PROBLEMS OF DEMOCRATIC TRANSITION AND CONSOLIDATION IN COMPARATIVE PESPECTIVE (Seminar)
Professor Alfred Stepan
Term: Fall 1994
Department of Political Science, Budapest
CENTRAL EUROPEAN UNIVERSITY



Course Summary:


Office Hours:
After the seminar I will normally stay in the seminar room for 30 minutes to handle any general inquiries. From 12:30 to 1:30 I will be in my office, in Building #1, for individual consultation. On most Tuesdays I will have office hours from 5:00 - 6:00. If CEU Rector's business takes me out of town that week (we have CEU activities in Prague, Warsaw and Moscow), I will notify the seminar members and set other times.

Style of the Seminar:
This is a graduate seminar. I will give an opening presentation of approximately one hour at every meeting. We will then have a seminar discussion in the final hour and a half. The required reading must be read by all seminar members to ensure a good group discussion. During the course of the seminar, each participant will make two, ten to fifteen minute presentations, which must be deposited in the political science office by 3:00 pm on the Friday before our seminar meets. After each seminar, the paper presenters should meet with me privately to discuss your papers. This is best done between 1:30 and 2:30 on Mondays.

Requirements of the Course:
This seminar is designed to be highly inter-active and to give you a chance to develop your oral, and especially written, ability to marshal analytical arguments concerning modern democratic theory and practice. Thirty percent of your grade will be based on the quality of your oral participation in seminar discussions, thirty percent on your short written presentations to the seminar, and forty percent on your final paper of approximately 15 pages. A very serious draft of your final paper should be in deposited in the political science office by 9:00 am on December 5th. Before you go home for the winter break, I will meet with you privately and give you suggestions for improving the paper. Criticism, rethinking and rewriting are crucial to scholarly development for students and professors alike. The rewritten final version of your paper should be deposited in my box in the political science department at the opening of the second term on Monday January 17th. In the last two weeks of January each of you should schedule a thirty-minute session with me to discuss your final paper. Arrange these meetings by contacting my executive assistant Ms. Jessica Holstein. If your master's thesis topic happens to emerge out of themes we discussed in our seminar, we could meet again in February or March 1995.

Admission to the Seminar
Unfortunately the inter-active writing and rewriting goals of this graduate course cannot be achieved if there are more than fifteen members of the seminar. If more than fifteen people want to take the seminar, I will choose the members based on a two page statement of your theoretical and empirical research interests. Deposit this statement in my box in Political Science by 9:00 am Wednesday, September 21. A list of the members of the session will be posted by 4:00 pm on Friday, September 23th.
All required reading will be contained in the reader that will be distributed to each member of the seminar. I will occasionally list "to go further" reading for the benefit of those of you who might want to read further for class presentations or final research papers. Most of the "to go farther" reading will be on closed reserve in the library. If you have trouble finding readings, consult Scott Keller, who is a member of our seminar and is working as my research assistant.
Please keep an eye on the bulletin boards for talks by visitors. Many social scientists say they might pass through Budapest in the next few months. These include Terry Karl and Philippe Schmitter in early September, Benedict Anderson in late October, and possibly Claus Offe, Juan Linz and Seymour Martin Lipset in November or December.

Syllabus

September 19 . How does Democracy begin?
Required readings:
A seminal early work on l9th century Western transitions is Dankwart A. Rustow, "Transitions to Democracy: Toward a Dynamic Model," Comparative Politics, (April 1970), pp. 337 - 363.
For a recent attempt to analyze the 'First Wave' of democracy, reverse waves, and the newest (post 1974) 'Third Wave', see Samuel P. Huntington, The Third Wave: Democratization in the Twentieth Century (1991), pp. 3 - 31.

