of former constraints on international diplomacy, the need for a new rationale for aid given the background of development failures, and the 'pull factor' from peoples seeking political change from their governments all combined to create a favourable environment for international promotion of democracy to take off in the 1990s. Advances in humanitarian intervention begin to look conducive to the evolution – ultimately - of a new doctrine of democracy intervention. In reality this never got off the drawing board and eventually became dead in the water after the US response to 9/11. The idea that the international community has a responsibility 2protect is what remains, but restricted to circumstances of specific human rights abuses (genocide; war crimes, ethnic cleansing, crimes against humanity), does not have status of international law, and its application is frustrated by the power politics that divide influential states. 48
49 IPDP Session 6: the developmental case for democracy promotion Aim of Lecture: to examine the intellectual rationales/case for promoting democracy, focusing today on the developmental case. Note: this is not the same question as the historical origins – how DP came about (see previous lecture), And note the same question as why certain actors embraced DP and try to do it - the actual policy motives (see later lecture).
50 The Way We Used to Think The 'cruel choice' theory (1960s) – pursue either development, or democracy, but not both. Investment requires abstinence from consumption, which is politically unpopular. The performance of East Asias dragons/tigers provides evidence that non- democracies can and do deliver development. Modernisation school of development proposes that political development will follow economic change; the wealth theory of democracy (Lipset) then kicks in. So everything can work out fine in the long run. Bias towards strong executive government as a means to implement the 'Washington consensus' that requires structural (economic ) adjustment, embodied in conditional programme lending (1980s). No pain, no gain a hard sell, politically. So democracy/democratisation unwelcome distractions, or worse, present political obstructions to rational (economic) imperatives.
51 The Thinking Changes By 1990 the dominant thinking undergoing change in three respects: 1.Our understanding of the relationship between economics and politics: rejection of economic determinism; political institutions make a difference. 2. Our understanding of the specific connection between economic development and political development: political change might be necessary for economic progress, not an obstacle. 3. Our understanding of the comparative merits of authoritarianism and democracy as political agents of economic liberalisation: the legitimacy gained from being democratically elected can help governments take the tough decisions that weak autocracies see as too risky to their political tenure.
52 Explaining the changed thinking Realisation that development needs investment in human capital & social capital, as well as physical capital. They are not luxuries that must be denied to people in poor societies. So development strategy may not require or benefit from (politically unpopular) austerity. Conditional lending seen to be a failure because of lack of government ownership and non-enforceability, which pose political challenges (NB. an alternative explanation would be that the Washington consensus advice is inappropriate and the root cause of a countrys economic problems lies in the international economic and financial system, but this explanation is not acceptable to donors/the West). Lessons of experience that non-democratic governments that are not accountable to society often do not feel obliged to prioritise the well-being of the people, either in the short or the long term. Africa – land of dictators – was not developing.
53 If politics is the (source of) the problem of weak development, then the solution must be political too Different political solutions: democracy/responsive government (bilateral donors); good governance/competent and honest government (World Bank). Reasons why democracy might be good for development: accountable to the people, who demand material improvement; policy feedback improves policy; command and control might suit first generation economic conditionalities (e.g. devaluation), but second generation economic conditionalities benefit from a more consensual politics (e.g. wage de- indexation). Removal of doubts that democracy could harm development: evidence that democracy does not destroy property/incentive to create wealth; political parties gain politically from a reputation for economic competence. Reasons why democratically elected governments will/can pursue economic liberalisation: rely on the experts for policy advice, while political legitimacy buys (grudging) acceptance from the people; international financial support sugar coats the pill, if properly distributed (and not trapped by government elite).
Democracy/democratisation even good for fighting world poverty Reducing poverty becomes main goal of foreign development aid, after end of cold war. Poor people are the most vulnerable to bad governance (corruption). Democratic accountability should force governments to improve governance. Democracy/democratisation will make poverty-reduction a higher political priority, because poor people – who may be in the majority - will use their vote to demand attention. (Liberal) democracy more permissive of non-governmental organisations and civil society groups, who will put the needs of the poor on the political agenda even if political parties do not. Evidence: no famines in democracies with free media (Sen). 54
Conclusion Growing belief that democracy (and hence democratisation) can be good for development - development that reduces world poverty. Political reform of some sort – especially in governance - may even be a necessary (pre)condition for development, in many places; and in time democracy should bring better governance. Therefore supporting the spread of democracy (democracy promotion) and helping to improve governance (governance aid) should be good for development. And the world development aid industry also should help support democratisation. Criticism: in reality, democratisation can be bad for development, if it proves very destabilising; democratisation in practice not always empower the poor, and conflicts exist between economic liberalisation and poverty reduction; development aid industry remains more sceptical of democracy than good governance. 55
56 IPDP Session 7: Arguments suggesting that democracy can be promoted Aim of the lecture: to examine intellectual justifications for promoting democracy by focusing on the influences on democratisation that may be open to manipulation or control
57 Development not a necessary condition or a sufficient condition for democratization Rise of the belief that democracy and democratisation are possible even where the economic/socio-economic circumstances are not especially favourable. India and other examples of sustained democracy 'against the odds/deviant democracies. Hence the possibility that international democracy support could 'make a difference' even in these situations, and not only where economic/socio-economic (pre)conditions/(pre)requisites' are already in place. Anyway, economic development not a sufficient condition for liberal democracy. So there must be other factors that need to be addressed, where maybe international support could help too.
58 Additional Independent Variables We become aware of some other significant factors that can affect the chances of success or failure of democratisation, and the possibility that these influences might be amenable to external influence of some sort, e.g. technical advice, training, material or financial assistance, diplomatic persuasion, pressure, etc. At least three candidates: political institutions; civil society; political culture.
59 Political Institutions The 'new institutionalism' generally (1980s on); political decisions (and non-decisions) on choice of political institutions matter, can make a difference to political outcomes. Choices are possible, within reason (constrained by previous choices and by more objective factors). Agency and structure interact. Institutional design and engineering (division of powers; checks and balances; centralisation v devolution; electoral system etc). Path dependence/stickiness suggests getting the choices right is important (birth defect theory). But constitutional processes may allow for change.
Do international actors have the right knowledge/expertise to advise on appropriate institutional engineering? Rousseaus legislator How can they influence choices when these must be acceptable to society and the dominant political actors? Possibilities: in occupied countries; broken societies; where there is respect for tried and tested experience of foreign models (maybe lawyers and politicians educated abroad); conditionality for accession to regional organisation, e.g.EU. 60
Formal and informal institutions Informal institutions harder to change, and less amenable to external influence, than are formal institutions. Examples: patron-clientelism; corruption. Reform of the formal institutions might change the informal institutions in long run, by altering the incentive structures to behave in particular ways. For example a majoritarian electoral system design might encourage different ethnic groups to cooperate in a broad-based political party, where a PR system might entrench ethnic political representation. But in the short-medium term, informal institutions can undermine or hollow out formal institutional reforms – e.g. persistence of clientelism in new democracies prevents democratically elected governments aiming for the general public good. And can cause backtrack on the institutional reforms (i.e. no path dependence), e.g. Putin undoes Medvedevs modest reforms. 61
Political Culture Culture comprises attitudes, beliefs, values, feelings/sentiments. Political culture a sub-set – orientations towards politics. Almond and Verba (1960s) on the civic culture. Third wave resurrects interest in the significance of political culture to the political system/regime. But what makes up a specifically 'civic culture'? And its relationship to religious creed, level of education and prosperity, historical experience? Can we measure it? How? Growth in attitude surveys (barometers) organised/funded from established democracies. Could be used to inform decisions on democracy support programmes/projects For example if people fear the authorities, then help improve the rule of law (e.g. strengthen mechanisms of accountability, like judicial independence). 62
Condition or Consequence? Is civic culture a prerequisite for successful democratization? Whose culture matters most - elite (leaders) or mass – and when? Mass civic culture not necessary for transition, but essential to consolidation? Can mass civic culture be a product of democratic transformation, e.g. brought about by the new institutions of democracy ? International help, directly (e.g. support civic education); indirectly (through advice on/support for institutional reform, e.g. human rights legislation. 63
Civil society Civil society not a new idea. Exists between state and household, based on voluntary principle, seeking some public purpose. But discourse mainly in political and social theory (Smith, Hegel, Gramsci). Reawakening to its importance against a background of growth in organised demands for political reform from outside the ruling party, in Latin America and Central & Eastern Europe, e.g. Solidarity in Poland. Another example of how real events force us to think afresh. But civil society is a contested concept; there are disagreements over its function in politics and disagreements especially over whether its role pre and post democratic transition should differ. 64
Contested Ideas about Civil Society Composition: all inclusive, or alternatively excludes civic groups hostile to liberal democratic values (i.e. a civic culture), in other words is there uncivil society too? Function: to challenge the state?, to countervail/check the state?; to help the state be more effective?; a school/training ground for democracys leaders? Modern and traditional variants (ethnic, tribal, extended familial groups). Democracy support often accused of favouring the first. Pro-market (e.g. include business groups) v suspicious of market/economic liberalisation (organised labour; anti-globalisation protesters). An ideological division over this. Boundaries with social movements (different aim or purpose? Different social base? Different methods? More transient?). 65
International Support for Civil Society Notwithstanding the academic arguments over civil society, international democracy support for it in both new and prospective new democracies became a major growth industry in 1990s – civil society capacity-building one of the highest categories of spending. Reasons: it offers an access point; external support may essential; may be the main actor demanding/driving reform; cheap and relatively easy to do; politically safer than backing political parties (if there are pro-reform parties); responding to demand from civil society. However the lessons of experience from two decades of support now tell us it can be problematic – for both sides (as week 16 in the spring term will explore in detail). 66
Conclusions Irrespective of how developed/non developed, or wealthy/poor the country is, democratisation might still be possible And international actors might be able to make a constructive contribution to this, by seeking to influence the institutions, the political culture, the civil society. Economic progress later would then help to consolidate the democratic gains. Indeed, democratic transition might unlock the potential for economic progress, which then helps consolidate democracy, in a virtuous circle. 67
Caveats Institutional design is an imperfect art and models do not always travel well – iron law of unintended consequences. Informal institutions and political culture may be resistant to change. A seeming flourishing of civil society is not irreversible – recedes, or becomes diverted into pursuing narrow group interests after the democratic revolution. In the meantime, protracted economic weakness and failure to improve social welfare/well-being can undermine popular support for a new democracy and lead to a stalled transition or even democratic reverse 68
69 IPDP Session 8: Policy motivations for promoting democracy Aim of the lecture: to introduce different perspectives on what motivates international democracy promotion (policy drivers, policy goals, policy ends). The why they do, rather than why they should, or the intellectual justifications (see previous weeks). Put differently, what are the incentives. Disentangling means and ends (objectives v goals). Disentangling surface rationalisations & real or underlying reasons.
