Industrialized Democracy – the richest countries with advanced economies and liberal states.
Four Elections United States 2004 Great Britain 2001 France 2002 Germany 2002
Common and Not So Common Themes Elections determine who governs Elections are not about basic principles Dissimilarities –Electoral systems direct, indirect, proportional, plurality –Separation of powers; fusion of powers
Thinking About Democracy The Basics What is democracy? Basic Rights Competitive Elections Rule of Law Civil society and Civic Culture Capitalism and Affluence Which countries are democracies?
Thinking About Democracy Key Questions Why did democracy emerge? Why has it become durable recently? Why is there so much debate about public policy in industrialized democracies now? Why has that debate not led many people to question their regimes or democracy itself?
The Origins of the Democratic State Origins of democratic thought –The early democracies: individualism, capitalism, Protestantism, scientific revolution, and exploration –Hobbes –Laissez-faire –Locke –Suffrage
The Origins of the Democratic State Building Democracies –In Europe and, to a lesser degree, North America, the way democracy developed was largely a result of the way countries and their rulers handled four great transformations over the last five hundred years: The creation of the nation and state itself The role of religion in society and government The development of pressures for democracy The industrial revolution –Cleavages –Authoritarian Leaders, Fascism, and WWII –The Cold War
Political Culture and Participation The Civic Culture? Political Parties and Elections Catch-all Parties New Divisions –Gender –Post-industrial –Post-materialist Realignment? Interest Groups Political Protest
The Democratic State Presidential and parliamentary systems –Only one presidential system – the U.S. –Presidential: compromise the norm and rapid decision making difficult to prevent abuse of power –Parliamentary: secure majority party or coalition, the prime minister rarely has to compromise as much as U.S. President, which allows their government to act more quickly and decisively. Fused, not separated. Cabinet responsibility – principle that requires a prime minister and government to retain the support of a parliamentary majority. Votes of confidence – a vote in which the members express their support for (or opposition to) the governments policies. If it loses, the government must resign.
The Rest of the State High-level civil servants in the bureaucracy Leading interest group representatives Iron Triangle – A variety of close relationships between business leaders, politicians, and civil servants. Those states with the most integrated elite, like France, Germany, and Japan, have been among the most successful economically.
Public Policy The interventionist state – governments in industrialized democracies that pursue an active economic policy. –Basic health care and education –Subsidized and/or free education at all levels including universities –Unemployment compensation –Pensions and other programs for seniors Foreign policy
Feedback Telecommunications revolution: It is getting ever easier for people to find out about politics at home and abroad. People view the world in their own terms, which may be different from those of either the politicians or the media. Declining interest and cynicism and skepticism toward the media, politics, and politicians.
Conclusion In uneven and imperfect ways, democratic regimes achieve a series of balances better than any other type of government: –Between the governors and the governed –Between the political world and the rest of society –Between unbridled capitalism and the interests of those who do not benefit (much) from it –Between personal freedoms and the need to maintain order and forge coherent public policy