September 26. What is Democracy ? How can it be consolidated ?
Required Reading:
According to a major democratic theorist, Robert Dahl, any democracy, if it is to remain a democracy, must have eight institutional guarantees, see his classic Polyarchy: Participation and Opposition (Yale University Press, 1971), pp. 1 - 16.
Also see Philippe C. Schmitter and Terry Karl, "What Democracy is... and is not." Journal of Democracy (Summer 1991) pp.
An attempt to establish the criteria of a "completed democratic transition" and a "consolidated democracy", as well as to discuss the five mutually reinforcing arenas of a consolidated democracy (civil society, political society, a usable state, rule of law and economic society) is found in Juan J. Linz and Alfred Stepan, "Democracy and its Arenas," in their forthcoming book Problems of Democratic Transition and Consolidation: Southern Europe. South America and Post Communist Europe (Baltimore and London: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 1995), Chapter 1, pp. 1-16. Hereafter this book will be cited as Linz-Stepan. Three copies of the entire manuscript are on closed reserve in the library. If you notice any errors, please inform me, so that we can make the appriopriate last minute corrections.

October 3. What are the Major Types of Modern Democracies?
Required Readings:
The dominant form of parliamentary government is not the Westminster (British) model, but what the Dutch political scientist Arend Lijphart calls the 'consensus model' found in most Western European countries. He spells out the dominant characteristics of the 'consensus model' in his widely cited Democracies: Patterns of Majoritarian and Consensus Government in Twenty-One Countries, (Yale University Press, 1984), pp. 21 - 37.
Many of the countries in post-communist Europe are not actually homogenous 'nationstates', but states with large minorities or even with more than one nation in the territory of the state. One of the ways that a number of long-standing democracies such as Belgium (a country some people describe as having two nations living in one state) manage diversity and respect minority rights is via what has come to be called 'consociational practices'. The most important initial discussion of 'consociational democracy' is Arend Lijphart's article of the same name in World Politics 21 (January 1969), pp. 44 - 59.
An extreme form of plebiscitary democracy has recently been theorized by an important Argentine social scientist as 'delegative democracy'. Read Guillermo O'Donnell, "Delegative Democracy," Journal of Democracy, January 1994) pp. 55 - 69.

October 10. Do Institutions Matter?(l) Constitutional Choices in New Democracies: Presidentialism, Parliamentarianism, and SemiPresidentialism
Required readings:
One of the major debates in modern political science concerns the comparative weight of institutions. A seminal article that recontextualized the debate is James G. March and Johan P. Olsen, "The New Institutionalism: Organizational Factors in Political Life," American Political Science Review, vol. 78 (1984), pp. 734 - 749.
For a sustained argument that, all things being equal, parliamentarianism contributes to democratic consolidation and that presidentialism and semi-presidentialism complicate democratic consolidation, see the influential work by Juan J. Linz, "Presidential or Parliamentary Democracy: Does it Make a Difference?" in Juan J. Linz and Arturo Valenzuela, eds., The Failure of Presidential Democracy: Comparative Perspectives (The Johns Hopkins University Press, 1994), pp. 3 - 87. Read pages 48 - 61 on semi-presidentialism lightly, because we will read them again next week when we discuss semi-presidentialism.
To go further:
For a review of the available empirical evidence and a theoretical analysis of the results, see Alfred Stepan and Cindy Skatch, "Constitutional Frameworks and Democratic Consolidation: Parliamentarianism and Presidentialism," World Politics, vol. 46 (October 1993), pp. 1 - 22.
For a much more sceptical view of parliamentarianism than that provided by Linz or Stepan-Skatch, see Giovanni Sartori, "Neither Presidentialism nor Parliamentarianism," in the previously cited Linz-Valenzuela edited volume, pp. 106 - 118. Also see the critique of Linz by D. Horowitz, "Debate: Presidents vs. Parliaments: Comparing Democratic Systems," Journal of Democracy (Fall 1990), pp. 73 - 83.