Plurality of types of actor with non-identical missions and agendas Foreign policy analysis gaining more respectability in social science. Cross-over with foreign affairs think-tanks, foreign policy institutes/foundations. But establishing motives not synonymous with foreign policy analysis of states: inter-governmental organisations & non-governmental organisations. And states are not monoliths (inter-departmental rivalries). Two approaches to foreign policy analysis of states: from the inside out (endogenous source); from the outside in (exogenous source). If the real world is more interactive, tracing the internal mechanisms of the push me pull me process is the way forward to understanding policy, especially the evolution of policy. In principle it should be able to capture whether (and how) policy changes over time as a result of learning the lessons of experience about its effects (effectiveness), i.e. feedback loop. 70
71 Some Candidates 1.Advancing democratic values and/or human rights for their own sake, i.e. idealism. But possibly also bound up with own identity (and sense of mission to lead). In the US ideas of manifest destiny as the first free nation go back to early 19 th century. EU has equivalent sense of mission to show how countries can overcome a history of conflict by adopting the right political solution. Decline in popular support in US for democracy promotion. Should states have a moral purpose in their international relations, anyway? 2.A strategic calculation to make the world a safer place (for self included): democratic peace thesis – influential notwithstanding academic critiques ( the reasons why there is a coincidence more revealing than the coincidence: e.g. it all depends on how we define the terms; is a function of cold war; is a function of shared prosperity; and democratization is destabilising and can even spawn belligerence). Democracies initiate war on non-democracies, which is still a breach of international peace).
More recent candidates 3.To enhance national security against new security threats, especially combating international terrorism after 9/11. Cannot explain democracy promotion before 9/11. And is terrorism really due to lack of democracy? Alternative origins: social grievance; nationalism; specific roots in Middle East politics). Increase in democratic freedoms can account for increase in terrorism (at home). Other new security threats: illegal migrants (but do democracies manage their economies better?) and asylum seekers (democracies respect human rights); global environmental bads (but are democracies really more responsible in global environmental terms? We revisit the topic of climate change later in the module); health (would there be fewer pandemics in a world made up entirely of democracies?); global financial instability (democracies the source of recent instabilities!); energy security (no logical connection with type of regime, other than the evidence that national abundance in traded fossil fuels helps sustain regimes that are not (liberal) democratic, e.g. Gulf states, Saudi, Iran, Russia. 72
Less Reputable Candidates 4. Life a relentless struggle for power after power (Hobbes Leviathan) means the pursuit of power or hegemony, world domination even, either for its own sake or to secure own self- preservation in a world where others pursue it for its own sake. Sought through cultural imperialism, the export of (political) values – i.e. American values, or western values born of the European Enlightenment, and not really the universal values they are claimed to be). Old ways of exercising imperialism - military conquest and occupation of territory; or economic domination or financial power (e.g. worlds reserve currency) are more costly and less feasible now than in the ages of pax Britannica and pax Amerciana. Colonising minds just a new phase of neo-colonialism. 73
5. A public relations exercise: deflect critical domestic or international attention from doing 'business as usual' with tacky regimes that have political, economic or other assets. But in practice has opposite effect: accusations of double standards and hypocrisy. 6.As a corollary of the 'Washington policy consensus' : democratisation (democratic governance) for the sake of structural economic adjustment and economic liberalisation. And reinforces a states obligation to repay debts to the IFIs (unlike odious debt). 7. Above merges into a grander claim that democracy promotion is about making the whole world safe for capital - capitalism as an entire system of political economy which is the end, where economic liberalisation is just a means to help realise that end. Robinson on transnational corporations interest in pre-empting real democratic revolutions. But does capitalism and the pursuit of profit really need democracy/democratisation – in China, Vietnam? US no longer has monopoly on TNCs. Critical theorists critique the promotion of economically liberal democracy but disagree over whether promotion of other ideas of democracy (social democracy; participatory democracy, etc ) is acceptable - and feasible. 74
8. The defensive turn now : the rising power of autocracies competing for influence in the world means democracy promotion has to moderate its ambitions, however we choose to explain it before. It is no longer the pursuit of absolute power, but about slowing the decline in the Wests relative power. And it is not about seeking the triumph of certain ideas or ideology - neither democracy nor capitalism. Ideas and values revert to being just instruments in a new round of struggles between nations and states over regional and global balances of power, and will be either used or discarded as best serves the interests of the West in its power struggles. This new realist take on a new cold war (see Kagan: The Return of History and the End of Dreams) consistent with recent criticisms of EU for declining commitment to international democracy promotion and of foreign policy adjustments early on in Obama presidency. 75
76 Concluding Reflections Different answers or varying combinations of answer could explain pursuit of different objects such as human rights, democracy, and 'good governance'. Different explanations or varying combinations could apply to different categories of democracy-promoting organisation (states; international orgs., non-governmental actors); to different states (US; Sweden, etc., variations among different EU member states) and successive governments within the same state; and even within the same state structure (e.g. in UK between FCO & DFID & WFD; in US between State Dept. and USAID let alone NED) and between factions within individual organisations, e.g. idealists v career bureaucrats).
77 The leading explanations/policy motors could change over time, e.g. from doing development in 1990s, through fighting terrorism after 9/11, to countering the growing international power of rival national states now. And motives can sometimes be confused or unclear, or persist due to inertia but cease to mean very much. So whatever explanation(s) you are attracted to, do what Popper says makes for a sound scientific method of inquiry – look for evidence that would refute the claim, not just evidence that will offer support for (i.e. confirm) it. Apply the test that asks in principle can the claim be empirically falsified?, if you ever feel the need to avoid the temptations of conspiracy theory.
78 And Whatever Explanation(s) You Settle on At time the goals can be delusionary. Because policy implementation can deviate from the policy aims and/or motivations. Because policy outcomes can be unpredictable; even perverse. The backlash against democracy promotion in the twenty first century suggests this. Put differently, motives may not be a very reliable guide to what is attempted, and an even less reliable indicator of what is achieved. So do not extrapolate results from intentions! Even if you believe the US aspires to global domination through exporting its version of democracy, success could be along way off – in fact, receding as we speak! In theory, over time a policy-making feedback loop should help correct this. But our examination of the performance of democracy assistance in the spring term tells us not to count on it. That is to say, an experience of policy failures or policy mistakes does not always lead on to better or more successful policy.
79 International Politics of Democracy Promotion PO229 Session 9: Strategies for promoting democracy: alternatives or complementary?
80 Aim of Lecture to introduce the variety of patterns of interaction between democratisation and external actors in the international system, and to draw attention to significant differences among approaches to – strategies for - promoting democracy abroad.
