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Study Guide PSC 1002

by: Christopher WIlson

Study Guide PSC 1002

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Christopher WIlson
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Date Created: 05/02/15
Mikhail Gorbachev He is an important figure in communism he was made the general secretary of the communist party in 1985 he introduced the twin principles of glasnost and perestroika Glastnost encouraged public debate and hoped that discussion of the shortcomings in the system would foster change Perestroika was actual institutional reform in the political system and the economy it expected to instill limited amounts of democracy in the system and expose the economy to marketbased incentives He was the first one to recognize the need for change in the soviet system He created two differnt extremists in the party ones which were upset with his unwillingness to openly embrace these changes he had proposed and the conservatives who were opposed to these new changes This unstability led to the disolution of the soviet union Vladimir Putin He was the successor to Yeltstein under his rule economy has flourished and the average russian standard of living has grown greatly and is at its highest ever His rule has seen the weakening of democratic instutitions in the country Great deal of the authrotiy under putin39s regime is concentrated with the president He establisehed a system of market authoritatianism that was used as a model around the world He dissovled regional power by esatblished supraregional districts who were headed by former members of the KGB and military He took power away from the upper house of the Russian parliament by removing elected governors and heads of regional teritories and repalced them with appointed members Although the economy is performing better than the 1990s this growth can be attributed to the rise in oil and gas prices He nationalized many companies that were privatized during the 1990s and has transfered the power of some to his close aides Under his regieme democratic ideology has been replaced with a sense of russian nationalism This is a consequence of the humiliation that the country has faced by loosing pwoer in the international system in the 1990s People have embraced his promise of restoring russia39s significance in the international system Siloviki People of Power Members of the security infrastructure KGB FSB SVR etc They form the defacto inner circle of vladimir putin Their views usually diverge very heavily from the prevailing ideology Their primary concern is the establishment of Law and Order and are focused on the establishment of a stable russian state Nomenkletura Politically sensitive and influential jobs like that of a University professor or the editor of a newspaper are appointed by the approval of the party and the party usually favors the members of the party to join this position Membership to the party is seen as a sign of loyalty and hence members receive better access to facilities and consumer goods This led to many people joining the party for the advancement of their career prospects and not for idealogical reasons This is sometimes counter productive to the party Borris Yeltstein He was the first president of the Russian Federation he was initially a supporter of Mikhail Gorbachev and heavily favoured the reforms of perestroika but later became an opposition to Gorbachev for his failure to embrace these changes more openly He was consequently ejected from the Politbureau and was elected the president of the Russian Soviet Socialist Republic one of the biggest republics in the Soviet Union Eventually after the collapse of the Soviet Union he remained on as the president of the newly formed Russian Federation He very openly embraced the idea of shock therapy to the economy and as a result there was widespread inflation and shrinking of GDP He was also involved with the privatization of firms and this led to the concentration of wealth among a few oligarchs Widespread corruption was also prevalent during his regieme In 1999 Vladimir Putin was appointed as his Prime Miniister and consequently elected to become President of the Russian Federation after Yeltstein39s resignation Asymetric Federalism It is the application of the principles of Federalism unevenly among different teritories This is commonly seen in states where there is a great ethnic difference and diversity These accomodations are usually in the form of uneven implementation of policies of taxation and languages This is prevalent in India where states like Jammu and Kashmir receive extra priviliges due to conditions in their ascession agreements Similar policies are also enforced for the States of Andhra Pradesh Arunachal Pradesh among otheres Russian Federation also sees the implmentation of six differnt types of autonomy for it39s over 60 federal subjects United Russia United Russia party is the main political party in Russia Originally Our Home is Russia party was formed for the purpose of the 1995 duma elections and subsequently in 1999 formed two parties Unity and FatherlandAll Russia was formed Fatherland All Russia supported Primakhov in the elections while Unity supported Vladimir Putin After Unity defeated Fatherland in the elections of 1999 both parties united to form United Russia party These parties generally reflect the attitudes of Vladimir Putin It has a very powerful youth wing that advances the party ideals and harasses Opposition parties Members of the party have a strong grip of various institutions in the country including media houses and colleges Nomenklatura Primary aims of the party are economic stability national pride and end to the instability of the 1990s Mikhail Khodorkovsky Oligarch arrested and imprisoned for his opposition to the Putin adminitration was charged with tax evasion and his firms were liquidated and in many cases nationalized he grew rich in the 1980s by investing in ventures such as comptuer imports Later took advantage of the state sale of natural resources gaining contorl of the oil and gas sector He primary gamed the system of privatization introduced int he 90s and took part in insider privatization and was found guilty of these charges in 2003 Shock Therapy It is the process of rapid marketization it results in a shock to the economy