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About this book

The second edition of this popular and authoritative text provides a truly global assessment of democratization in theory and practice in the contemporary world. It has been systematically revised and updated throughout to cover recent developments, from the impact of 9/11 and EU enlargement to the war in Iraq.

Table of Contents

Introduction

Abstract
In December 2010, a young Tunisian street vendor, Mohamed Bouazizi, set himself on fire, apparently in protest at state harassment. His death unleashed shockwaves around the world and contributed to the downfall of the authoritarian regime of Zine El Abidine Ben Ali a month later. The wave of regional change unleashed by the Tunisian protests, or the ‘Arab Spring’ as it has come to be known, can be seen to form part of the long ‘third wave’ of (sometimes problematic) democratization that began in the 1970s, reflecting what Diamond (2008a: 4–6) calls the ‘democratic spirit’ of the contemporary age. In the global (dis)order of today, characterized by uncertainty, inequality, violence and terror, democratization remains one of the few hopeful and positive trends in contemporary politics. The sustained attempts to subject government to popular control, make states work in ways that favour the broad mass of the people and extend citizenship have sometimes — though not always — made enormous differences to the lives of ordinary people. Indeed, there is little doubt that the past four decades have witnessed, in general terms, the dramatic and stunning spread of democracy in some form or another to almost every corner of the globe. This is undeniably a remarkable development. Yet it is equally clear, as we shall see Fin the chapters that follow, that democratization is also a difficult and long-term process (or, more accurately, series of processes) which does not always succeed; demands for it can lead to bloodshed, suffering, displacement, exile and human loss without eradicating authoritarianism.
Jean Grugel, Matthew Louis Bishop

Chapter 1. Democracy

Abstract
Understanding democratization necessarily entails exploring the notion of democracy itself. So, we cannot successfully engage in the study of democratization — which is fundamentally about examining and explaining the processes whereby governments, states and societies shift from authoritarianism of one sort or another towards some form of democracy — without first grappling with the substance and significance of the concept of democracy. There is considerable — and often heated — debate, not only about the meaning of democracy or the variants that can be said to exist, but also about the degree of democracy that can realistically be demanded of government. For some, democratization is about little more than elections, the embedding of a free market and the construction of liberal democratic institutions. This mainstream view tends to be closely linked to the empirical theory which considers the actually existing democracies of the West as emblematic of democracy. For those of a more critical bent, democracy is something which is considerably more substantive; it requires much more than simply the institutional edifice of liberal democracy, including the purposeful deepening of citizenship and, to some degree, the levelling of the economic playing field. More radical conceptions of democracy, in fact, might not even draw intellectual sustenance from liberalism at all.
Jean Grugel, Matthew Louis Bishop

Chapter 2. Democratization in Historical Perspective

Abstract
Modern forms of democracy and democratic ideas have unfolded gradually across much of the globe since the eighteenth and, most particularly, the nineteenth century, albeit in a non-linear and contested fashion. The causes of democratization have varied over time and space, as has the extent to which democracy has been successfully institutionalized. Although the drivers of democratization have often been local and national, international factors have always been important: sometimes simply via the transfer of ideas and the desire to emulate; and sometimes in a more direct and obvious way. The motors of democratization in Europe in the nineteenth century were urbanization, class and social organization; in Africa, anti-imperialism was an important factor in the first phase of democratization in the period after the Second World War; by the 1980s and 1990s the drivers were a complex mix of social conflict, state-building, human rights demands and external influence; and by the early years of the twenty-first century, it became clear that democratization could emerge from local aspirations but could also form part of a coercive or security-driven agenda. Even now, though, democratization entirely by external imposition remains impossible (see Beetham 2009; Whitehead 2009) and local social forces, ideas and grievances remain key to the stability and success of any democratization process.
Jean Grugel, Matthew Louis Bishop

Chapter 3. Explaining Democratization

Abstract
All social science theories are attempts to impose order and find patterns in the messy and complex reality of human life. To some extent, therefore, all theory is inevitably partial in two distinct ways: it offers an unavoidably limited view; and it presents an interpretation that is normative and that reflects a particular ontological construction of the social world. For these reasons, theories of democratization generate different kinds of questions, as well as offering distinctive answers. Most theories of democratization have been concerned chiefly with causation. We can identify here three distinct approaches that speak to such debates and have been dominant in the literature: modernization theory, which has tended to focus on how economic development both produces democratization and helps to sustain it; historical sociology (sometimes called structuralism), which seeks to explain how democratization emerges out of class conflict and the changing relations between different classes and the state; and transition theory (also known as agency theory), which emerged much later, focusing on elite interactions in negotiating democratic transitions. Exploring these three extant bodies of thought constitutes our agenda for the first part of this chapter.
Jean Grugel, Matthew Louis Bishop