81 Preliminaries 'More than one way to skin a cat. Not all cats are the same: fitting the choice of strategy to the political situation and current direction of political travel in a country. For example: one approach or set of approaches for toppling dictators, another for protecting a new democracy from internal subversion, and yet another for consolidating a democracy or helping it to become more democratic. Could different approaches be mutually reinforcing, e.g. if used in the right sequence over time? Important to distinguish between the nature of the relationship and the identity of the external actor (horses for courses).
82 Some analytical devices Leverage v linkage to the West (Levitsky and Way). Linkage creates vulnerability to leverage, but is argued to be more effective at securing the sustained democratic transformation of a regime. Soft power (of attraction) v hard power (military might & economic incentives). Power continuum – from assistance (consensual and nonviolent) and persuasion (reasoned argument); through influence (social learning & acculturation; conditionality; to coercion - both military and non-military. Toolbox instruments: diplomatic skills; political capital; financial; economic; technical; threat potential; military capability.
83 Analytical devices continued Active (intentional) v passive (unintended). Balance of effects. Active: direct impact on political variables; indirect impact on politics through affecting economic or other variables. On socialisation: norm adoption v norm adaptation & selection (filtering; context matters). More on socialisation: norm conversion (internalisation, i.e. become democrats by conviction) v logic of consequences (change the incentive structure so that people will now calculate their interests differently, e.g. by making offers of rewards for compliance; sanctions & penalties for non- compliance. They become democrats for convenience – or democracy without dmeocrats. Promoting democracy by applause one application; offer of club membership.
84 Continued a) By example, learning and imitation/emulation : can be passive (unintended) but also a low-cost approach to active democracy promotion. Moral: put own house in order first (both politically and economically?) d) Helping pro-democracy forces to struggle: is this democracy assistance, or democracy promotion? Does the answer depend on how it is done (the kind of support offered) and how strongly the authorities object? Struggle can run away from/become out of control – democracy support mission creep.. c) Second generation (i.e. political) conditionalities coercive? Under what conditions could they be construed as such? Are political conditionalities the same as (self-serving) political strings.
85 International influences are not everywhere or always positive a) Well-intentioned democracy interventions can backfire (examples of Trusteeships in Kosovo and Bosnia-H.?) or are ineffective (reasons will be explored in second term). Even (negative)political conditionalities perform poorly, just like first generation (economic conditionalities) which failed to secure policy ownership. But positive conditionalities (inducements) now back in fashion in EU relations with near abroad. b) Emergence of competition from autocracy promotion. Is this new kid of the block about supporting autocracy or about defending the sovereignty of autocracies? c) Countervailing influence of other international forces, developments or events. For example are so-called crises of capitalism more accurately a crisis of/for democracy (and democracy promotion) as well? Is global climate change a serious threat to democracy and democratization (see week 22).
86 Conclusions a) Different strategies to promote democracy abroad are conceivable; all have been tried. Judging the right combination, at the right time, for the right case is very difficult. Trying to supporting democracy abroad is an art not a science. b)The spread of democracy has not occurred solely because of 'imposition' by the West. External/internal interactions matter. c) Has to be both opportunistic in responding quickly appropriately to (unforeseen) internal events and prepared to commit for the long haul. d) Do not assume that political conditionality is effective. Even economic sanctions only rarely deliver the desired a result. e) Technical assistance may not always be an exercise in political power, but it can become very political.
Conclusions continued f)The effectiveness of international democracy promotion should be contextualised within a larger set of more diverse international influences on the prospects for democracy. g) The global pathways to authoritarian/semi-authoritarian resilience (and resurgence?) and their spread merit more attention now than in the 1990s – and receive too little attention even now. h) Democracy promotion not just a transfer from North to South. Do not forget the regional dimension, which could be positive or negative, e.g. effects of living in a good or bad neighbourhood; intra-regional spill-overs (democracy racing v destabilisation of democratic initiatives by subversion by a nearby nondemocratic regime that feels threatened). 87
88 Finally, true or false? The real contrast between democracy promotion and autocracy promotion is not that democracies will use only methods that fall short of coercion, whereas autocracies will happily use force. Instead, the real contrast is that democrats actually believe in the universal value of democracy, even when promoting democracy for self-regarding or instrumental reasons, whereas autocracies will support likeminded regimes only when and where they anticipate some benefit to themselves. Supporters of democracy and autocracy all dip into the same toolbox. It is just the ends that are different.
89 IPDP Session 10: Three agendas or one? Democracy, human rights and good governance Aim of the Lecture: to examine the relationships between the 3 agendas of democratic political reform, human rights and 'good governance'. Do these provide the basis for a coherent strategy of international 'intervention' - a mutually reinforcing set of goals? Or are there tensions - conflicts even - among the different elements, which raises questions about what to give priority to and what are the right sequences to pursue.
90 1. The Democratic Political Reform Agenda (Western style) liberal democracy has had a monopoly on democracy promotion, drawing on ideas of civil liberties as well as political rights, and consonant with a market approach to economic organisation (i..e economic liberalism). More emphasis on freedom from the state (negative liberty) than freedom to become a full citizen (positive liberty),i.e. more like Locke than Rousseau. Formal equality of political opportunities not actual political equality. Common possession of rights based in law not necessarily amount to empowerment of the people. But there are other – less elitist - democratic models to compare,e.g. social, radical, participatory, deliberative, as well as other approaches (conceptions?) like green and feminist approaches. Unresolved debates: how far compatible with liberal democracy, or illiberal, or not fully democratic, or anti democratic? And if any of these, should international democracy support actually offer support? If yes, does it have the ability, or could it acquire the ability, to offer constructive help, where the ideas of democracy are largely unfamiliar or untested or disowned in established democracies.
91 2.Human Rights Agenda(s) Inalienable moral entitlements ascribed to (all) human beings by virtue of being human beings. Universalism versus relativism and cultural specificity: Asian values; Islamic values. Several generations: first (e.g freedom from torture), second (universal adult suffrage) and third (e.g. socio-economic rights). Descending order of general acceptance. And even a fourth – e.g. right to peace, to own culture, to humanitarian assistance, to development aid. Who has corresponding obligation (no world government)? Rights of individuals v rights of particularistic collectivities (communal rights): which count most?
The Reality In law governments can be held to account internationally to international human rights conventions they have signed and ratified. But not all sign and/or ratify all conventions, and international enforcement is unreliable unless governments cooperate (e.g.international criminal tribunals; international court of justice). International enforcement challenges state sovereignty by virtue of putting the citizens rights first. Non-democratic governments least likely to accept this, but even democratically elected governments draw red lines (grounds of national security; nationalism). 92
93 3.'Good Governance' Agenda The terms governance (the exercise of political, economic and administrative power in the management of public affairs, says the World Bank) and even good governance are both so broad and employed in so many different ways as to suggest we must be cautious in how we use them. But in the policy world good governance is believed to be crucial to development, measurability is aspired to, and performance indicators are used in allocating development aid (second generation aid conditionality). And now much international assistance is directed at strengthening governance (i.e. strengthening the state) and improving governance, where needed, contrary to former impression that western aid aimed to shrink the state (first generation aid conditionalities of Washington consensus).
Good governance includes openness and transparency as well as efficiency and ability to secure the rule of law (equality of all before the law). A strong focus in governance interventions is on combating corruption, which is thought to produce resource misallocation, distort economic policy/management, and harm the poor, as well as being detrimental to democracy. Decentralisation another spin off, but note this not same as devolution (of power). Growing interest among development aid donors in supporting financial oversight by legislatures and civil society, for sake of developmental ends 94
95 4. Conflicts Between Democracy, Human Rights and Governance Support? Are the different agendas logically interrelated, i.e. compatible simply because of how they are defined (democracy is defined in terms of human rights like freedom of speech & association), or just functionally interdependent such that advancing one will help advance another (e.g. a governance capacity to manage elections enhances the democratic process, improves chances of high voter turnout and the victor can claim legitimacy)? Or neither of these? Historically different discourses and different advocates; inconsistent labelling (but mislabelling can sometimes be useful when selling intervention in internal affairs). Human rights support serving as a soft option that conceals back-pedalling on democracy support. Can (representative) democracy truly respect everyones fundamental rights equally? Libertarians fear (majority) tyranny at expense of minorities even in consociational democracies (e.g. see the progressive redistribution of wealth as an assault on the right to property); minority tyranny when there are low electoral turnouts, especially in first-past-the-post electoral systems.