initially and leads to high inflation rates but the pain will be shorter than the accompanying gradualism This involves decentralization through the elimitaion of central planning and partial privatization This raises the debate of gradualism vs rapid change The former inolves the gradual decentralization to minimize social disruptions that would take place as a result of marketization while the later invovles elimination of central control virtually overnight ending state subsidies for businesses and central planning Add context about Yeltsin Coined by Milton Friedman lnsider Privatization A process through which members of the nomenkletura were able to gain the largest share of the companies when they were privatized the government distributed vouchers that enable people to buy shares of formerly government owned companies Insider privatization led to the concentration of wealth of the economy into the hands of a few who established new companies and took a majority control of companies that were newly privatized Oligarchs took control of a large segment of the russian economy as a result of this and weilded a lot of power This resulted in the accusations of corruption in the Yeltstein government Putin39s first steps when he came to power was to divest the oligarchs of their power Mao Zedong and Mao39s Cultural Revolution Mao Zedong was the leader of the Chinese Communist revolution and domniated chinese politics from the founding of the People39s Republic of China till his death The CCP Chinese Communist Party adhered to the priniples of Lenin and Marx and sought to organize China39s growing working class population to resist exploitation from both foreign imperialists and domestic warlords The Long March was the CCP39s 3000 mile retreat to northwestern China during the country39s civil war with the Chinese Nationalist Party KMT lt represented a setback for the party but established Mao39s leadership and strenghtened the idea that the party should associate itself with the peasant majority Mao39s Cultural Revolution was the radical movement in 1966 to regain political control from rivals It followed a decade of social and political chaos Many supporters were convinced that the CCP had taken the capitalist route and encouraged youth to bomb it39s headquarters and challenge the party state bureaucracy at all levels Main authority figures were attacked and imprisoned tortured or killed By weakening social political and economic institutions Mao made himself the charismatic center of all authority This vision slipped the country into a decade of violence and led the country to a nearcivil war among various groups of the state and the CCP Large part of the revolution was curbed in 1968 although factional struggles continued until 1976 Mao39s death Red Capitalists Private entreprenurs who are also a part of the CCP their intrests allign with those of the party state the benifited from the economic reforms in the country and thus have little reason to challenge the state or make new demands on policy China is now in the state of moving towards a democracy which will deteriorate their wealth and power Hence they oppose any radical democratic reforms Shiism It is derived from the arabic frace quotShi39at Aliquot which means the party of Ali It is a minority sect of islam that differs with Sunnism over the proper decendants of prophet Muhammad In the early 16th 20th century under the rise of the Safavid empire Iran adopted Shiism as the state religion and tightly linked politics to religion This sect belives that prophet Muhammad had entrusted the leadership within the islamic community to the bloodline of the prophet It emphasizes the martyrdom of these decendants of Muhammad many of whom died at the hands of Sunni rivals Savavids cultivated a power clergy within Shiism39s religious leaders they are called the ayotollahs Many followers of Islam around the world reject the Iranian theocracy for avowing a mistaken form of faith Sunnis belived that the power should be passed on to the Khalifs Prophet39s desciples Sharia It is the moral code and the religious law of the prophetic religion the religious law of Islam It deals with many aspects addressed in secular law including crime politics and economics as well as personal matters such as sexual intercourse hygiene diet prayer everyday ettiquette and fasting There are two primary sources of sharia law the precepts set forth in the Quranic verses and the example set by islamic prophet Muhammad The interpretation of sharia varies between cultures in its strictest and it is considered as the infallible law of God as opposed to the human interpretation of laws Much of sharia historically has been implemented in it39s strictest form The Assembly of Experts It is the Iranian Executive System similar to the Executive branch of the United States It39s a body of 86 members mostly islamic scholars who serve eight year terms They are popularly elected by the people however candidates are vetted to ensure political status quo They play a role in electing the supreme leader who serves for life and is the most powerful position in the country Although the president is elected popularly the supreme leader chooses the contestants The Guardian Council It is the legislative system of Iran it is composed of six experts of islamic lawThey are elected by the Supreme Leader of Iran and six jurists are elected by the Majlis the Iranian Parliament from a short list generated by the head of judicial power elected by the supreme leader The council is charged with interpreting the Constitution of Iran supervising elections and approving candidates to the Assembly of Experts the President and the Majlis It is also entrusted to ensrue that the legislation passed by the Majlis is in sync with the criteria of Islam and the Constitution The council primarily plays a central role in allowing only one interpretation of Islaminc values to inform Iranian law They also consistently disqualify cancidates from running for office and vetos laws passed by popularly elected Majlis The Expediency Council This is an administrative assembly whose memebers are appointed by the Supreme leader every 5 years this was created as a result of the revision to the constitution in 1988 It was originally setup to resovle conflicts between Majlis and the Council of Guardians It39s true