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Development and Democratization


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									Development and

PO 201: Introduction to
International Studies and Political
Democratization and Development

 Dahl’s explanation of what factors constitute a
  democracy say little about the specific
  processes by which modern democracies were
  transformed from other forms of government
 Moreover, Dahl’s treatment ignores important
  factors that can have an immense effect on
  whether some of his requirements for the
  democratic polity are present or absent
  (institutional development, autonomy within
  society, respect for the rule of law, etc.)
         Democratization and Development

 To address this gap, some classic works of comparative politics
  have sought to determine underlying reasons for why
  democratic prerequisites developed in some countries and not
  in others
 Indeed, the study of democratization represents one of the most
  fruitful endeavors undertaken by comparativists
 In the main, these works have focused on the following
  interrelated historical factors/processes:
      The social and economic development of societies, including:
           The relationship between “monarchs” and “aristocrats”
           The development of an economic middle class via
 These views provide several assessments on the relative
  importance of the “civic culture,” economic development,
  individual interest, and other factors to the prospects of
Pye and the “Development
 Pye shows that political development can be addressed
  in several ways
      Like Dahl, he notes the importance of normative
       development (equality and the civic culture); he talks
       also about the problems associated with the value laden,
       Western emphasis on democracy as the apex of
      At the same time however, several authors have claimed
       (varyingly) that:
           Political development is the result of (or a prerequisite
            for) economic development
           Political development refers mainly to state capacity, in
            terms of power, policy execution, public affairs,
            management, stability
Pye and the “Development
 Pye concludes that “All forms of development (political,
  economic, and social) are related…and it takes place
  within a historical context in which influences from
  outside a society impinge on the processes of social
  change just as changes in the different aspects of a
  society – the economy, the polity, and the social order –
  all impinge on each other”
 Thus, while Dahl is right to stress the importance of the
  autonomous “civic culture,” it is likely only one part of the
  puzzle in understanding the internal and external
  determinants of polity transition
 Barrington Moore’s work attempts to discern the outlines
  of this puzzle
Moore as a Comparative
 Moore uses an “historical determinist”
  approach to explain the development of
  the three “modern” political systems –
  democracy, fascism, and communism
 Empirically, Moore employs the
  comparative method against several
  cases (UK, France, Germany, Russia,
  etc.) to test his theoretical propositions
Moore as a Comparative
 A very basic description of Moore’s thesis:
 The relationship – specifically, the power distribution –
   between monarchs and nobility led to differences in the
   degree to which the latter became a major player in
   political development
       Early on (16th Century), absolutism prevailed in all
        European polities
       Where the monarchy remained absolutist, we observe
        limited societal autonomy and stunted economic
        development, leading to fewer prospects for democracy
       Where power between the monarchy and nobility
        became somehow divided, we observe greater societal
        autonomy and economic development, leading to
        greater prospects for democracy
          Moore as a Comparative
 In these latter countries, the main mode of economic development was
   crucial in determining the growth of an economic middle class
       Where agricultural commerce was unimportant to the nobility, the
        feudal system prevailed
       Where agricultural commerce was important to the nobility, nobles had
        two means by which to achieve it:
            Those with the power to keep former peasants tied to their historical lands
             did so, resulting in the continuation of feudalism for the nobles’ commercial
            Those without the power to keep former peasants tied to their lands
             generally saw those former peasants develop greater productive and
             commercial autonomy. The nobles took a “piece of the action,” but the
             process resulted in the ability of some former peasants to accrue their own
             capital and become a “middle class” (bourgeoisie)
 With the advent of industrialization, we add to this mix the development
   of upper and lower urban classes (factory owner and industrial worker)
      Moore as a Comparative
 Later, where the bourgeoisie and the nobles
  found common cause against the monarchy
  (normally based on mutual need), the
  coalition sought increased political power
 Where the nobles found common cause with
  the monarchy against the
  bourgeoisie/“peasants,” political power
  remained concentrated in the upper classes
  and largely unchallenged
       Moore as a Comparative
 With the advent of modern times, we see the
  previously described relationships playing in the
  following forms of (often violent) regime changes in
  the 19th and 20th Centuries:
 Nobility/bourgeoisie against crown – “revolution
  from below” (democracy in UK)
 Nobility/crown against peasants or bourgeoisie –
  fascist “revolution from above” (ultranationalist
  totalitarianism in Germany)
 Royal absolutists, unable to co-opt support from
  any other groups, face mass, radical “peasant
  revolution” (communism in USSR)
        Moore in Perspective
 What does Moore’s theory say about
      His approach downplays the importance of the civic
       culture, and posits that structural relations based on
       economic interests and power determine the prospects of
         At minimum, a “civic culture” is not enough, by itself, to
           ensure a transition to democracy
      His explanation holds out little hope for democratization in
       countries without a functioning, developed capitalist
       economy along with the right set of structural conditions
         Have we seen such democratization? If so, how has it
           come about? What are the prospects for the most
           important attempts at “nation-building” today?

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