Governance and Democracy Does support for governance capacity-building undermine democratisation if it empowers the executive vis-a-vis instruments of accountability, by enhancing patronage powers and increasing the potential for winning performance legitimacy in societys eyes? Good governance should correct market failure but its overall emphasis on enabling market-led development can undermine democracy in two ways: by being responsible for wide socio-economic inequalities/social injustice it can infringe third generation rights and translate into political inequality ; because openness to international economic/financial forces undermines national democratic self-determination (external over internal accountability) Democracy requires the rule of law (& good governance should secure the rule of law) but is judicial autonomy (of politics) the mechanism to deliver it (who will guard the guardians?). Governance support leaves intact an underlying unequal distribution of political power in society. Maybe social/socio-economic transformation and maybe a cultural shift too are needed, if the distribution of political power is to really change? 96
Conclusions The right combination of objectives might close the gaps and compensate for one anothers weaknesses. But combinations create monolithic (all or nothing) agendas. This can be unwieldy and burdensome to coordinate; and resource-intensive. It leaves recipient societies with few choices or room for manoeuvre: limits their freedom to negotiate choices and opportunity to adapt support to what local circumstances require (no one size can fit all). Combining objectives still does not tell us how to achieve the individual components In practice, vested interests and institutional inertia as well as the genuine advantages of specialisation/division of labour will maintain fragmentation, only weak coordination, and competition within the overall industry of democracy, human rights and governance support. And over time the emphases between agendas and within agendas will fluctuate as geo-political expediency and attention to results dictates. 97
98 IPDP Session 11: Election observation and monitoring Aim of Lecture: to critically examine different forms of electoral assistance, most notably elections observation
99 Representative democracy and elections Representative democracy entails elections to public office. The 'fallacy of electoralism in an age of elections. Necessary but not a sufficient condition for democracy. Fraudulent elections can be tipping points in transition to democracy, and in discrediting a democracy too. International v domestic observations: resources; apply international standards and knowledge; credibility leads to confidence- building in fairness of process, which may reduce damaging boycotts including game playing by unpopular no-hopers. Managing v observation v monitoring. But blurring in practice, where observation leads to recommendations for improvement during or after the election.
100 The limits of elections observation 1.'Quick and dirty electoral tourism by flying squads. Establish a presence well before the election day and, even, before the campaign. 2. To be aware of the significance of such issues such as: Population census data and voter registration procedures. Party registration. Regulatory framework for party activities like rallies; lawful (tax fraud charges) and illegal harassment. Party finance including discriminatory distribution of public contracts. Media access and coverage. Independence and capacity of the national elections commission: constituency boundaries, distribution of polling stations (UNZA example) Who chooses the election date?
Limits continued 3.Exit polls can help pre-empt local fraud. 4. But central tabulation and declaration a weak a link. Delayed publication of results; confusion. 5. Post-tabulation/declaration scenarios: disputed outcome and protest. What are the dispute resolution mechanisms: street action? legal process? Role for conflict-mediation by international actors. 101
General issues 1.Not invited. In autocracies and mature democracies. 2.Reject invitation to avoid legitimating fraudulent election. 3.Rivalry between different missions; weak coordination over timing and content of verdicts can lead to confusing overall assessment 4. Assessments often not (cannot?) take form of either free or not free, either fair or not fair, but something in between. So still open to interpretation: is free but hardly fair better than fair but hardly free? 5. Political sub-text: influence of partisan international politics: funders may be as interested in who wins as they are in the process. 102
Post-conflict elections 1.International presence even more important in post-conflict situation, because of mistrust among local actors (social capital weak). And do tend to attract UN and missions. 2.But the security situation and the timing may be difficult: premature timing favours a few v drawbacks of delay (no legitimate government; regress into violent conflict). 3.Political sub-text where elections could serve different purposes, e.g. peace-building and political transition; to create a government; to enable early international withdrawal (e.g. international peace- keepers). 4. More political sub-text: influence of partisan international politics: funders may be as interested in who wins as they are in the process. 103
Monitoring Democracy: when international election observation works and why. Kelleys findings. 1.Can assess elections accurately, but tends to be when the verdict (positive or negative) is in no doubt anyway. 2.Can improve election quality, but mostly not done so. Main influences on outcome are outside monitors control. 3.Monitors have competing objectives. 4. So, are sometimes biased and have contributed false legitimacy to process and outcome. 5.More resources – bigger missions – not a solution. 104
Findings continued 6. Where capacity to stage elections is weak, concentrate support on election capacity building, not election monitoring & assessment. 7.But can also mean repeating missions from one election to the next. Long haul. 8.And one might add, help build the local capacity of civil society and the political parties to observe elections on a durable long term basis. This is more sustainable, & is concrete evidence of a societys commitment to building democracy: it is part of democratisation. 9.Which can also pay off in between elections. 105
106 Technical assistance: system design A free and fair election can still lead to much discontent because of flawed electoral system design. But electoral systems designed by someone for some purpose. Partisan aims. And legitimate trade-offs: stable & effective governance v highly representative government. This may pose a choice of majoritarian (hence first past the post) v consociational/consensus (hence proportional representation). Political history, socio-political cleavages, political culture all influence electoral processes, outcomes of elections, and the effects of the electoral system. So… Avoid fallacy of international electoral assistance: not overestimate its ability to make a difference, especially given that what happens in politics between elections may well be the most important influence on the election outcomes and on the condition of democracy (see Burnell article in Representation 47/4 (2011), pages
Finally In case you are still interested in becoming an international electoral observer, visit web site of EIUC (European Inter-University Centre on Human Rights and Democratisation), formed from 41 universities and offering theoretical and practical training, amid the delightful surroundings of Venice. 107
108 IPDP Session 12: Building political parties and party systems Aim of lecture: to critically examine the international community's contribution to addressing the challenge of building new parties and stable, competitive party systems in emerging democracies.
109 Order of lecture It does this after first outlining what parties – fundamental to representative democracy – are said to do. Independent candidates tend to be marginal. Party system is a composite of the number/size of parties and other variables such as range of choice. Outlines three disturbing scenarios. What can international actors do? Introduces the specific challenge of political funding.
What parties do They furnish candidates for high political office, unlike civil society. They mobilise popular support for government, thereby enhancing its legitimacy and improving its chances of providing effective government. Opposition parties potentially offer checks against the abuse of power by government A medium for political communication between state and society, in both directions. They aggregate interests, which helps make the political demands on government more coherent and manageable. They can integrate diverse social groups. They supply alternative policy options. A monopoly on policy initiatives by the state bureaucracy translates isk-avoidance and inertia into policy stagnation. They articulate a vision of the good life. e.g. a free people, social justice, green future, nationalistic ideas, etc. 110
Caveats Not all parties in all polities perform every one of these functions. Parties do not have a monopoly on all these functions. Not all parties perform the functions well. In practice some of the functions may be better performed by other institutions, e.g. CSOs. In practice some parties may have dysfunctional effects, e.g. secretly have anti-democratic agendas (radical Islamist parties?); incite illiberal and divisive values, like inter-communal intolerance or hatred, which harms democracy (some ethno-nationalist parties). Some functions may be more vital than others. Which ones depends on local political, social and cultural contexts, e.g. whether society is harmonious or conversely conflict prone; whether good governance improvements are vital or not; whether democratisation is actually advancing or decaying instead. 111
continued Could be a difference between the roles actually performed by the parties in the established democracies (system maintenance) and the functions they must perform for democratisation (system development) if democratisation is to move forward. An example would be (re)building social capital (trust) in the democracy-building challenge of post-conflict societies. 112
113 Three disturbing scenarios seen in new democracies 1.Political hegemony of a dominant party/one party dominant system (NB not = one party state). African examples, e.g. ANC in South Africa. Could be symptom/ harbinger of democratic erosion, e.g. excessive power to the executive. 2.Excessive proliferation/churning of parties and (hyper)factionalism. Often found in the early days/months/years of democratic transition.. Bad for stable coherent government, bad for accountability, but good for creating voter confusion and fatigue. Tends to settle down later. Rapid demise or fragmentation even of established parties always possible and may be healthy. Example: Italys Christian Democratic party, dominant from 1944 on, disappeared in 1994.
continued 3.Personalist politics: party serves leaders personal ambitions, rather than the leader being servant of party/promotes a party programme. Non ideological/non-programmatic parties. May mean little meaningful choice for voters: reputation of politics and democracy suffers. Succession problem for party becomes a crisis for the polity (e.g. after Hugo Chavez, what?). Latin American phenomenon especially but not exclusively. 114
115 What can international actors do? Work with the parties individually, e.g. offers of technical assistance to develop campaigning and media skills, policy development. Choices: should be to all parties (USAID)?; only practicable to help some but not all parties (WFD)?; can be bipartisan (Stiftungen)? Or cross-party, especially in post conflict situations (NIMD). Choices: support a party in critical (transition)elections? Or help parties longer term institutional development, the development of structures for participation by youth & women especially. But party leaders have cooperate. Why would they? Risks: has to offer support to a ruling party that it mistrusts, in order to be accepted; bipartisan support that is perceived to reflect foreign powers own agendas can de-legitmise their local partners. Foreign support backs a losers – should this matter? Foreign supporter finds out too late that it helped fake democrats take power, i.e it is implicated in a stalled transition to democracy or de-democratisation (Zambias Frederick Chiluba, ,a possible example).
alternatively Rather than support one or some parties individually, try to affect the many determinants of the party system: legal/regulatory framework; electoral system; elections management; executive-legislative relations (parliamentary systems more conducive than presidential systems to strong parties and party competition?); social and economic cleavages/development; the political culture (e.g. extent of female and youth participation). But government has to cooperate. Why would it? Risks: unable to affect some of these variables except indirectly and in long run; and will have little impact when globalisation is narrowing the space for policy differentiation (taken up in week 21). 116
117 Challenge of political funding The cost of funding a party/its election campaigns is only a part of the overall resourcing costs of democracy, but is politically controversial everywhere - even in long established democracies like UK and US Money is not everything – members/supporters volunteer - but increasingly important because media exposure so crucial in elections. And in some countries voters expect a reward in advance of voting.
