You are on page 1of 6

So let's look first at elite norms with respect to politics and democracy.

a democracy is consolidated in this sense, likely to be secure and enduring. When most significant leaders of opinion, culture, business and social organizations believe in the legitimacy of democracy. It's not that you have to have every significant voice or organizational actor there commited to the democratic process. But really the overwhelming bulk of them. And when all major leaders of government and political parties believe in a legitimacy of democracy. Now, I really, understand, underscore all here and major, here. Because if you have In a democracy a significant political party and party leader who is getting 15, 20% of the vote. And rejecting the basic values and norms of the democratic constitutional system. Presenting themselves as an alternative to democracy. Or challenging many of the rights and freedoms both for the public at large and for minorities guaranteed in the constitution. That can be a very significant threat to democracy. Consolidation requires a concensus among all the major parties and party leaders that democracy is the best form of government. And that the constitutional system in place in the country is the right and proper system for the country. Now, you can have some[UNKNOWN] leader out there. Who's proclaiming from so some soap box that he has the better answer to the type of system that a country needs. But if he's not getting any support in society. He's not a major leader. It's not an indicator of the non consolidation or the deconsolidation or the instability of democracy. And if we look at elite behavior, we see that leaders of government and significant political parties and interest groups need to respect each others right to compete for power. They should not be saying that the other competitor in an election is illegitamate. Doesn't belong in the system. It's one thing to say, don't vote for

those people, they've got the wrong program. But to say they don't have a right to compete, they should never be allowed to come to power. That begins to violate the norms and procedures of a vigorous and quality democracy. Political leaders need to issue violence, reject it absolutelly and unconditionally. One of the major indicators of politcal instablilty, democratic instability and the potential vunerability of democracy breakdown is a significant rise in political violence. [COUGH] And if contending political parties, and their support groups are able to maintain fully peaceful means for contesting for power. That is a very auspicious sign for the future of democracy. Leaders of government, and parties as well need to clearly show in their behavior. That they respect the laws, they respect the Constitution, and the mutually accepted norms of political conduct. This generates what Robert Dahl called a system of mutual security, where each contending political party can trust. That if they play by the rules of the game, the other side will as well, and everyone will have a right to continue to contest for power in the future. A corollary of this dimension here, of elite behavior. Is that elites should avoid rhetoric, vocabularies that would incite their followers to violence, to intolerance, or to use illegal methods like electoral fraud. So not only in what they do but in the signals rhetorically that they send to their supporters. They have to reflect the logic of the system of mutual security, of tolerance for the opposition and respect for its right to contest, on an open and level playing field. Finally, political leaders should not attempt to use the military for advantage. We often see in political systems that are spiraling downward from a difficult democracy to a democratic failure by one means or another. That a warning sign is when political leaders are turning to the military for trying to rally them to support them

against their competitors in some political crisis. That is really a flashing signal that something is wrong with the democracy, that it's not consolidated, and that it's vulnerable to breakdown. Now, secondly, let's look at the level of organizations. Politically significant parties, interest groups. They might be trade unions, professional associations, the bar associations, student associations, women's groups. Social movements, of perhaps indigenous people. or gay lesbian and transgender people. Or people who have been marginalized in some way because of their poverty or some other source of social exclusion. How do they relate to the political system? The consolidation of democracy is indicated and advanced at this level. When all of these groups that have some significant support or participation in society endorse the legitimacy of democracy. Or at least don't actively reject it and again, this means not only in general saying democracy is the best form of government. But recognizing that the specific form of democracy that they have in their country, its constitutional rules. Its institutions, its constraints are morally right and proper for the society. You can see here that in terms of norms legitimacy is the core concept in democratic consolidation. At every level social and political actors need to reflect in their beliefs and values. Really an unconditional commitment to democracy as the best form of government. Now, what about their behavior? At the level of behavior, we want to see that these politically significant parties, interest groups, social movements. do not in any way seek to overthrow or undermine or mobilize against the basic institutions of democracy. That they reject and refuse to employ violence. and that they turn away from any unconstitutional, undemocratic methods. As a means of trying to acquire power or achieve their other goals. in other words, they play by the rules of the game.

and probably the most concise definition of a consolidated democracy which many of the leading political scientists such as Juanlitz and Adam Schaworsky, Philippe Schmitter and others, have often articulated. Is that democracy is consolidated when it becomes the only game in town when everyone understands there are no other rules. No other means that would acceptable for trying to achieve their goals. How do we recognize democratic consolidation at this level? Once we begin to get to the level of organizations, We can see in terms of their norms what they say. What do they formally write in their charters. What do they say in their press releases, in their public statements, in their declarations. What are the leaders of these groups saying in their public speeches and so on? And of course you could have a problem evident today in the behavior of, the Muslim brotherhood in Egypt. Or some other political parties and movements with a fairly militant and undemocratic political tradition. That parties may say one thing to, their supporters in a particular national language, in Egypt of course Arabic. And they say something else to the outside world in English. So it's very important to look at what organizations and organizational leaders are actually saying to their constituents in the indigenous language. We see this in countries in Africa and Asia historically, particularly in the early post colonial period. Were in the lingua franca of the country, for example, English or French, they might be somewhat more restrained. And once they get into the indigenous language of an ethnic group that is their support base. They become cruder and more abusive of democratic norms and restraints. In terms of organizational behavior, obviously we look at what groups would do what kinds of tactics and methods they use. Are they encouraging or condoning violence? Are they using or subtly encouraging or facilitating electoral fraud, and so on? Now look at the mass level of politics.

In many ways, this is the easiest to measure because we have tools to do it that have really developed well over time. And a threshold that I have identified for recognizing the possibility of democratic consolidation at this level. Which is empirically derived from looking at many cases of democratic progress, over time around the world. And I think, a useful kind of informal, or difacto rule, is that democracy can be consolidated at the mass level. When the vast majority of the public, I would say at least 70%, consistently believe, that democracy is preferable to any other form of government as a general principal. And that again there particular democracy thats in place in the country is the most suitable government for the country and you know shoudl only require at most modest adjustments. In addition, I think it's important that there not be a large portion of the public, so perhaps no more than 10%, or 15% at most. Who actively reject the legitimacy of democracy and prefer an authoritarian regime. And I would also emphasize here the importance of the word consistently. Because if public opinion is jumping back and forth to support for democracy at high levels. And then the ebbing of that or a fading of that, that's not a reliable sign of democratic consolidation. And finally, at the level of behavior, we can look at what people do at the level of mass politics. Does there emerge an anti democratic movement, political party or interest group or organization that is able to attract a significant mass following. That's registering not only public opinion polls but in election results? are ordinary citizens using violence and unconstitutional and illegal methods frequently to try and achieve victory for their party. Or secure their interests in some way. Are they having frequently and relentlessly to resort to the streets or to violent conflict with one another? Or do we see at the level of mass politics once again, commitment to the rules of the game. at the level of mass behavior democratic consolidation is evident When people do

not use fraud. Or other illegal or unconstitutional methods to express and achieve their political preferences.