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What are the main differences between minimalist and maximalist definitions of democracy?
The minimalist definition of democracy is described as attainable (because each factor is attainable on its own), procedural (because it focuses on elections), strictly political, does not contain perfect political equality, and is a representative democracy. The maximalist definition of democracy is described as not attainable (but a guide or gold standard), contains perfect political equality, non-procedural meaning (no elections), not strictly political (socially and economically), and is a direct democracy.
What is the definition of democracy of Przeworski et al. (200)? Which potentially important elements are missing?
Przeworski et al.'s definition of democracy is minimalist and describes democracy as a regime in which those who govern are sleeted through contested elections (don't know who will win and anyone can win, but they must take office and be reputable). There are many problems with Przeworski et el.'s definition of democracy and many important elements are missing: 1. Nothing about participation. 2. Voting equality. 3. Rule of law. 4. Political and civil rights. 5. Those elected make decisions. 6. Influence policies between elections. 7. Executive constraints. 8. Minority rights. 9. Those who are elected make decisions.
What are the main elements of the definition of democracy of Dahl?
The main elements of Dahl's definition of democracy: 1. Maximalist. 2. Must have effective participation. 3. Must have voting equality. 4. Have an enlightened understanding. 5. Have control of the agenda. 6. Inclusion of adults.
How is the measure of democracy of the Freedom House Computed? Discuss the main limitations of this measure.
The Freedom House is the most maximalist measure and there are two components: Political rights (about 12 indicators) and civil liberties (about 15 indicators). Each indicator is rated from 1 (most democratic) to 7. Each component is given the value of the average of its indicators. The overall democracy score is the average of the two components.
Political Rights: 1. Executive elected. 2. Legislature is elected. 3. Electoral laws are fair. 4. More than 1 party. 5. Significant opposition vote. 6. Political choices are free. 7. Equal rights for minorities. 8. Elected officials make decisions. 9. No widespread corruption. 10. Accountability between elections. 11. If monarch, he/she consults population. 12. No attempt to change the country's ethnic composition.
Civil Liberties: 1. Freedom of media. 2. Religious freedom. 3. Academic freedom. 4. Free private discussion. 5. Freedom of assembly. 6. NGO freedom. 7. Trade unions are legal. 8. Independent judiciary. 9. Rule of law. 10. No war or insurgency. 11. Equal treatment for all. 12. Freedom of travel/residence/employment/education. 13. Property rights. 14. Gender equality and freedom to choose marriage partner / family size. 15. Equality of opportunity and absence of economic exploitation.
The main limitations of the Freedom House is that it's: 1. Too inclusive, 2. Weak theoretical foundation (subjective). 3. Aggregation rule (weight put on each indicator). 4. Subjective. 5. Lacks transparency. 6. Indicators change over time.
Freedom House implies "problems in all areas of conceptualization, measurement, and aggregation." (Munck and Verkeilen 2002, p.28).
How is the V-Dem computed? What are its main limitations?
The V-Dem is computed by two scores ranging from 0-100 (most democratic): Electoral Democracy and Liberal Democracy. Electoral Democracy relates to free and fair elections, participation, etc. Liberal Democracy contains the same information on elections but also includes information on executive constraints, independence of the judiciary, rule of law, civil liberties, etc. The V-Dem is also computed based on ratings from country experts which is rated on a scale of 1-4. An expert on Poland may be asked to rate whether citizens are free to participate on Poland. They are asked to do this for a series of questions centered on elections as well as executive constraints. Scores are then aggregated and adjusted by: 1. Taking the average of the scores to compute electoral democracy. 2. The average of all scores to compute Liberal Democracy.
The main limitations of V-Dem are: 1. Different experts have different scales (subjective). 2. Experts may lack information (measurement error). 3. Measurement error varies across countries. 4. Aggregation rule (all indicators have the same weight). However, there are a few advantages of V-Dem: 1. Good at looking at small changes in democratic quality. 2. Many disaggregated indicators.
What are the main advantages and disadvantages of using continuous measures of democracy?
Continuous measures of democracy refer to the degree which a country is democratic. Advantages of continuous measures of democracy includes more information, the ability to look at the quality of democracy, and non-linear relationships. The disadvantages of using continuous measures of democracy include more measurement errors, it is harder to interpret, can't be used to answer all questions, some measures respond more quickly to political events than others, there are important differences across measures, results are often sensitive to the measure employed, and because all measures are highly correlated- choice doesn't matter.
What are the main findings of Przeworski and Limongi (1997) regarding the effect of economic development on democracy?
Przeworski and Limongi believe the main effect economic development has on democracy is that development increases the likelihood a democracy survives. This is based on the Endogenous Theory and the Exogeneous Theory. The Endogenous Theory believes modernization under authoritarianism causes the emergence of democracy and that a country becomes democratic after reasoning a threshold. The Exogeneous Theory however, belives a country becomes democratic independently of economic development (e.g., ears, death of dictator, economic crisis). But the Exogeneous Theory also believes democracy is more likely to survive when modern, however it is important to know that democracy is not a product of modernization.
Do these findings support the argument of Lipset (1959)? Explain.
These findings support the argument of Lipset because Lipset believes that democracy is the direct result of economic growth. He believes richer countries are more likely to democratize, and richer democracies are more likely to survive. Lipset also believes that economic development is not just income because education, urbanization, and industrialization play an important role.
Discuss the main limitations of the analysis of Przeworski and Limongi (1997).
There are many limitations of the Modernization Theory. 1. No theory. There is no argument on the differences between transitions to and from democracy. 2. Development leads to the survival of democracy but not its adoption. 3. Many democracies with income above $6,055 have collapsed since such as Turkey, Venezuela, and Hungary. 4. Measure of economic development. Income per capita does not account for the other dimensions of development such as education, urbanization, and industrialization. 5. Sample stops in 1990. This was problematic for Eastern Europe. 6. Sample start sin 1950. Most rich countries were already democratic in 1950, and very few countries became rich by 1990. 7. Very few rich autocracies. The estimations are not reliable.