Developing democracies as big spenders An estimate of campaign spending on the Brazilian Presidential 2010 election of $15 dollars per eligible voter ($18 if include the assembly elections) is significantly higher than the $8 dollars spent in the US 2012 Presidential race ($25 if include Congressional). Spending on the presidential campaign in Brazil almost 6 times higher than in the US, measured as a proportion of the countrys Gross Domestic Product. Other high spenders include Mexico, Ukraine, probably Nigeria (but no reliable data) - all relatively new democracies, as well as Japan and Israel. But money does not always buy success. In reality public (i.e. state support) is now more common than reliance mainly on private funding, although both models do exist, e.g. private funding in South Africa. Many but not all countries have legislated against foreign funding, but bans can be hard to enforce, and financial contribution by diasporas can be significant. 118
continued In reality public (i.e. state support) is now more common than reliance mainly on private funding, although both models do exist, e.g. private funding in South Africa. Many but not all countries have legislated against foreign funding, but bans can be hard to enforce, and financial contribution by diasporas can be significant. 119
120 Drawbacks of public funding How to devise rules for entitlement/distribution that will neither 'freeze' the existing party landscape nor create extreme pluralism ? Public funding can detach parties from the people: they have less need to cultivate roots in society. Parties float above society; citizens have no sense of ownership: become alienated. There are no free lunches: state funding can lead to (excessive) state interference in the parties affairs, as a consequence of parties being made accountable for how they spend the money. There are other claims on limited public funds that demand higher priority, especially in poor countries. Discretionary public funding the worst outcome, i.e. the state resources only the party of power, lawfully or otherwise. A common practice.
121 Drawbacks with private funding Too poor to sustain a plurality of parties. Can encourage personalist parties formed/led by rich individuals, e.g.Thailands Thaksin Shinawatra, Italys Berlusconi, whose (ab)use of high office subsequently attracts controversy. Advantages parties formed by business that have a pro-business agenda vis-à-vis representatives of other social groups, e.g. the unemployed, meaning an unbalanced party sytem. Questionable motives of some domestic and international sources: money laundering by criminal organisations; foreign power diplomacy. The state can try to regulate the amounts that parties may lawfully spend on election campaigning (and what they may spend it on, e.g. ban the buying of votes), so as to limit the power of big money and to level the playing field, but US experience shows it is difficult to limit/police the soft money spent on causes and activities that indirectly favour a certain party.
International democracy assistance and party funding Best not to finance parties. Few will admit doing it, but does sometimes does happen. The demand is there. Advise parties on how to diversify revenue sources a better strategy for building long term capacity/sustainability. Offer technical assistance to development of regulatory framework for funding and expenditure (International IDEA a good source of knowledge). Help improve governance (good governance) so as to reduce opportunities for corruption, i.e. the use of public resources for private – in this case (ruling) party – gain. Example: help build anti-corruption commission; strengthen judicial autonomy; support media freedom (investigative journalism). Encourage/help civil society to take a constructive lead in their attitude/role vis-a-vis parties, e.g. party tie-ups; volunteer poll watching. Support development and modernisation generally. 122
Final words Even if parties really are the weakest link (Carothers) in democratisation, Success in helping a party win an election does not necessarily mean a huge gain for democratisation Evidence from many cases suggests that party support can prove ineffective, can be counterproductive, and may even bring lasting regrets. Democracy assistance to parties and party system remains politically very sensitive, which in part explains why fewer resources are devoted to this than to other elements of democracy support. 123
124 IPDP Session 13: Civil society capacity-building Aim of lecture: to critically examine attempts by the international community to further the development of civil society in prospective, new and emerging democracies. How politically safe is support for civil society capacity-building?
125 Contested ideas about civil society Idea not new to theory but events on the ground forced it to forefront of attention. But what is it? Who/what belongs in it (boundaries between CSO/civc associations and NGDOs, the market, parties, social movements/real people power. Are all associations, traditional (e.g. religious groups) as well as modern (think tanks; election observer groups) equally eligible? Inclusive v exclusionary accounts: civil versus uncivil (illiberal) society. A civil society is as the CSOs do. But what should civil society do – and to what end: e.g. help make good citizens with sense of civic duties; help social integration; help make the revolution; help make government work better; help make government more accountable (agents of vertical accountability).
Different roles depend on type of regime: bring down autocracies v build up democracies For example challenge the state where the regime is autocratic: stand up for human rights; subversion; organise (peaceful) civil protest. But work with the state in a democracy: recruit elites into politics and government, advise on public policy, cooperate with policy implementation. 126
127 Problems of support by international actors Reasons why became a democracy assistance darling; where parties not allowed; between elections; unpolitical.; Different modalities of support: financial; training; equipment; core funding of organisation v fund discrete projects & programmes.. How to select your partners? Beware OMOTs. Beware of GINGOs and GONGOs, i.e. co-optation How to prevent an excessive external orientation (DINGOs and DONGOs) meaning they lack local authenticity & local support or are unrepresentative (as happened in North Africa). Can bring long-term dependency/unsustainability. And be to the detriment of party development. Donors can get sucked into (furthering) local rivalries among individual CSOs, which divides and weakens civil society overall. And risk exposing partners to increased repression in authoritarian regimes, as happened in Russia.
128 What else can international democracy actors do? Press the authorities to provide an enabling environment for civic associations, e.g. recognise freedom of association; lite-touch regulation. Insist that partners cultivate increasingly diversified and indigenous funding sources, e.g. offer matching funds. Encourage networking on a national, regional and international basis, for mutual support and to advance global democracy (countervail the institutions of regional and global governance). Support economic and socio-economic development that is conducive to CSOs – representing both business and labour. Encourage liaisons short of union between CSOs and parties, e.g. cooperate not compete (as in Zambia) over process for constitutional reform.
129 Reminders CSOs and virtue are not synonymous. Beware both state sponsorship and CSOs linked to terrorists groups. Plurality of CSOs good but high fragmentation can weaken civil society. How inclusive? How representative? How internally democratic are the CSOs? Different ideas of democracy demand different approaches to civil society: entrepreneurial models of CSO suit market democracy, but social democracy needs more communal/solidaristic models to check market excesses/abuse. And mass participatory democracy perhaps needs social movements instead (e.g. anti-globalisation movement?).
Conclusion Civil societys role and international support could be contingent on type of political regime and its political dynamics. International support to civil society is not a politics- free zone. Political parties are still (even more?) essential for sound government, so long as made accountable to voters at the ballot box. 130
131 IPDP Session 14 Promoting democracy in conflict-prone and post-conflict societies Aim of lecture: interrogate the special demands imposed by the challenge of constructing democracy in conflict-prone societies and post-conflict situations; investigate whether/how external actors can make a constructive contribution
132 Shift from conflict between to conflict within countries 1. Cold War not a time of peace. Surrogate wars between states involving proxies in Horn of Africa, southern Africa, Central America, East Asia. 2.End of the Cold War should have meant more peace. But end of superpower interest & withdrawal of support actually made weak states more vulnerable to internal challenges. So the arrival of peace in East-West relations brought increase in violent sub-state/domestic conflict, including among new states in Eurasia (Caucasus) and Balkans. 3.More recently, states were weakened and exposed to violent internal challenge following external military intervention, examples Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria(?) 4. Violent conflict persists even within some new democracies, e.g. Mali before the coup, Nigeria. But for last two decades democratisation has been attempted in many so- called 'post-conflict' situations. 3.But throughout the period UN peace-building assumes state (re)building &democracy building go hand in hand, e.g. DRC.
