This book addresses some of the most pressing questions of our time: Is democracy threatened by globalisation? Is there a legitimacy crisis in contemporary democracies? Is the welfare state in individual countries under pressure from global trends? What are the implications of high-level migration and rising populism for democracy? Does authoritarianism pose a challenge? The volume builds on a cross-cultural study of democracy conducted by the Transformation Research Unit (TRU) at Stellenbosch University in South Africa for nearly twenty years. Three of the countries studied – South Africa, Turkey and Poland – receive individual attention as their respective democracies appear to be the most vulnerable at present. Germany, Sweden, Chile, South Korea and Taiwan are assessed in their regional contexts. Further insights are gained by examining the impact on democracy of the global screen culture of Television and the Internet, and by pointing out the lessons democracy should learn from diplomacy to fare better in the future. The book will appeal to both students and practitioners of democracy as well as the general reader.
Political legitimacy has become a scarce resource in Russia and other post-Soviet states. Their capacity to deliver prosperity has suffered from economic crisis, war in Ukraine and confrontation with the West. Will nationalism and repression enable political regimes to survive? This book studies the politics of legitimation in Post-Soviet Eurasia.
While the Arab uprisings have overturned the idea of Arab "exceptionalism," or the acceptance of authoritarianism, better analysis of authoritarianism’s resilience in pre- and post-uprising scenarios is still needed. Modern Middle East Authoritarianism: Roots, Ramifications, and Crisis undertakes this task by addressing not only the mechanisms that allowed Middle Eastern regimes to survive and adapt for decades, but also the obstacles that certain countries face in their current transition to democracy. This volume analyzes the role of ruling elites, Islamists, and others, as well as variables such as bureaucracy, patronage, the strength of security apparatuses, and ideological legitimacy to ascertain regimes’ life expectancies and these factors’ post-uprisings repercussions. Discussing not only the paradigms through which the region has been analyzed, but also providing in-depth case studies of Tunisia, Egypt, Libya, Algeria, Saudi Arabia, Iraq, and Iran, the authors arrive at critical conclusions about dictatorship and possibilities for its transformation. Employing diverse research methods, including interviews, participant observation, and theoretical discussions of authoritarianism and political transition, this book is essential reading for scholars of Middle East Studies, Islamic Studies and those with an interest in the governance and politics of the Middle East.
How do political regimes respond to the challenges emanating from youth mobilization? This book seeks to understand regime resilience and breakdown by analysing the public meaning of youth, as well as the physical mobilization of young people. Mobilization carried by young people is a key component in understanding the stabilisation of the authoritarian regime structures in contemporary Russia, but the Russian experience makes only sense if placed in its broader historical context.Three comparative cases, the breakdown of the authoritarian Soviet Union, the breakdown of the democratic Weimar Republic, and the crisis of the democratic regime in France around 1968 highlight how regimes which lacked popular support have compensated for their insufficient legitimacy by trying to mobilize youth symbolically and politically. This book illustrates the symbolic significance of youth and its role in regime crisis by analysing a new data set of newspaper articles with a new method of discourse analysis. The combination of qualitative interpretation and quantitative network analysis enables a deeper and more systematic understanding of discursive structures about youth. Through this methodological innovation the book contributes to the way we define the categories of youth, generation, and crisis. It makes the case that our conceptualisation should reflect the way terms are being used - usages that can be captured in a systematic way with new methods of discourse analysis. Oxford Studies in Democratization is a series for scholars and students of comparative politics and related disciplines. Volumes concentrate on the comparative study of the democratization process that accompanied the decline and termination of the cold war. The geographical focus of the series is primarily Latin America, the Caribbean, Southern and Eastern Europe, and relevant experiences in Africa and Asia. The series editor is Laurence Whitehead, Senior Research Fellow, Nuffield College, University of Oxford.
This book explores the challenges and obstacles faced by dissident leaders in Asia seeking to introduce reforms into regimes that are either imperfectly democratic or frankly hostile to democratic practices and institutions.
Electoral autocracies – regimes that adopt democratic institutions but subvert them to rule as dictatorships – have become the most widespread, resilient and malignant non-democracies today. They have consistently ruled over a third of the countries in the world, including geopolitically significant states like Russia, Turkey, Venezuela, Egypt, Indonesia, Nigeria and Pakistan. Challenging conventional wisdom, Popular Dictators shows that the success of electoral authoritarianism is not due to these regimes' superior capacity to repress, bribe, brainwash and manipulate their societies into submission, but is actually a product of their genuine popular appeal in countries experiencing deep political, economic and security crises. Promising efficient, strong-armed rule tempered by popular accountability, elected strongmen attract mass support in societies traumatized by turmoil, dysfunction and injustice, allowing them to rule through the ballot box. Popular Dictators argues that this crisis legitimation strategy makes electoral authoritarianism the most significant threat to global peace and democracy.