power rests in it39s ability to advise the Supreme Leader in many aspects The decisions of this council can39t be overturned and hold a substantial amount of power The 1979 Revolution The Iranian Revolution This revolution led to the formation of the Islamic Republic of Iran It was led by Ayotholah Khomeni who argued for a government ruled by Islamic clergy that would be a continuation of the political system established by Prophet Muhammad He wanted to overthrow the Shah becuase he felt that he was corrupted by western ideals and was secular The Government responded by creating a smear campaign and fighting violently against protests The revolution was sparked in 1978 after a rumour was spread that the government started the fire in a theater to frame religious opposition The shah declared martial law that caused a deadly protest The shah was moved to France giving Khomeni greater connection to the people Finally as protests grew the provisional government lost all power and Khomeni came to power and appointed himself as the supreme leader and drafted a new constitution leading to the birth of the Islamic Republic of Iran Theocracy quotRule by Godquot It is a form of government in which a deity is officially recognized as the civil Ruler and official policy is governed by officials regarded as divinely guided or is pursuant to the doctrine of a particular religion or religious group lt39s power varies across differnt countries by faith Iran has the Supreme Leader a religious figure who has power over the secular government and the guardian council religious coucnil upholding the islamic rule Afghanistan also was ruled by local clerics based on the interpretation of islamic text from 1996 2001 when there was no active constitution Patron Client Relationship It is a relationship where powerful government officials deliver state services and access to power in exchange for the delivery of political support This is extremely prevalent in the Mexican government since there is no clear idological lines along which governance takes place other than political opportunism Camarillas are a network of personal loyalty which the patron client relationship was run by on the most elite level Zapatista Army of National Liberation Rebel army made up of mostly ethnic Mayans formed in 1994 They called for democratization of the political system end mandated land reform and end neoliberal reforms This struggle was called for in response to the hardship faced by indigenous and poor caused by neoliberal trade policies as pesant farmers had to compete with cheap foreign import San Andres Peace Accords 1996 ended this struggle with the government promise to pretect the languages and political autonomy The agreements however were never followed through with This represents an ideological identity crisis in Mexico Apartheidlt is the era of african politics during the 1948 to 1994 where a policy of racial segregation was impoised by the ruling white majority It was created by Hendrick Verowoerd created this logic of quotWhite Rulequot The idea behind this policy was to consolidate afrikaner power and eliminating all black political participation The legal basis for this policy was established through the Reservation of Seperate Amenities Act Further laws were passed to further this policy including the Prohibition of Mixed Marriages Act Group Areas Act Seperated blacks into ten tribal homelands with boundaries drawn by the government Population Registration Act Divided South Africa into four racial categories South African Constitution of 1996 It was created after the political transition in 1994 It was promulgated by Nelson Mandela and marked an end to the apartheid regieme that plagued the country for decades It ensured the protection of rights of all people This Constitution also balanced the needs and concerns of both the majority and the minority populations 11 languages were recognized right to private property was established and human rights regardless of race and gender were guaranteed The Truth and Reconciliatoin Commision in South Africa It is led by archbishop Desmond Tutu in 1995 to bridge the gap between the cultures of South Africa It was also charged with to investiage eht truth of the crimes commited during the apartheid era Witnesses who were identified as victims of gross human rights violations were invited to give statements about their experiences and some were selected for public hearings Perpetrators of violence could also give testimony and request amnesty from both civil and criminal prosecution The commision was given the mandate to grant amnesty to offenders as long as the crime was politically motivated proportionate and there was full disclosure by the person seeking amnesty To prevent victors justice both sides were given equal scrutiny Clientelism State provides specific benefits like jobs within the state public goods or business contracts It relies on patronage of individual people not organizations that serve a large group of people Corporatism It is extremely prevalent in nondemocratic regimes to enforce political domination Kleptocracy It is is closesly associated with Clientelism and is one of the most corrupt forms of cooptism The leaders are only motivated by economic gain and hence try and extract assets and resources from the state for personal benefit This eventually causes the drain of assets and resources of the country Patrimonialism This closely resembles a form of clientelism because leaders trade benefits for political support The differentiting factor here is that the benefits go to a small group of regime supporters inside the state who enforce rule personal followers of ruler An example of this would be the recent UPA government in India popularly reelected in 2008 they were involved in several multi billion dollar scams diverting state funds for personal gain This greatly impacted both the political morale of the country and also directly impacted the economy of the country Hybrid Regimesllliberal Regimes This represents a country where the rule of law is weak hence it is in a grey area where it isn39t a democratic nor a nondemocratic regime Executives Legislative and Judiacial systems are all in place but the executive branch operates widely unsupervised and maintains a higher degree of power Political competitions exist and citizens have