Democratisation and internal peace But for last two decades democratisation has been attempted in many so- called 'post-conflict' situations, e.g. Mozambique, Nicaragua. Throughout the period, UN peace-building assumes state (re)building &democracy building go hand in hand and commits to both. Reinforced by assumption that lack of democracy increases proneness to violent internal conflict (i.e. democracy is a way of managing conflict peacefully). And the knowledge that sub-state/internal violence can have negative externalities (spill-overs) that affect other countries (e.g. internationalisation of terrorism) near and far, potentially undermining their political stability and/or their democracy. But before prescribing democracy/democratisation (and hence democracy support) as universal solutions we need to distinguish between different types of internal conflict and identify (all) the main causes. Can democracy- building be a solution to them all? Could it even be part of the problem? 133
134 Typology of internal violence There are many different kinds of sub-state and intra-state violence and each might have more than just one cause. Violence perpetrated by the state against society (repression) or between different branches of the state (e.g. military coups; political assassinations). War waged by society against the state with aim of changing the nature of the regime, e.g. to substitute democracy for despotism. Civil war or even war of secession based on ethno-nationalist or religious cleavages. Violent revolution originating in class conflict, rather than conflicts between identities and conflicts over political ideals. Absence of large scale violent conflict not necessarily mean a sustainable peace if owes to state intimidation and threat of coercion (or other instruments of total i.e. totalitarian, control such as propaganda).North Korea.
135 Typology of causes Underlying (long-term) causes v catalysts (the sparks that set fire to the tinder). Tunisias Jasmine revolution (2010) began with a symbolic suicide but the origins lay further back in time and in more wide-ranging grievance. Economic failure: poverty. Environmental scarcities, e.g. water (contested). Distributive grievances: inequality. Greed: resource curse invites conflict over riches, e.g. Sierra Leones conflict diamonds.
Causes continued Cultural diversity, i.e. failure of nation-building, e.g. Kenya. Failure of state building (weak law enforcement; limited territorial reach), e.g. Somalia. Regime lacks political legitimacy (e.g. absence of democracy or inappropriate institutional model of democracy such as majoritarian rule). External intervention destabilises, e.g. Lebanon prey to intervention by Israel, Syria, Iran. Often there is a mix and interplay of several variables that feed off one another, e.g. failed projects of nation building and state building and democracy building in new states that are struggling to make economic progress and are vulnerable to malign external intervention, e.g.DRC. 136
137 Democracy-building as universal cure? One universal remedy for so many different problems? Democratisation is not a way of bringing conflict to an end (i.e. conflict- resolution). Peace must break out or be imposed first. Democracy could still be a means to prevent conflict happening or reoccuring if it is politically inclusive, ensures good governance, achieves sound development and can secure the country against malign external interference. A lot of ifs. Maybe a stable democracy can deliver most of these, but only in the long term and with some good fortune. Before the long term arrives, democratisation is vulnerable to failure to address previous causes of violent conflict and… More specifically can make mistakes in respect of how to build democracy, the kind of democratic architecture, and the sequencing of democracy- building with state (re)building, any of which might prove fatal. State (re)construction as a tool of peace-building and democratisation: debate over whether these can be sequences/stages v parallel processes.
State (re)construction as a tool of peace-building and democratisation Pursued together, the two projects can overload the capacity of the system. Moreover, democratisation (understood as power dispersion) can undermine state- building that requires a (re)concentration of power to overcome disorder and lawlessness. The sequence/staged approach that places democracy-building before the establishment of order and stateness does not look viable and could threaten the security of neighbouring states. If sequencing places state (re)construction before democratisation, there is a potential downside: the construction of any political order creates vested interests in maintaining and perpetuating it (to their advantage). So path dependence may cause the establishment of democracy to be delayed more or less indefinitely. So society might have to to resort to violence (again) to change this, later. 138
139 Democratisation as agent of conflict Political liberalisation/democratisation can accentuate divisions in society especially if politicians compete for power (votes) by mobilising communal support and stigmatising the 'other (Mansfield & Snyder). Example of Yugoslavia. Shrinking of space for ideological competition in a globalising world where one ideology of political economy dominates encourages identity-based competition in societies that are heterogeneous. The lesson for Mansfield and Snyder is that societies engaging in political transformation should prioritise the establishment of the rule of law and the development of a culture of human rights first, before they institutionalise arrangements that enable mass political participation/competition (i.e. multi- party elections). This is controversial. International actors including the UN want to see elections, and the sooner the better, so as to install a government that has legitimacy and allow the international community to withdraw any peace-keeping forces.
Post-conflict elections and international support A typical moment for international engagement. But getting the timing right is very tricky. Forms of support: financial, material, technical support to elections management; build confidence in free and fair; assist parties and civil society; even bribe former rebel leaders to abandon bullets for the ballot box (Mozambique). If held too soon: unfavourable security situation interferes (so disarm and demobilise first); it can advantage anti-democratic parties associated with former regime or with the forces of violence that overthrew it. Moderates take time to organise. If delay the timing: there is no legitimate government and popular dissatisfaction might turn back to violence; international stakeholders become targets and desperate for an exit strategy. 140
First elections and constitution-making The right sequencing of elections to government and the process for creating a new constitution can also be very tricky even in peaceful transitions. But is even more tricky in political transformations borne out of violence, where political trust is weak and the preceding struggle/loss of lives has raised the stakes. Controversies over process as well as substance of constitution-making in the Arab spring countries. Should elections to government come first? The constitution-making can then represent the will of the people as expressed through their elected representatives? Or should the new constitution be made first? The people will then know what powers their elected representatives will have, both absolutely and relative to one another (powers of parliamentary representatives v powers of directly elected presidents; powers of central government v powers of provincial and other lower level governments.?), when casting their votes. 141
Alternative criteria for assessing international support to post-conflict elections Did election comply with international standards? Did it established a government/restored governance. Did it put an end to violence or at least stop it spreading further inside and beyond national borders? Did it help rebuild both political trust and social capital across the divisions? Did it effect a transition to democracy? Did it impose affordable costs on the international community? Did it secure freedom from international interference? 142
143 Longer term democracy building: post-election support Elections usually do not cure all problem(s) that cause violent conflict. And sustained democracy support also may not prevent a return of the problems that produced conflict. Supporting the right choices of democratic institutions can help. But what are the right choices?. Multiple forms of assistance might have to include support for economic reconstruction and improving governance. The solution to violent conflict in the long run is when everyone is persuaded that they have more to lose from (return to) violence than from peace. This not does require that everyone must believe they gain equally from committing to democracy and peace.
Finally, the democratic domestic peace thesis complements the democratic peace thesis Although some democracies may gain from and sometimes do encourage internal conflict inside some non-democracies. The challenge of building democracy after conflict is still worth trying because: The evidence suggests that once liberal democracy is consolidated it is more likely than non-democracies to manage internal conflicts peacefully, even including in cases where national unity is broken (UK heading for a velvet divorce?). So if international support for building democracy in post-conflict situations helps secure a durable peace within countries then it also serves peace between countries: a mutually supportive double gain or win-win. 144
145 IPDP Session 15: Partnership and ownership and evaluation: outstanding issues in democracy support especially to civil society and parties. Aim of lecture: First, to explore the contested and problematic ideas of 'partnership' and ownership as models for conducting the relationship between democracy assistance providers and those they seek to support; Second, to explore the challenging issue of whether and how to evaluate democracy assistance; Third, note connections between issues of ownership/partnership, evaluation and democratisation.
146 Origins of discourse on partnership' and ownership Familiar ideas in official development assistance from the West, enshrined by Paris Declaration on Aid Effectiveness (2005), originating from two streams of criticisms seeking to explain why development aid not very effective. Criticism of the inappropriate nature of donor-driven aid: donor knows best mentality/development aid tourism. Holds donors responsible for failure. Solution: devise arrangements that incorporate local wisdom more. Criticism of the failures of ownership, i.e. dependency culture. Holds the aid recipients responsible for failure. Solution: devise arrangements that instil local responsibility for making aid-supported projects/programmes become more successful, especially after donors withdraw.
Meaning of ownership and partnership So ownership means local partner will identify with the endeavour and commit to it as a result of being treated as an equal partner. Partnership = equals. Both the recipient and the donor have obligations (mutual accountability). In theory each can hold the other to account for making aid effective. If these lessons should apply to international development aid/cooperation then shouldnt they apply at least equally to political aid? Practice not yet caught up with theory in the development aid. Old habits - especially donor practice of attaching policy conditionalities to aid - die hard. And where aid recipients are truly being empowered this is not because traditional donors are trying hard to put the idea of partnership into practice. Instead it is of the rise of new donors especially China, which gives recipients freedom to choose and reduces their vulnerability to the pressure from western aid donors – including pressure to democratise, improve human rights and better governance in exchange for aid. 147
148 Criticism of the failure of the Paris principles to take root in practice should not surprise us because Be realistic: he/she who pays the piper always calls the tune even if unintentionally so and the piper tries to second guess, e.g. civil society aid. The idea of equal partners does not go far enough anyway, if it still means B endorsing A. But the alternative of authorship (by B) is more demanding than ownership, and can mean support is distributed very unevenly, e.g. civil society aid again. Too many actors have status of partner: governments, civil society organisations, other development aid or democracy support providers. Cannot all be equal partners. In fact improved donor coordination may help partners but also reduces their scope to make choices. Donors must still choose their 'partners' carefully, which means being selective or discriminatory, and not just operate in response-mode which could mean supporting incapable and/or politically disreputable partners. In a democracy domestic relationships of accountability must always take priority, i.e. account to parliament, taxpayers, voters for the way development aid and democracy aid is spent and for whose benefit.
