Unit 2 (II): Structures and Political Institutions (2015)Apunte Inglés
The Authoritarian and Totalitarian Regimes and why democracy fails.
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POLITICAL SCIENCE. UNIT 2
STRUCTURES AND POLITICAL INSTITUTIONS (II)
AUTHORITARIAN AND TOTALITARIAN REGIMES.
Totalitarian states attempted to remold and transform every aspect of human life.
*One single party holds total power and attempts to restructure society in accordance with the values and the vision of the party.
-It began with Lenin (1917) with the Revolution of Russia.
SIX MAIN FEATURES: 1-An All-Encompassing Ideology — Official theory of history.
2-A single party — There only exists one party, led by one man who establishes a cult of personality.
*This party answers to all the questions.
3-Organized Terror — Creation of secret police and controls: Gestapo, The Soviet NKVD… 4-Monopoly of communications — In a totalitarian state the official ideology is sold by the mass media.
5-Monopoly of weapons —The government has a complete control on weapons.
6-Controlled Economy — The State controls the economy, there is no private economy.
-Denial of political freedoms to citizens -The political participation of competing groups is not permitted.
POLITICAL SCIENCE. UNIT 2 3-COMPARING STRONG, WEAK AND FAILED STATES.
Not all states are equally in their capacity to penetrate, regulate and coordinate society.
STRONG STATES: -Popular legitimacy, administrative efficiency and effectiveness -Capacity to mobilize and extract resources from the population -Ability to establish and preserve law and order.
WORLD BANK’S STUDY OF GOVERNANCE INDICATORS: -Voice and accountability —> First step to have democracy. Voice is the possibility of people to make decisions on the political field, and accountability means to have an effective judiciary system (in order to avoid corruption).
-Political stability and absence of violence —> To have an economy that works, but also to have a solid system of political parties.
-Government effectiveness —> Government needs to be effective in order to have society happy with the system.
-Rule of law —> Basic criteria in order to have legitimacy.
-The control of corruption —> Not to avoid it, because it’s almost impossible to eliminate it, but it is important to control it. — Always power has some dimension of corruption.
REASONS WHY DEMOCRACY FAILS: -Poverty — People don’t have enough goods to survive, so it’s difficult that the democracy works.
-Major inequality — Small group of people having the control of the economy and controlling the major part of goods and money.
-No middle class — It’s very important for the stability of the country. It shows the redistribution of the richness of the country.
-Low education levels -Oil — Oil is important because it can be a source of stability but also instability and major conflicts in the country: Corruption, confrontation, etc.
-Tribalism — Tribes are still having an important role in the country’s politics. They have a lot of influence in the political life.
-Little civil society -No earlier democratic experience -No democratic countries nearby — Very difficult for democracy to work in a country where all neighbors are authoritarian regimes.