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Fundamentals of Political Science Dr. Sujian Guo Professor of Political Science San Francisco State Unversity

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Presentation on theme: "Fundamentals of Political Science Dr. Sujian Guo Professor of Political Science San Francisco State Unversity"— Presentation transcript:


2 Fundamentals of Political Science Dr. Sujian Guo Professor of Political Science San Francisco State Unversity Email:

3 Central Questions How the Third Wave democratization happened? How could such similar outcomes emerge from such a diversity of national and regional situations? What are the patterns of transition processes or the routes of change from country to country, from region to region? Do these diverse routes or modes of transition have significance for the stability of democratic regimes and for the democratic consolidation?

4 Modes of Transition categorized by leading scholars HuntingtonLinzShare/Mainwaring transformation replacement transplacement reforma ruptura ruptforma transaction breakdown/collapse extrication

5 Huntingtons Three Ideal-types Transformation occurred when the elites in power took the lead in bringing about democratic transition. Replacement occurred when opposition groups took the lead in bringing about democratic transition, and the old regime collapsed or was overthrown. Transplacement occurred when democratic transition resulted largely from joint action by elites in power and opposition elites. (Huntington, p. 114)

6 Terry Lynn Karl and Philippe C. Schmitter Four modes of transition Pact occurred when elites agree upon a multilateral compromise among themselves to bring about the transition. Imposition occurred when elites use force unilaterally and effectively to bring about a regime change against the resistance of incumbents. Reform occurred when masses mobilize from below and impose a compromised outcome without resorting to violence. Revolution occurred when masses rise up from below and defeat the previous rulers. (Karl/Schmitter, p. 275)

7 Major actors in regime transition In the government standpatters (hard-liners) liberal reformers (soft-liners or moderates) democratic reformers (radicals) In the opposition democratic moderates revolutionary radicals

8 The Balance of Power The balance of power or the relative power of the groups shaped the nature of the transition process and often changed during that process. If standpatters dominated the government and radicals in the opposition, democratic transition was impossible. Democratic transition was facilitated if pro-democratic groups were dominant in both the government and opposition. The strategic interaction between these groups is therefore of central importance in the transition process.

9 Major features of modes of transition (Huntington) Transformation Regime-led reform, regime-initiated liberalization, or change from above are all the terms to describe the central feature of this mode of transition. In transformations: the government is stronger than opposition and has the power and capacity to move their countries toward democracy; the relative power of reformers is stronger than that of standpatters in order for the transformation to occur; and those in power are willing to take the lead and play the decisive role in ending that regime and changing it into a democratic system. Spain, Brazil, Taiwan, USSR, Hungary, and Bulgaria are all the typical cases of change from above – regime-led transformation.

10 Major features of modes of transition (Huntington) Replacements: Opposition-led overthrow or change from below are often the terms to describe the central feature of this mode of transition. In replacements: reformers within the regime are weak or nonexistent while standpatters are dominant in government and strongly opposed to regime change; since the possibility of initiating reform from above was almost totally absent, democratic transition consequently resulted from the opposition gaining strength and the government losing strength until the government collapsed or was overthrown; the involvement and support from public masses is another necessary condition for the transition; the unwillingness of the military to defend the old regime is crucial in ending the old regime. Only a few cases of replacements or change from below are available by 1990: Portugal, Greece, Argentina, Philippines, Romania, and East Germany.

11 Major features of modes of transition (Huntington) Transplacements Pact, negotiated transition or compromise are often the terms to describe the central feature of this mode of transition. Democratic transition is produced by the combined actions of government and opposition. In transplacements: (1) within the government the balance of power between standpatters and reformers is such that the government is willing to negotiate a change of regime, but unwilling to initiate a change of regime – usually it has to be pushed and pulled into formal or informal negotiations with the opposition. (2) Within the opposition democratic moderates are strong enough to prevail over revolutionary radicals or extremists, but they are not strong enough to overthrow the government. (3) Both government and opposition must recognize their incapability of unilaterally determine the future and see virtues in negotiation.

12 Major features of modes of transition (Huntington) Transplacement (continued) (4) The incumbents or the ruling elites must be able to see their interests protected and secured in the foreseeable regime change, at least not threatened by the change of regime, and thus willing to negotiate with the opposition and take such a strategic choice. (5) The government must recognize that the costs of constant suppression, nontolerance, and nonnegotiation are too high or unbearable in terms of increased repression leading to further alienation of social groups from the government, intensified conflicts within the ruling coalition leading to self-destruction, increased possibility of a hard-line takeover of the government, and significant losses in international legitimacy. (6) The political process leading to transplacement was thus often marked by a hauling back and forth of strikes, protests, and demonstrations, on the one hand, and repression, police violence, martial laws, on the other. Cycles of protests and repression eventually led to negotiated agreements between government and opposition in all cases such as Poland, Czechoslovakia, Mongolia, Nicaragua, Uruguay, Bolivia, Honduras, El Salvador, Korea, and South Africa.

13 Some generalizations (Karl/Schmitter, pp. 277-282, Munck/Leff, p.345) Revolutions have become less frequent and less likely to give rise to a stable democracy. Many of Latin American and Asian countries are good examples. Revolutions may produce enduring patterns of domination by certain elite groups or social classes, without leading to democracy. Russia in 1917, Mexico in 1929, China in 1949, and Cuba in 1959 are all good examples in modern history. No global generalization is available. Whether a democratic transition would take place or lead to a stable democracy is dependent upon many unmeasured variables or unexplained independent variables, which in turn is contingent upon the particular point in time and place or the confined contexts in which the interaction between elite strategic choices occurs.

14 Some generalizations (Karl/Schmitter, pp. 277-282, Munck/Leff, p.345) Transplacements or transitions by pacts create political openings for elite competition, particularly generating compromise and settlements among political actors and crafting institutional rules for both old and new elites, and thus are the most likely to lead to a stable democracy or the most beneficial to democratic consolidation. But the success of this mode of transition requires time, patience, compromise, and skillful democratic crafting. The mode of transition has a significant impact on the form of transitional regime and post-transitional politics through its influence on the pattern of elite conflict, on the institutional rules crafted during the transition, and on key actors willingness to accept or reject the new rules of the game.

15 The Impact of the mode of transition Most scholars agree that the modes of transition matters and have great impact on the prospects of democratic consolidation, because mode of transition produces different arrangements and different types of democratic regimes. For example, electoral laws or systems, once adopted, encourage some interests to enter the partisan politics and discourage others and will ultimately shape the formation of party systems, such as one-party system, two-party system, or multiparty system. Certain institutional arrangements could become patterns or norms that become difficult to change later.

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