What is the contribution of Miller (2012) to this debate? Explain his argument in detail.
Miller provides a theory for Przeworski et al.'s findings. He argues that democratization occurs in two steps: First, the authoritarian regime collapses (richer autocracies are less likely to collapse). This is because population and elite will be more satisfied with a democracy. He also explains there are more resources to prevent a coup, rebellion, etc. Secondly, he argues that it is replaced by a democracy rather than a new autocracy because development increases the likelihood that the older autocracy is replaced by a democracy. Because of this, there will be same modernization mechanisms such as democratic values, and people will be more likely to pressure for the regime to remain democratic.
Explain the argument made by Boix (2003).
Boix focused exclusively on redistributive issues and applied regime change to Meltzer and Richard model. Boix argues that: 1. Less inequality increases the chance of a transition to democracy. 2. More inequality increases the chance of a transition to autocracy. 3. If a country is unequal, it is less likely to democratize. 4. Inequality increases cost of democratization for the autocrat, so less willing to democratize. 5. If there is a revolt, the more equal the country will be, it will be more likely to democratize because the cost is low. 6. The cost for democratization will be higher in a country that is more equal.
Explain the argument made by Acemoglu and Robinson (2006).
Acemoglu and Robinson's argument applies to the demand for democracy by population and the willingness of the elites to allow it. They argue that if inequality is low, there is less incentive to democratize. However, if there is high inequality, population has incentive to demand democracy but incentive for elites to repress as well. If a country is unequal, it is less likely to democratize. Acemoglu and Robinson also believe it is curved because of population demand and bargaining.
What explains the differences between the predictions of Boix (2003) and Acemoglu and Robinson (2006)?
There is an inverted U-shaped vs linear negative relationship between inequality and democratization. Acemoglu and Robinson apply the Meltzer and Richard model to both the population and the elites. They predict that as inequality increases, the population becomes more likely to demand democracy and the elites become less likely to concede it, creating a non-linear relationship. Boix only applies to Meltzer and Richard model to the elites. He predicts that as inequality increases, the elites become less likely to concede democracy this is because inequality doesn't affect whether the population demands democracy, creating a linear negative relationship. The main difference between the predictions of Boix and Acemoglu and Robinson is about equal autocracies, however both are redistributive models. Regime changes are driven by conflicts over who controls redistributive policies.
Discuss the main limitations of these studies. Are they supported by the empirical literature covered in class?
There are many limitations of these studies: 1. Rests on Meltzer and Richard model. 2. Autocracies do not only represent the interests of the rich. 3. Redistribution is not always higher in democracies because they often can't enact drastic redistributive policies. 4. Unified elites. Often the ruling elites is divided by different factions with different political and economic interests because democratization is often the result of conflicts between factions. We can conclude these studies are not supported by the empirical literature discussed in class because: 1. Key assumptions and results are not well-supported empirically. 2. If inequality does not increase redistribution, it doesn't decrease the willingness of the elites to concede democracy. 3. It doesn't increase the incentives of the population to demand democracy.
Under what conditions can oil and other natural resource have a positive effect on economic development? Why do we say that discovering natural resources often leads to a vicious cycle?
Natural resources can have a positive effect in countries with strong checks and balances because it reduces corruption and forces the executive to invest efficiently. Discovering natural resources often leads to a vicious cycle because the resources are owned by the state which can be problematic. It also increases the relative power of the executive which leads to a vicious cycle.
Why does natural resource harm democracy? Discuss the five mechanisms of Ross that explain why oil-rich countries are less likely to be democratic.
Ross explains natural resource harms democracy because countries with oil/minerals are less democratic. He states that it is not driven by the Middle East, nor by sub-Saharan Africa where there are many minerals. The five mechanisms of Ross that explain why oil-rich countries are less likely to be democratic are: 1. Taxation effect. We don't need to raise revenues; it reduces the demand for democracy. 2. Spending effect. Oil-rich countries have more resources that they can spend to increase popular support, more resources to maintain patronage networks. 3. Group formation effect. The state controls most of the economy. The bourgeoisie remains small and independent on the state, and no social class has interests to push for executive constraints and regime change. 4. Repression effect. Oil-rich countries have more resources to repress the population and the opposition. They can pay for security service and an army. 5. Modernization effect. Income increases without increasing urbanization and industrialization. Because of the Dutch Disease, the industrial sector collapses.
Explain the argument of Sokoloff and Engerman in detail.
Sokoloff and Engerman argue that differences in development were created by differences in factor endowments. This created differences in initial inequality levels. Different factor endowments required different forms of labor. Large plantations were suitable to the use of slaves, however not in North America where there was grain agriculture. Endowment factors also created very high inequality societies; Latin America remains the most unequal region. In Latin America, institutions were created to protect the privileges of the elite and prevent the masses from integrating the economy after the abolition of slavery. This caused exclusive and extractive institutions. Factor endowments where minerals instead of large plantations used natives as laborers and Spain even gave up large pieces of land and mines to few Europeans. You could only vote if you owned land. North America wasn't a large native population and wasn't suitable to large-scale plantations, but the production of grain agriculture favored small farms and small owners. Factor endowments also favored establishment of less repressive regimes and political institutions tended to reproduce income distribution. There were also no restrictions on buying land in North America. The different in initial inequality arose from differences in factor endowments for example, the ratio of land suitable for wheat production to land suitable for sugar production. Inequality remains high because of political institutions and the negative relationship between inequality and social mobility.
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