149 Evaluation: why? If domestic democratic accountability for development aid and democracy support are to be meaningful then the electorate/taxpayers need to know if these activities deliver what it says on the tin, the rate of return achieved, the value for money etc., as with any publicly funded good or service. So political pressure is responsible for trying to evaluate democracy support, especially strong in the US. Other good reasons for evaluating democracy support include the chance to improve it by learning lessons from success and failure, and putting the lessons into practice. For those democracy support organisations that have to compete for business, favourable evaluations or even just a culture of evaluation may help them to win commissions, consultancies, contracts.
150 Why evaluating democracy assistance is challenging What sort of results/performance count? - effectiveness, efficiency (value-for-money)? sustainable results? do no harm? Democratisation as the dependent variable is vague, multi-dimensional & and not easily quantified. May be able to measure inputs (money spent), and even immediate outputs (e.g. number of election observers trained), but what does this mean for democracy and the impact on democratisation over time. When should be the census date for collecting evidence? How can we prove causal connectivity? Emphasis on measure-ability can distort choices over democracy support policy, i.e. what to do; how to do it, where to do it. But the alternative of combining and integrating the best of both worlds - quantitative & qualitative evaluations – is highly judgmental.
continued Difficult to separate out the effects of a democracy support intervention from all other influences on political outcomes Shouldnt impact assessments also take account of 'collateral damage/unintended negative consequences – not just for democratisation but for other desirable goals like stability, governance, development too? How identify and measure these? How compare performance across different combinations of multiple objectives, e.g. for democracy support in conflict-prone environments where the aim is to build democracy and peace at the same time? Should evaluations take account of degree of difficulty (like the high diving competition in Olympic games)? 151
continued Evaluation ethos can ruin partnerships, by making partners feel they are not trusted, i.e. evaluations seen a tool of managerial control. Can be pointless too, because financially costly in relation to small sums spent on democracy assistance; because analysis of the results too burdensome; and because democracy assistance must always remain flexible in order to be able to react to events opportunistically, rather than tied up in evaluation exercises that might reveal evidence of failures as well as some successes. So just accept that democracy assistance is intrinsically risky rather than be driven into becoming risk averse. Do not let the possibility of failure prevent you doing it. 152
Evaluating democracy promotion even more challenging than evaluating democracy assistance Even more challenging to compare the performance of different approaches, tools, instruments or methods of promoting democracy (e.g. democracy assistance v diplomatic pressure v political conditionalities v via assisting socio-economic development). Because no common currency exists for comparing the inputs (e.g. political capital v money v technical expertise). Because the expected outputs of different approaches may not be comparable (micro v macro; short v long-term effects). Because it could mean comparing different types of actor, e.g. government departments against autonomous foundations, where other independent variables might be responsible for variations that are detected in the results of intervention. 153
Evaluating democracy promotion And do not assume that evaluations of effectiveness in promoting democracy will necessarily influence policy, i.e. have (policy) impact, if the policy drivers behind international democracy support are not simply or solely about promoting democracy but are influenced by other foreign policy goals instead. For example, even if evaluations prove that democracy promotion has been positive for democratisation, the commitment to promote democracy might still decrease if policy-makers cease to believe that democratisation helps secure the election of governments they can do business with, will defeat international terrorism, serve to promote global economic prosperity, etc. 154
155 Finally, democratising evaluation of assistance But as the political demand to evaluate will not go away, especially in an era of budget austerity, It could at least be democratised, i.e. participant/participatory evaluation, which means the local partners and not the providers do the evaluation. This serves the cause of informed feed-back, learning and improvement. It is also an opportunity for schooling in a technical exercise central to results- oriented (good) governance. It is a symbolic commitment to real partnership, and could mean the provider of support is held to account by local partners. Which in turn increases the legitimacy of assistance, which of itself makes local cooperation and success more likely. But would require the local partners to not just fill out an evaluation questionnaire at the end of the project/programme, but also enjoy an opportunity to design the questionnaire in the first place. What this means is the local partners determine the goals and objectives of the assistance. The power to set democracy support agendas must start there. Are the democracy support organisations ready for this?
156 IPDP Session 16: A future for democratisation and democracy promotion? Backlash, pushback & rollback; autocracy promotion Aim of Lecture: to assess the current state of democratisation and the condition of democracy promotion, and to prompt reflection on links between the two. There has been a general feeling that both got into in trouble and these two trends could feed on each other – hence the talk about backlash or pushback and rollback. that autocracy export and autocracy promotion might be increasing However, then along came the Arab spring/awakening/revolution.
157 Two claims: democratisation is in trouble; democracy promotion is in trouble? Are they valid? Democratisation What would count as indicators? Your call. Where look for evidence? Consult Freedom House and other surveys. Decide how to weigh the balance of evidence: short v long term trends; less important cases v more important cases that are either big countries or key countries for a region/ particular category of nondemocracy, for example Russia, Brazil, Indonesia, Nigeria, Brazil, Egypt. What does the evidence say? Depending on how you interpret the question above, evidence somewhat mixed. But according to FH the number of liberal democracies reached a plateau by 2000 and in last few years freedoms across electoral democracies and nondemocracies in general have been eroding, notwithstanding the recent events in North Africa.
Indicators and evidence of democracy promotion (the activity, not its performance/effectiveness) On the supply side Political support, measured by size of budgets approved. Evidence: not declining, yet, although there is talk of tough times ahead. Popular support. Evidence: still seems strong in Europe but declined in US during second Bush administration. 158
continued Number of actors/organisations. Evidence: continued proliferation. Growing engagement by some newer democracies like Poland, Czech Republic. But others including Brazil and South Africa as well as India resist US and European encouragement to become more involved. Reasons: sensitivity to sovereignty issues in third countries; suspicion of western motives; own national interests lie in cultivating strong economic ties and stable diplomatic links with China, etc. The view that Turkey provides a role model for the Arab world is questionable: Turkeys progress towards democracy occurred under very different political & economic conditions including the entrenchment of a secular state and economic progress; and shortcomings in Turkeys commitment to principles and values such as inclusionary political representation (weighted against minorities, notably Kurds) and poor record on freedom of expression/free media. 159
Indicators and evidence of democracy assistance specifically On the demand side Increased obstruction by authoritarian and semi-authoritarian states against democracy and/or human rights support from outsiders, e.g. Russia, Iran, China (?). But some new territory where doors begin to open, e.g. Libya, Myanmar. MENA governments vary but on the whole ambivalent (e.g. Egypt more hostile than Morocco. Algeria still a no go). Across the world, organisations especially in civil society who receive democracy support criticise past modalities and support for rivals they disapprove of and the intentions they believe lie behind offers (and denials) of support. But they combine all this with demands for more support for themselves, if done on basis of partnership. Exception of Islamist parties and CSOs who continue to oppose western support. State of the market overall: there is still a demand for assistance and a supply of democracy support. The democracy support industry would judge there is still a need for support, even (especially) where governments resist. It has a vested interest in staying in business. So democracy assistance is unlikely to disappear any time soon. 160
What would count as evidence of autocracy diffusion? Are autocratic counterparts of democracy promotion, support and assistance possible in principle? If yes, then look for evidence in practice, e.g. Chinas soft power offensive. Does autocracy diffusion by emulation count, for instance if developing countries aspire to learn from and apply Chinas model of political economy and development? Direct attempts to transfer autocratic models & practices might be minimal, but indirect support through China, Russia reinforcing global commitment to absolute sovereignty of states may be more effective at underpinning/protecting autocrats from international democracy support. Do not forget non-state diffusion: socialisation/trans-border spread of values that favour authoritarian political rule even where no foreign government is actively encouraging this. Religious extremisms a possible example. 161
In sum Autocracy diffusion is a nebulous concept. There is ambiguity over what it refers to. There is some evidence accumulating on a case by case basis. But the bigger picture concerning how much of it there is and how influential it is remain unclear. Which means it is difficult to assess how strong is the competition it now poses to democracy promotion. A relatively new research agenda. 162
163 If democratisation really is in trouble, then why? Is it for reasons unconnected with democracy support? Autocracy support, diffusion etc one possibility and not the main. But do not underestimate the strength of (semi-)authoritarian regimes at home: masters of coercion; intimidation; censorship etc. Competing ideologies to democracy still exist, e.g. illiberal nationalism; some varieties of political Islam. But are they merely local challenges, not world-wide threats? Democratisation has proven to be unfeasible where states are or become weak or fragile, as in Iraq, Afghanistan. The financial and economic troubles of democracies starting 2007 detract from democracys economic appeal, compared to authoritarian/illiberal capitalism which looks more successful. We hear this claim often. How convincing is it? Even if there is universal admiration for the economic achievements, does this mean popular demand to become more like Russia, more like China?