Chapter 4. Democratization and the State

Abstract
Democratization means, above all, building a democratic state. It is not always clear, however, what this entails or how it can be brought about. There is a general agreement that it means more than just the introduction of elections and political reforms, but there is little academic consensus about the extent of the changes that are required, how they might be implemented, by whom, in which order and over what timeframe. So, debate abounds, not only regarding what the democratization of the state involves in a fundamental sense, but also on an enormous range of issues relating to the myriad specific changes — whether constitutional, institutional or cultural — that this implies, as well as the real-world, practical consequences in terms of changed behaviour and substantive political outcomes that are, or are not, subsequently engendered.
Jean Grugel, Matthew Louis Bishop

Chapter 5. Democratization and Civil Society

Abstract
This chapter examines how social struggles for democracy contribute to and shape democratization outcomes. We begin by problematizing the notion of civil society along with a discussion of the relationship between civil society and democratization. We then go on to establish a framework through which to interpret and classify different forms of pro-democracy social and civic activism. We also explore the ways in which different societal groups and organizations have mobilized to promote democracy and evaluate their success and the fate of pro-democracy social movements after transition. There has been a remarkable flowering of movements that are generally termed ‘transnational civil society movements’ since the 1980s; this chapter, therefore, considers whether pro-democracy civil society should be conceived in national or international terms and also whether the transnationalization of civil demands is always ‘good’ for democratization. Do global NGOs get in the way of local processes of democratization, particularly in poorer countries, and empty local civil societies of meaning? What is the source of legitimacy for international pro-democracy civil society organizations? These are the kinds of critical questions on which we should reflect when assessing and weighing up their contribution to democratization.
Jean Grugel, Matthew Louis Bishop

Chapter 6. The Global Politics of Democratization

Abstract
Until the 1990s, the established view was that democratization was domestically driven. International factors were regarded as, at best, supplementary (Whitehead 1986; 2008). But as democratization began to take off in East and Central Europe, and, more tentatively, in Africa, Latin America and Asia, the international dimension of democratization moved to centre stage (Teixeira 2008). By the time authoritarian regimes fell in Tunisia, Egypt and Libya in 2011, external forces and dynamics were regarded as key to democratization outcomes. Pridham (1991) identified early on in the third wave how interactions at the boundary between domestic politics and the international order were crucial for shaping the politics of democratization. Similarly, Huntington (1991) argued that globalization was actually the primary cause of the third wave, turning the original theories of democratization on their heads. The work of these authors represented the first step towards taking globalization seriously in debates about democratization (see Grugel 2003b). As the twentieth century moved into the twenty-first, most theorists of democratization began to move beyond simply seeing the domestic and external spheres as separate entities, regarding them instead as mutually constituted, though not always mutually supportive.
Jean Grugel, Matthew Louis Bishop

Chapter 7. Democratization in Europe

Abstract
In 1974–5, the end of the military dictatorship in Greece and long-standing authoritarian regimes in Portugal and Spain signalled the beginning of Huntington’s so-called third wave of democratization. After 1989, when the Cold War ended and the Berlin Wall came down, much of the formerly Soviet world also embarked on sometimes tentative transitions to democracy. Since then, most of the countries of the European continent have democratized, underpinned by a strong regional norm and linkage to — as well as leverage by — the EU. It consequently makes sense to think of four distinct geographies of European democratization: the Southern European countries of Portugal, Spain and Greece; East and Central Europe (meaning, in essence, those countries which quickly joined the EU after the collapse of the USSR); the Balkans; and the Russian Federation and its immediate neighbours. In short, while the overall democratizing trend has been extremely strong in Europe, the countries within these four different groupings have each followed distinctive democratic trajectories, with varying levels of success as their transitions have unfolded.
Jean Grugel, Matthew Louis Bishop

