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AT: DPT – new democracies aren’t



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AT: DPT – new democracies aren’t




Rising democracies have under-developed institutions – can’t garner benefits of democratic states


Mansfield and Snyder 95 (Edward, Chair of the Political Science Department, and Director of the Christopher H. Browne Center for International Politics – University of Pennsylvania, Jack, PhD in political science and Professor of Political Scienc/Director of the Institute of War and Peace Studies – Columbia University, “Democratization and the Danger of War” International Security, Vol. 20, No. 1 (Summer, 1995), The MIT Press, pp. 22-24, Jstor)
However, these happy solutions typically emerge only in the very long run. In the initial stages of expanding political participation, strong barriers prevent the emergence of full-fledged democratic processes and the foreign policy outcomes associated with them. The two main barriers are the weakness of democratic institutions and the resistance of social groups who would be the losers in a process of full-fledged democratization. Popular inputs into the policymaking process can have wildly different effects, depending on the way that political institutions structure and aggregate those inputs.29 It is a staple of political science that different institutional rules -for example, proportional representation versus single-member districts, or congressional versus executive authority over tariffs-can produce different political outcomes, even holding constant the preferences of individual voters. In newly democratizing states, the institutions that structure political outcomes may allow for popular participation in the policy process, but the way they channel that input is often a parody of full-fledged democracy. As Samuel Huntington has put it, the typical problem of political development is the gap between high levels of political participation and weak integrative institutions to reconcile the multiplicity of contending claims.30 In newly democratizing states without strong parties, independent courts, a free press, and untainted electoral procedures, there is no reason to expect that mass politics will produce the same impact on foreign policy as it does in mature democracies. In all of the democratizing great powers, public inputs were shaped and aggregated in ways that differed from those of mature democracies. In mid- Victorian Britain, rural areas had greater representation than urban areas, the ballot was not secret, and only propertied classes could vote.31 In rural France under Napoleon III, the local prefect, appointed in Paris, stood at the ballot box and exercised control over voters' choices.32 In Wilhelmine Germany, the parties that won the elections could not name governmental ministers; rather, they had to use their limited powers over the budget to bargain over policy with ministers named by the kaiser.33 In Taisho Japan, the electoral franchise was widened, but the choice of who would govern was left to the oligarchs who had founded the Meiji state. 34 And in Russia today almost none of the major institutions of representative government work in a reliable way: consti- tutional rules change to fit the needs of the moment; constitutional courts take sides on transparently political grounds; elections are postponed or announced on short notice; and political parties are transitory elite cliques, not stable organizations for mobilizing a mass coalition. Moreover, in all of these cases, the political press was to some degree bribed or censored by the government or had not yet institutionalized the objectivity, knowledge, and professionalism needed to create a full and fair public debate.35 As a result of these institutional deformations, ruling circles in these democ- ratizing great powers were only haphazardly accountable to the electorate. Typically, elite groups reached out intermittently and selectively for mass support but were able to buffer themselves from systematic accountability through the ballot box. In Britain both the Whig and Tory parties were still dominated by landed oligarchs, who refused to entertain the notion of anything more than issue-specific alignments with the parliamentary representatives of middle-class radical opinion. Similarly, in Wilhelmine Germany the ruling elite bargained with mass groups like the Catholic Center Party over specific horse- trades, for example, exchanging support on the naval budget for concessions on Catholic rights. The Center Party was not, however, offered ministerial portfolios. As a consequence, public groups in all of these polities tended to organize as narrow pressure groups or single-issue lobbies, such as the Anti-Corn Law League in Britain in the 1840s, or the Navy and Agrarian Leagues in pre-1914 Germany These groups often worked outside the electoral system, making direct demands on public authorities, since the democratic path to power was rigged against them. This tendency toward direct action in the streets or in smoke-filled back rooms rather than through the ballot box is typical of what Huntington calls the "praetorian society," where pressures for participation are strong but institutions for effective participation are weak.3 To some extent this weakness of democratic institutions simply reflects the difficulty of building effective structures from scratch. Well-developed organi- zations, skilled cadres to staff them, and habits of democratic action are not acquired overnight by journalists, parliamentarians, judicial officials, and party politicians. Nor is trust in the efficacy and objectivity of such institutions easily acquired. As rational-choice analysts of the creation of institutional structures have convincingly and repeatedly shown, "transaction costs" and dilemmas of collective action hinder the emergence of institutions to facilitate bargaining that would make everyone better off.37

New democracies gain none of the pacific benefits of established ones. Militaries and autocratic elements maintain power in the transition.