164 If democracy promotion is in some trouble, might the reasons include? A realistic assessment that the easy victories are over and only hard(er) cases are left, i.e. increasing degree of difficulty. Could the long shadow of regime change still be weakening its legitimacy. Global shift in economic and political power away from the West weakens the influence of the West generally (e.g. in WTO) and not just in respect of promoting democracy. United we would stand but divided we will remain weak. But Obamas multilateral turn coincides with decline in EUs ability to promote democracy through EU enlargement... and then along comes the Eurozone crisis and uncertainties over the future shape/composition of the EU too. Other international public goods present competing foreign policy agendas, e.g. international financial stability and an open trading system in the presence of financial crises/structural imbalances; security and peace in the presence of international terrorism and nuclear proliferation; energy security and climate mitigation in the face of global warming.
165 So are the trends in democratisation and trends in democracy support at all connected? If they are connected, which one is cause and which one is effect? Democracy support tends to follow democratic breakthroughs, which makes it look more like an effect. Yet democracy promoters obviously believe they can make a difference, in other words, that they can have causal influence. So interdependence might be a more accurate way to capture reality. And then add in more specifc detail, e.g.(trends in) democracy support as a product of authoritarian breakdowns/openings to democracy, but then capable of influencing whether these moments will continue to move forward. Responses to the Arab spring could be a relevant case: might this do more for international democracy support than such democracy support ever did for bringing about an Arab revolution ?
166 Assessing the consequences of developments in the MENA region On the plus side 1.Dispels claims of exceptionalism: democratic revolutions reconfirm that freedom and democracy are global values/aspirations. 2.Dispels demo-pessimism: seemingly stable authoritarian regimes really are vulnerable, so democracy promotion can be worthwhile. 3.Remarkable speed and extent of the regional diffusion effect. 4.Provides new/expanding frontiers for international democracy support interventions, with renewed legitimacy - gained from being a response on this occasion. 5.Potential to mobilise new supply side actors for democracy support: Turkey in short term??; Egypt as regional hub later??.
However Too soon to tell if the democratic breakthroughs will be sustained. Could be slow, uneven, jagged processes of change (esp. Egypt); protracted instability in Libya, Yemen, Syria. Its the economy stupid! And prospects not look good. Modest reforms by surviving regimes could prevent more substantial democratic advance there, as the rulers intend (Morocco; Jordan). Wake-up call to (semi-)authoritarian regimes elsewhere makes them more repressive/more clever (Iran; Russia, China). Too soon to know if international democracy support is capable of making an appropriate response. Evidence is unclear. West still beholden to other foreign policy interests: energy supplies; stability (cooperation against international terrorism; migration control); countering Iran; support for Israel; hostage to the peace process. 167
Conclusions Now is the time to look/think beyond the discourse of backlash, pushback, rollback, which came out of the war on terror. The literature on autocracy promotion might be premature but we cant be certain. The Arab spring happened not because of but in spite of democracy promotion (being largely absent in the region). Yet it potentially could rescue democracy support. But do not build too much on the shaky foundations of the Arab spring. It could turn out to be a turning point for democratisation. But the signs right now are not strongly positive. Do not lose sight of the bigger picture of other trends, forces and issues in world politics and global affairs more broadly. These may have more impact on trends in democratisation than does the state of democracy support. 168
IPDP Session 17: Why the state of democracy in the West and globalisation matter Aim of Lecture To consider what the defective nature of democracy in the West and the phenomena known as globalisation mean for democracy promotion and its goals: threat or opportunities? 169
170 Premises Democratic shortcomings exist in the West when assessed against liberal democratic yardsticks, even more so when judged against more demanding notions of democracy. The image the West appears to want to project of itself abroad does not seem to acknowledge the weaknesses even though the state of democracy there has its critics at home. Globalisation comprises international (market) economic integration; the rise of supranational governance; global information network/cultural transmission. These three trends are interconnected. Globalisation as defined presents both opportunities and challenges for democracy and for democratisation.
171 Democratic deficits in the West What does this mean; what are the indicators? Levels of political participation/engagement; security/insecurity of civil liberties; political inequalities; scope for exercising meaningful choices; degree of presidentialism (executive power); dumbing down; capture by capital or corporate interests. What is the evidence? Mixed and variable depending on indicator, country, time (see for example turnouts; rise of single issue groups; devolution; investigative journalism. Critical v disaffected citizens?) Why does it matter? Obviously it should matter to the citizens in the democracies (if it does not, then that fact suggests a shortcoming in itself). Thinking the unthinkable means more likely to take preventative action, i.e. avoid tyranny of small decisions/death by a thousand cuts/sleep-walking into tyranny.
And it matters to democracy promotion too Although domestic imperative (obligation) is put own house in order first (just like charity begins at home) Recognition of own mistakes and the lessons to draw from them is essential to formulating sound advice to offer others. A self confident or self-assured democracy is more likely to want to spread democracy abroad – whether out of idealism or as strategy to protect own democracy from a hostile world. Credibility/reputation of the established democracies is the best form of democracy promotion; conversely, human rights shortcomings arm democracys abroad (calculate the impact of Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo Bay; racism in Europe, etc ). 172
173 The dark side of globalisation Globalisation understood as global economic integration on neo- liberal lines held responsible for consequences for poor people and for inequality that harm democracys social requisites. Globalisation as increasingly powerful agencies of global & regional governance reduce the scope for purely national (democratic) self- determination. They are not democratically accountable themselves; some countries have more influence on them than others. Increasing penetration by external actors of the shrinking domestic space for self-determination, e.g. influence of global corporations, especially media groups. Globalisation understood as cultural diffusion and homogenisation spreads (western capitalist) values of individualism and consumerism that erode the sense of community and civic responsibilities that some democratic ideals claim to stand for.
Second round effects Awareness of the dark side of globalisation produces responses that are no less benign for democracy and democratisation, including: A growing sense of powerlessness, that fuels political apathy, leading to a downwards spiral of political disengagement. Violent reaction (anti-globalisation protests), that in turn provokes states into making an illiberal response, e.g. ban demonstrations. The argument that governments are increasingly constrained by external institutions/forces like the IMF, credit ratings agencies etc can be manipulated by governments to further insulate themselves from societys demands, so that they become even less accountable to voters, e.g. a typical pretext for ditching election manifesto promises, once in office. 174
175 But globalisation has a brighter side for democratisation too 1) Authoritarian hold-outs against globalisation look increasingly desperate in comparative economic terms, and so must fall sooner or later, e.g. North Korea. 2) Where globalisation delivers economic growth and (note) the benefits are widely shared in society, this promotes the social requisites of stable democracy (in Lipsets argument). 3) Powerful states are not so much losing as being transformed by globalisation and global governance. 4) Some international governance mechanisms like World Bank and UN agencies seek to strengthen the capabilities and improve the governance of weak and fragile states; this is requisite for democracy-building and makes it more attainable. 5) Globalisation understood as a cultural phenomenon includes the spread of ideas of democracy and human rights, making Sens argument about democracy becoming a universal value more plausible. The increased international mobility and communications revolution offer vehicles for this to happen.
And then there is (global ) civil society The globalisation of civil society, transnational social networking and emergence of a new (supraterritorial) sense of demos/communities of fate are creating instruments for holding global governance institutions to account. However not there yet. And civil societys own democratic properties should be questioned: unelected; unrepresentative; only semi-independent. While not forgetting the parallel path of illiberal and parochial forms of civil society that are not equipped for/interested in global responsibilities. 176
177 Challenge of democratising globalisation goes on How to democratise the institutions of global/regional governance and (note) global civil society. How to empower these institutions vis-à-vis other international actors (transnational business, uncivil actors/international terrorists etc) and vis-à-vis forces like climate change that increasingly affect peoples lives. Achieving these goals means both restoring power to the political while bringing governance back and making the political more democratic, at all levels, from local to global. These challenges require international democracy promotion to adjust its sights and go to new levels. But there is no evidence that the democracy promotion industry as currently configured is up for it or up to it: has neither the resources nor the political vision and will.
178 IPDP Session 18: Complex relationships connecting democracy/democratization and climate change Climate change: global warming and severe weather events Climate policy: mitigation; adaptation Why regime type matters: democracies more environmentally responsible? Democracies & climate change: the evidence Can democratization get in the way? Governance matters too
Climate change matters for democratization Climate change can affect politics as a result of its effects on economy and society Debates over climate change as source of conflict and as an imperative for authoritarian rule 179
180 Implications for democracy promotion Potential to detract from democracy promotion: cooperation on climate action must come first? Better governance for better mitigation and adaptation use of international transfers Moral standing of West to promote democracy and human rights gains from exerting stronger climate change leadership