Essay DEMOCRACY PROMOTION 1

Submitted By Sohailh95
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Pages: 6

POLITICAL SYSTEMS, THEORIES
AND IDEOLOGIES:
DEMOCRACY PROMOTION

Group work
• Which states do you think might be engaged in democracy promotion? Why?
• How would a state go about promoting democracy? What is democracy?
What conditions have to be in place for us to say there is a democratic system of governance?

• Democracy is RULE BY THE PEOPLE

• PLURALISM is at the heart of democracy

One person one vote
Clean elections
Absence of intimidation
Competition from at least 2 political parties
Equality before the law
Equality of opportunity
Freedom to express views
Freedom to organise
Equal access to the media

• Minimalist and maximalist definitions of democracy/democratisation processes
• Substantive democratisation vs formal democratisation • Deeper democracy: introduction and extension of citizenship rights

Full democracy:
• Socio-economic reform
• Cultural and social change
• Transformation of gender relations.

• Until mid 1990s, most studies of democratisation concerned with LIBERAL
DEMOCRACY
• LIBERAL DEMOCRACY means:
The holding of elections
A multi-party political system
Transparent procedures for government.

3 periods of democratic expansion:
• In the 19th century
• After Second World War
• Mid 1980s – third wave of democratisation – a new era in global politics
• 1989: collapse of Communism and prodemocracy demonstrations in China

• Which countries do you think might be at the forefront in terms of democracy promotion?
• How can a state promote democracy abroad?
• What mechanisms might it use?
• What projects might it support/promote?

• Linkages between former colonial rulers and the promotion of democracy.
• Governments of leading industrialised nations/democracies tend to be the most resourceful promoters of democracy.

How is democracy promoted abroad?
• Through applying diplomatic pressure
• Through official overseas development
• Through aid agencies

• TRANSITION: democracy in early stages and is still fluid
• CONSOLIDATION: democracy ‘the only game in town’. The United States and democracy promotion
• In the US, as early as 1961, through the
Foreign Assistance Act, specific funding was earmarked for democracy promotion
• Mechanism for promoting, upholding and securing ideological and material interests?

US Agency for International Development
(USAID):
• The largest official democratic assistance programme today in terms of scope and funding. • Budget: over half a billion dollars a year.

US Agency for International Development
(USAID) was set up in 1961.
• Engaged indirectly in democracy promotion
e.g. strengthens independent educational and research institutions.
• supports political participation at a local level.

In the 1980s, its programmes included:
• Assisting the administration of justice
• Supporting democratic elections
• Promoting dialogue between civilians and the military particularly in Latin America.

USAID
• Change of focus in 21st century
• Until 1990s main focus was on social and economic development including health, the population and the environment

USAID change of direction in 1990:
• In December 1990, USAID announced its
DEMOCRACY INITIATIVE to promote:
• Free and fair elections
• Drafting of constitutions
• Local government
• Anticorruption efforts
• Civic education

President Bill Clinton’s commitment to promotion of democracy:

One of the central themes of his election campaign in 1992.

• What of European countries and their commitment to democracy promotion?

Former colonial rulers and their commitment to promoting democracy:
• Pro-democracy policies emerged out of decolonization. • For example, Britain and France were committed to programmes of gradual deconolization in Africa – ‘teaching’ African elites how to govern.

Prominent promoters of democracy include:






Canada
Sweden
Norway
Denmark
The Netherlands

European aid agencies include:
• DANIDA (the Danish International
Development Agency)
• NAD (the Norwegian Agency for…