Latest News on Democracy : May 21

[1] Determinants of Democracy

A panel study of over 100 countries from 1960 to 1995 finds that improvements in the standard of living predict increase in democracy, as measured by a subjective indicator of electoral rights. The propensity for democracy rises with per capita GDP, primary schooling, and a smaller gap between male and female primary attainment. For a given standard of living, democaracy tends to fall with urbnization and with a greater reliance on natrual resources. Democracy has little relation to country size but rises with the middle‐class share of income. The apparently strong relation of democracy to colonial heritage mostly disappears when the economic variables are held constant. Similarly, the allowance for these economic variables weakens the interplay between democracy and religious affiliation. However, negative effects from Muslim and non‐religious affiliations remain intact.

[2] Depoliticizing Democracy

It is now widely accepted as an ideal that democracy should be as deliberative as possible. Democracy should not involve a tussle between different interest groups or lobbies in which the numbers matter more than the arguments. And it should not be a system in which the only arguments that matter are those that voters conduct in an attempt to determine where their private or sectional advantage lies. Democracy, it is said, should promote public deliberation among citizens and authorities as to what does best for the society as a whole and should elicit decision‐making on that basis. But the ideal of deliberative democracy has two components—the deliberative and the democratic—and often they pull apart. In this paper I look in the first section at a series of problems that arise on the deliberative front, arguing that their resolution requires various degrees of depoliticization. And then I ask in the second whether the depoliticizing responses that those problems require are antithetical to the ideal of democracy. I argue that they are not in tension with the ideal, if that ideal is cast in the relatively revisionary, two‐dimensional form that I favour.

[3] What is a ‘good’ democracy?

This article introduces three different notions of quality grounded in procedure, content and result. Those three notions are at the core of three different notions of democratic quality. Each of them has different implications for empirical research. Starting from these premises, the article proposes some theoretical arguments fundamental to the analysis of democratic quality and good democracy. In the first section definitions of democracy and quality are suggested. The subsequent three sections analyse the main emphasized dimensions, such as the rule of law, accountability, responsiveness, freedom and equality. Such an analysis calls for indicators, certain measures that reveal how and to what degree each dimension is present in various models of good democracy, the numerous and related problems associated with empirical study, and the essential conditions for its existence. The penultimate section indicates models of good democracy and highlights the related and much more common models of low quality democracies. The concluding remarks briefly mention the main directions of future research on the topic.

[4] Comparative Study between Democracy and Autocracy Based on Social Indicators

Democracy and autocracy are measured by democracy index which is introduced by Economist Intelligence Unit and has been calculated since 2006 for 167 countries covering almost the entire population of the world. The Democracy index is based on five factors: Electoral process and pluralism; civil liberties; the functioning of government; political participation; and political culture. These 167 countries are divided into one of four categories: Full democracy; flawed democracy; hybrid regime; and authoritarian regime or autocracy. This paper deals with comparative study between full democracy and autocracy based on different social indicators such as literacy rate, unemployment rate, per capita GDP, birth rate, death rate, fertility rate, divorce rate, murder rate etc. It is observed that per capita GDP and literacy rate of full democratic countries are significantly higher than that of autocratic countries. Unemployment rate, murder rate, fertility rate and crude birth rate of full democratic countries are significantly lower than that of autocratic countries. No significant difference was observed for crude death rate and divorce rate between democratic and autocratic countries.

[5] Students’ Democratic Participation in the School Environment: from a Passive Attitude to an Active Interaction

In the present paper, a legalization procedure related to a different school function model is defined. Starting from the ambiguity of the notion related to the school democratic function, the form of hypocrisy is projected, which has already been formulated, as the dominating discourse is in favor of authenticity and validates the prevailing authority. In this perspective, new organizational student-teacher forms are suggested to formulate a biopolitical environment through new communication networks – of social and personal appeal. As a consequence, the authoritarian structures and dominating relations are transformed into democratic forms of organization, taking into account the individuals’ social and cultural subjectivity in their social environment. More specifically, through the transgression of the explicit and implicit forms of power and authority, concentration will be placed on the schematic correspondence of structures and relations so that democracy will be reinterpreted under its social and political content.

 

Reference

[1] Barro, R.J., 1999. Determinants of democracy. Journal of Political economy107(S6), pp.S158-S183.

[2] Pettit, P., 2004. Depoliticizing democracy. Ratio Juris17(1), pp.52-65.

[3] Morlino, L., 2004. What is a ‘good’democracy?. Democratization11(5), pp.10-32.

[4] Rahman, M.S., 2015. Comparative study between democracy and autocracy based on social indicators. Journal of Economics, Management and Trade, pp.305-312.

[5] Kalerante, E., 2014. Students’ democratic participation in the school environment: From a passive attitude to an active interaction. Journal of Education, Society and Behavioural Science, pp.167-175.

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