Chapter 8. Democratization in Latin America

Abstract
During the middle of the twentieth century much of Latin America found itself under the rule of military dictatorships. The 1960s and 1970s, especially, witnessed an often fierce battle between brutal authoritarian regimes and the armed groups which rebelled and struggled against them. When the juntas eventually began to collapse, the ensuing transitions to democracy were undoubtedly linked to changes in the global and regional order in the 1980s and 1990s. Nevertheless, national contexts, histories and institutions have also crucially shaped democratic outcomes, trajectories and the quality of democracy in the region, along with quite different levels and patterns of economic development. The result is that national patterns of democratization, some thirty years after the initial process of democratization began, are now quite different.
Jean Grugel, Matthew Louis Bishop

Chapter 9. Democratization in Africa

Abstract
Africa, especially sub-Saharan Africa, has had a troubled history of democratization since the 1980s. Many of the problems that the region faces are rooted in the broader development challenge and the practices of external governance that have shaped politics; others reflect the difficult encounter between a range of regional, national and local traditions and the narrow and normative understanding of what democratization should entail that dominated early support programmes for democratization. Africa’s economic problems in the 1980s surpassed those even of Latin America and other parts of the developing world and its development crisis has been considerably more prolonged. A high level of political fragmentation exists throughout the region, with regional, tribal and religious cleavages cutting across official state boundaries and political communities. These have sometimes erupted in violent and bloody conflicts, and are complicated further by enduring neo-colonial patterns of insertion into the global political economy, which are themselves sustained by highly unequal — and often exploitative — relationships with international capital. Neo-patrimonial practices in government are a persistent challenge to democratization, and states are often too weak to deliver human security. The result is that, despite a limited engagement with democratization, many African countries have more recently witnessed either the return or the entrenchment of authoritarian leadership, and in some cases outright dictatorship.
Jean Grugel, Matthew Louis Bishop

Chapter 10. Democratization in the Middle East

Abstract
The Arab Spring has brought with it repercussions of both practical and intellectual importance for democratization. Some authoritarian regimes have collapsed with new, or modified, political arrangements taking shape. In Tunisia, after Mohamed Bouazizi’s self-immolation in December 2010, the government of Zine El Abidine Ben Ali quickly collapsed, bringing the curtain down on a regime which had hitherto enjoyed almost twenty-five years of uninterrupted authoritarian rule. In Egypt, conflicts between the Army and the people, and between the secular opposition and the Islamic party, the Muslim Brotherhood, have led to a tense and shaky democratic transition. By contrast, violence has been the dominant theme in Libya and Syria. In the former, there was a NATO intervention in March 2011. In the latter, the civil war that was set off by protests in March 2011 against the regime of Bashar al-Assad had led to over 60, 000 deaths by early 2013. Many hundreds of thousands more have been displaced into refugee camps as the government has deliberately targeted cities and built-up residential spaces — a process known as ‘urbicide’ — in an effort to wipe out opposition.
Jean Grugel, Matthew Louis Bishop

Chapter 11. Democratization in Asia

Abstract
Asia is the region where the challenges and the potential of democratization are most keenly felt today. Until the 1980s, Japan was the only Asian country that could really be said to be democratic in any sense, and that had been as a result of external imposition and occupation after the Second World War. But opposition, popular mobilization and demands for ‘people power’ in the context of massive economic upheavals began to change the face of the region; and a number of Asian countries also began to take tentative steps towards electoral democracy around that time. This was accompanied by the final collapse of communism which permitted the spread of liberal and democratic ideas beyond the West.
Jean Grugel, Matthew Louis Bishop

Conclusion

Abstract
Democracy is a way of making decisions collectively and establishing rules and policies through popular decision-making. It is a form of government over which the people exercise control and which operates in the people’s interest. Democratic citizenship is inclusive and political institutions aim to translate citizen preferences into policy. In spite of globalization helping to cement the view that there is a need for democratic global governance, democracy still remains resolutely tied to the national polity. Creating and maintaining democracy requires both an active state to regulate society and organize the distribution of public goods, including welfare programmes, and participatory and critical civil society organizations. As a result, this book has suggested that democratization can best be understood as the introduction and extension of citizenship rights, alongside the creation of a democratic state. Democratic consolidation comprises the routinization and deepening of these practices. Moreover, analysis has increasingly focused not only on the extent to which democratization occurs and becomes embedded, but, crucially, on the quality and nature of democracy which consequently results from these complex and multifaceted processes.
Jean Grugel, Matthew Louis Bishop
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