October 19. Do Institutions Matter? (II) Semi-Presidentialism
Most post-communist countries, especially those from the former Soviet Union, have chosen semi-presidentialism. What special conditions allowed semi-presidentialism to work quite effectively for most the time in the French Fifth Republic? In which of the postcommunist countries are comparable conditions present?
Required Readings:
Juan J. Linz, "Presidential or Parliamentary Democracy: Does it make a Difference?" pp.48 - 61.
For a discussion of the special conditions that allowed semi-presidentialism to work reasonably well in France see Ezra N. Suleiman, "Presidentialism and Political Stability in France" in the previously cited Linz-Valezuela volume, pp. 137 - 162.
For a more sanguine view of presidentialism in the new postcommunist setting, see Stephen Holmes, "The Postcommunist Presidency," East European Constitutional Review (Fall 1993/Winter 1994), pp. 36 - 40.

To go further:
The Fall 1993/Winter 1994 issue of the CEU related East European Constitutional Review is a special double issue devoted to the post-communist presidency. Three copies have been placed on closed reserve for our course. Some of the documents from the review's project on constitutionalism are available via inter-net from the University of Chicago. Send an e-mail request to "csceei@lawnext.uchicago.edu".

Possible student presentations:
If the country in which you are a citizen has recently adopted a semi-presidential constitution, please consider making a presentation today. Your paper might contain a close analysis of the president's prerogatives in the constitution and an analysis of actual practice. If the actual practice of presidential powers exceeds the constitution, what explains this? What are the consequences for democratic consolidation?

October 24. No Seminar this Week!
I must be out of Hungary for 10 days on various CEU related tasks. Sorry. Catch up on your reading and research.

October 31. "Stateness " Problems 1: The Need for Theory
The classic literature on democratic transition and consolidation is based on Southern Europe and Latin America and is virtually silent on the issue of nationalism and in particular the range of people or peoples (demos and demoi) constituting the state. The two most influential writers on nationalism (Ernest Gellner and Benedict Andersen) are not really concerned with democracy. Our task in the next two weeks is to think creatively about the demos / polis relationships. Under what conditions are democracy and the nation-state compatible logics? Under what conditions are they conflicting logics? If they are conflicting logics, what types of democratic systems are most, and least, feasible?

Required readings:
Ernest Gellner, Nations and Nationalism, Chapter 1,
Benedict Andersen, Imagined Communities, Chapter l,
Linz and Stepan, "State, Nation(s) and Democratization", Chapter 2 of our forthcoming

November 7. "Stateness" Problems (II): Comparative Research
Required readings:
Rogers Brubaker, "Nationhood and the National Question in the Soviet Union and PostSoviet Eurasia: An Institutional Account," Theory and Society, 23 (1994), pp. 47 - 78.
Arend Lijphart, "The Puzzle of Indian Democracy: A Re-interpretation" (35 pages, 1994 draft manuscript). He extends his argument on "Westminster" vs. Consociational democracies you read for October 3.
W. Rogers Brubaker, "Citizenship Struggles in Soviet Successor States," International Migration Review, (1993), pp. 47 - 78.
Using the criteria developed in Chapter 1 of the Linz-Stepan book, the USSR never 'democratized' but it 'liberalized' in such a way as to blow-up the state and to complicate further the tasks of democratization. In contrast Spain democratized and re-crafted the state. See Linz and Stepan, Chapter 6 "The Paradigmatic Case of 'Reforma - Pactada, Ruptura Pactada': Spain".

To go further:
Linz-Stepan, Chapter 18, "Stateness and Transition: The USSR" Copy of chapter on closed reserve.
Alfred Stepan, "When Democracy and the Nation-State are conflicting Logics: Reflections on Estonia," European Journal of Sociology. XXXV (1994), pp. 127 - 141. Copy on reserve.

Possible student presentations:
It would be nice to have two or three "paired" presentations today. Possibly a Russian and an Estonian or Latvian could jointly discuss citizenship problems in Estonia or Latvia?
Possibly a Croatian, Serbian or Bosnian could jointly discuss Yugoslavia's past, present and future from the 'stateness' prospective? Were the wars avoidable? Could a Slovak and a Czech jointly discuss the 'velvet divorce'? Are there members of the seminar whose government is pursuing what Brubaker would call 'nationalizing policies,' in a de facto, multinational state? Are there feasible democratic alternatives?