Popular perceptions of a state's legitimacy are inextricably bound to its ability to rule. Vast military and material reserves cannot counter the power of a citizen's belief, and the more widespread the crisis of a state's legitimacy, the greater the threat to its stability. Even such established democracies as France and India are losing their moral claims over society, while such highly illiberal states as China and Iran enjoy strong showings of public support. Through a remarkable fusion of empirical research and theory, Bruce Gilley makes clear the link between political consent and political rule. Fixing a definition of legitimacy that is both general and particular, he is able to study the role of legitimacy as it has been maintained and lost in a diverse selection of societies. He begins by detailing the origins of state legitimacy and the methods governments have used to wield it best. He then considers the habits of less successful states, exploring how the process works across different styles of government. Gilley's unique approach merges a broad study of legitimacy and performance in seventy-two states with a detailed empirical analysis of the mechanisms of legitimation. The results are tested on a case study of Uganda, a country that, after 1986, began to recover from decades of civil war. Considering a range of explanations of other domestic and international phenomena as well, Gilley ultimately argues that, because of its evident real-world importance, legitimacy should occupy a central place in political analysis.
Krisen offenbaren die Fragilität der Ordnung und fordern die Macht heraus. Wie gehen autoritäre Regime mit ihnen um? Welche Stärken und Schwächen zeigen sie in der Krisenbewältigung, verglichen mit demokratischen Ordnungen? Wie lässt sich ihre Anpassungsfähigkeit und Persistenz erklären? Die Beiträge dieses Bandes verbinden die Sichtweisen von Politikwissenschaft, Geschichte, Literaturwissenschaft, Soziologie und Regionalwissenschaften auf gegenwärtige und untergegangene Regime in Afrika, Ost- und Zentralasien, Ost- und Westeuropa und Lateinamerika. Die Fallstudien beleuchten die Verdichtung autoritärer Herrschaft in der Krise, die meist zwei konträre Ziele verfolgt: die Stabilität zu erhalten und die eigene Herrschaft zu erneuern.
Despite the end of the Cold War, security continues to be a critical concern of Asian states. Allocations of state revenues to the security sector continue to be substantial and have, in fact, increased in several countries. As Asian nations construct a new security architecture for the Asia-Pacific region, Asian security has received increased attention by the scholarly community. But most of that scholarship has focused on specific issues or selected countries. This book aims to lay the groundwork for a comprehensive, in-depth understanding of Asian security by investigating conceptions of security in sixteen Asian countries. The book undertakes an ethnographic, country-by-country study of how Asian states conceive of their security. For each country, it identifies and explains the security concerns and behavior of central decision makers, asking who or what is to be protected, against what potential threats, and how security policies have changed over time. This inside-out or bottom-up approach facilitates both identification of similarities and differences in the security thinking and practice of Asian countries and exploration of their consequences. The crucial insights into the dynamics of international security in the region provided by this approach can form the basis for further inquiry, including debates about the future of the region.
The prospect for democracy in Africa is the central concern of this study. The factors that contribute to the existence of undemocratic or autocratic governments in most of Africa, therefore, become our major focus for evaluation.An analysis of the pre-colonial, colonial and postcolonial political history of Africa attribute autocracy in Africa to irreconcilable differences between the African traditional institutions and the imposed colonial political and economic systems. This socioeconomic and political disharmony, orchestrated by the colonial economics of exploitation, set the tone for neocolonial African states fraught with economic and political instability.Our research strategy involved a qualitative technique of collecting and analyzing a significant body of data relating to the political history of African states. Through an Afrocentric prism, the flaws of the African political and economic systems are traced to underlying deficiencies in the nature of its states. For a second and perhaps authentic emancipation of Africa, the components of the state structure must be realigned giving priority to the values, customs, and traditions of African people. This should form the base for a democratic environment that will usher in effectiveness and legitimacy in governance in those states.A democratization front, comprising of Africans in Africa and the Diaspora, is advocated to design and monitor the democratization movement in the continent. The Organization of African Unity (OAU) should serve as the supervisory body to the democratization front. The philosophy of the democratization front would include a pan- African mobilization against the forces of political, economic, and social exploitation of the continent.