Mansfield and Snyder 95 (Edward, Chair of the Political Science Department, and Director of the Christopher H. Browne Center for International Politics – University of Pennsylvania, Jack, PhD in political science and Professor of Political Scienc/Director of the Institute of War and Peace Studies – Columbia University, “Democratization and the Danger of War” International Security, Vol. 20, No. 1 (Summer, 1995), The MIT Press, pp. 24-26, Jstor)
Of course, the development of efficient democratic institutions is hindered further by the fact that everyone is not made better off by effective democratic reforms. Many social groups, including many powerful ones, are likely to be losers from the strengthening of democratic institutions.38 These include the autocratic rulers themselves, state bureaucrats of the old regime who might fear that their function would lose its importance in a transformed polity, social and economic elites whose privileges might diminish in a more open system, or even mass special interest groups who would lose from reforms that the average voter might find attractive. In the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, constituencies having an interest in holding back full democratiza- tion typically included kings, nobles, landowners, owners of industrial capital, militaries that were closely tied to old elites or the old regime, and artisans and other middle-class groups that benefited from the guild-type economic restric- tions backed by the old regime.39 In contemporary post-communist states, the analogous cast of characters has, in one place or another, included national and local former Communist party officials, the military, ministries or firms con- trolling obsolete industrial capital, workers in such sectors, and people living and working in the regions where such sectors predominate. The strength of these groups' incentives to hold back democratic change depends in large part on the mobility of their assets and skills. British land- owners were comparatively relaxed about the expansion of democratic rights: the relative mobility of their substantial commercial investments allowed many of them to accept the end of agricultural protection and to profit from a liberalizing, free-trading political alliance with the commercial middle classes. In contrast, Germany's Junker landowning elite, who largely staffed the Prus- sian state, had very few attractive economic prospects outside of their relatively inefficient agricultural holdings, and thus had a larger stake in using state- backed protectionism and political repression to maintain their social posi- tion.40 In Russia today, some former Communist elites have shown agility in adapting to a privatized economy, where they have devised ways to maintain control over or profit from the disposal of many of the elite's economic assets. However, the military has suffered greatly in status and organizational cohe- sion from the opening of the political system. And even the elites who are doing well in the transition have a stake in making the transition a controlled, partial one, where profiteering is not too fettered by democratic scrutiny or rule of law. Both in the nineteenth century cases and in the contemporary post-commu- nist ones, it is striking that many of the groups with an interest in retarding democratization are also those with a parochial interest in war, military prepa- ration, empire, and protectionism. This is not accidental. Most of the benefits of war, military preparations, imperial conquest, and protectionism-e.g., in career advancement or in protection from foreign economic competition-are disproportionately concentrated in specific groups.41 Any special interest group, including the military, that derives parochial benefits from a public policy has to feel wary about opening up its affairs to the scrutiny and veto of the average voter, who pays for subsidies to special interests. Whenever the costs of a program are distributed widely, but the benefits are concentrated in a few hands, democratization may put the program at risk. When autocratic states start to democratize, many of the interests threatened by democratization are military in nature. As Charles Tilly says, "war made the state and the state made war."42 In early modern Europe, military organi- zations occupied a privileged position in the state, which was built to serve their needs. Moreover, ruling aristocracies were intertwined with military in-stitutions, so democratization inherently challenged the vested social, eco- nomic, and bureaucratic interests of an old elite that was at its core a military elite. Joseph Schumpeter constructed a whole theory of imperialism on the atavistic interests of the military-feudal aristocracy.43 It is true that middle-class reformers sometimes wanted to build up the state's military power: this was a rallying cry of English radicals in the Crimean War, and of German middle- class officers before 1914. However, they wanted to replace aristocratic dead- wood with middle-class rationalizers. Democratization led by proponents of military power was thus nearly as much of a threat to the old army as democratization led by pacifists like Richard Cobden.44




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