November 14. Postcommunist Europe: Does Prior Regime Type make a Difference ?
Required Readings:
Claus Offe, "Capitalism by Democratic Design? Democratic Theory facing the Triple Transition in East Central Europe"
Jacques Rupnick, "Totalitarianism Revisited" in John Keane, ed., Civil Society and the State, pp. 2 63 - 289.
Linz-Stepan, "Modern Non-democratic Regimes," Chapter 3, and "Transition Paths and Consolidation Tasks: Comparative Implications of Prior Regime Type", Chapter 4.

To go further:
Adam Przeworski, Democracy and the Market: Political and Economic Reform in Eastern Europe and Latin America

November 21. The Need to Re-think Neo-liberal State-bashing: General Theory (with some Brazilian Reflections)
Required readings:
Guillermo O'Donnell, "On the State, Democratization and some Conceptual Problems (A Latin American View with Glances at some Post-Communist Countries)", World Development 21 (1993) pp. 1355 - 1369.
Linz-Stepan, "Inter-related Crises of Efficacy, Legitimation and Democratic State 'Presence': Brazil", Chapter 10.

November 28. Some Overviews on Democracy Five Years after the Fall of the Wall
Required readings:
For three important overviews see the special issue of Daedulus (Summer 1994) devoted to the question "After Communism, What?": George Schöpflin, "Postcommunism: the Problems of Democratic Constitution", pp. 127 - 142; Elemer Hankiss, "European Paradigms: East and West, 1945 - 1994", pp. 91 - 114; and Istvan Rev, "The Postmortem Victory of Communism", pp. 159- 170.
An invaluable source of information on the view of ordinary citizens toward democracy is in the New Democracies Barometer. This is an annual survey of attitudes toward democracy in about a dozen post-communist countries. Consult Richard Rose and Christian Haerpfer, "Adopting to Transformation in Eastern Europe: New Democracies Barometer - II", Studies in Public Policy, no. 212, (1993) and their "New Russia Barometer III: the Results," Studies in Public Policy, no. 228, (1994).

Possible student presentations and research projects:
At least two seminar members should analyze and discuss the Rose and Haerpfer project in this session.
By the way, Rose and Haepfer have told me that you can do secondary analysis of their results which you can obtain by inter-net or by a visit to the Lazenfield Society in Vienna.
We are fortunate that we have in the CEU political science department two of the leading public opinion specialists in the region: Gabor Toka and Laszlo Bruszt. If you are interested in public opinion polls be sure to work with Bruszt and Toka for your Masters thesis. Bruszt and Toka have also administered major surveys whose results are now being released. CEU Prague College is conducting an important month long workshop on public opnion polling in postcommunist Europe this Summer. If you are interested, tell me and I will help you apply. Comparative polls for democratization in Southern Europe and South America now exist. A three region comparison would be pioneering. You could do it by secondary analysis.
After establishing the criteria of democratic consolidation in Chapter 1 of the Linz-Stepan manuscript, we evaluated seven countries of Southern Europe or South America using these criteria. You might consider a comparable exercise for a post-communist country. Please feel free, of course, to criticize or modify our criteria or to substitute your own.

December 5. Student Presentations at the Rector's Home
A very serious draft of your final paper is due today at 9:00 am. From 7:30 pm to 11:00 pm we will have a mega-seminar (and a minor dinner party), during which at least five seminar members will, in no more than 10 minutes each, tell the class what they consider their most important conclusions, and also what intellectual problems are still unresolved.
This should be a valuable opportunity for peer input. Each paper presented this evening will have a student discussant who will have read your paper and will offer a ten minute critique concerning possible re-write directions. Those students whose papers are being discussed this evening must submit two copies of their papers, one marked for Professor Stepan and one with the name of your discussant to the political science office by 9:00 am.



Digitized version prepared by the Curriculum Resource Center (CRC)
CEU Budapest, Hungary
Revised: April, 1996

Ste_ProblDTr.F94PS.v5


Back to the Political Science Syllabi List Back to the Syllabi Collection

Back to the CRC Homepage Back to the CEU Homepage