the right to vote but they are limited in poliical participation because groups are restricted or harassed and media houses are controlled by the state or partially influenced by the state and present a negative view of the opposition Russia Essay Russia came out of Tsardom after the civil war of 1917 to become a communist state and led to the formation of the United Soviet Socialists Republic USSR The primary drivers of this revolution was communist visonaries like Vladmir Lenin and Joseph Stalin The revolution gave birth to a union of republics that were domniated by a oneparty system The system gave rise to a bureacracy that was ruled primarily by elites The control was extremely centralised and as a result of that rapid industrialization was possible in direct opposition to United States during the cold war The cold war led to a rapid arms race between the United States and the Soviet Union Finally this led to the stagnation of the soviet system Mikail Gorbachev was made the general secreatary of the communist party in 1985 and he identified the stagnation of the system and was vary of the cost of another arms race He tried to introduce many reforms which were opposed by both sides of the aisle He introduced numerous policies of economic and political reform that were vehemently opposed by the conservatives His regieme saw an attempt to liberalise the economy These reforms created widespread unrest in the country and a failed coup by the hardline communists that eventually led to the disolution of the soviet union Following the disolution of the soviet union Borris Yeltstein took over as the president of the newly formed Russian Federation his regieme saw widespread privatization and decentralization of the economy and the political structures and this led to widespread inflation and the shrinking of the GDP Corruption flourished and the reforms led to the concentration of the wealth into the hands of a select few and oligarchs flourished They took over many formerly government owned enterprises through insider privatization In 1999 Vladimir Putin was elected as the Prime Minister of Russia under Yeltstein and after his resignation Putin became the President Putin was viewed as a charismatic leader his platform was based on a sense of russian nationalism that diverged from the idealistic democratic principles People believed that Putin would reestablish Russia as a leader in the international system A small circle of elites and Putin now hold most of the power in the country giving rise to a illiberal oligarchy The Siloviki which are the defacto inner circle of the President hold most of the power after the President He engaged in rapid decentralization of the political system he established local supraregional governors who held most of the power he removed elected members of the upper hours of the russian parliament like elected governors and replaced them with appointed members also part of the Siloviki The United Russia party led by Putin holds most of the power in the country and has an active youth wing that spreads the vision of the party and harasses oppositions He nationalised many industries that were formerly privatized by his predecessor and realigned control of some other private insitutions to his close aides and trusted members Corruption is widespread in the country and elections are the government heavily influences the media and many other aspects of social life including universities and the film industry Most of the media is state controlled and the country ranks very low on the international press freedom index it39s not uncommon for journalists to go missing Although the Civil Society has been rising putin has used instruments like the tax code registratoin and police harassment to hinder growth of the civlil society by making opposition extremely difficult Putin is widely hailed as a hero because standard of living has gone up in the country and people are living better lives than they did under the former president However the country is much worse off than it was previously the increased standard of living can be attributed to the rise in oil and gas prices not a consequence of the Putin39s decentralization policies Further people are doing worse off in many areas than they were in the 1990s business friendliness economic competitiveness and transparency all have fallen The biggest challenge for democracy in the region is that people perceive that Putin is a hero because they are upset over the failure of the regieme in the 1990s and towards the end of the cold war they see putin as a savior who can bring back russia39s dominance hence making him a very popular president Further The Democratic potential for russia looks very bleak it presents numerous challenges to both the European Union and the United States The established the Eurasian Economic Community Customs UNion which is seen by many as an attempt to join a new version of the Soviet Union to reestablish their dominance in the international system Teritorial disputes like that in Ukraine reflect the militaristic nature of the regieme Large Oil concentrations in russia makes it a very important player to the international economy and gives more leverage to the government in the international arena Institutions of democracy are very weak and civil society is greatly suppressed All these factors present a unique challenge for the international community and also for the democratization of the country China Essay China is the most populated nation in the world and is one of the largest in size A communist regieme was established as a result of the Civil War in the 1920s until 1950 The Communist Party of China holds most of the control power is extremely centralized and the government is seen as legitimate by the people This country however isn39t a typical communist country Eventhough it is ruled by the Communist Party the economy has seen gradual privatization and opening of the markets Leaders in the party have moved away from Marx in favor of market freedoms Yet the country is an autocratic nation The regieme is centrally authoritarian it has a unitary government and not a federal system Unlike a federal system in unitary governments the power is heavily centralized The country has a state of the art surveillance infrastructure every single aspect of the life of the citizen is monitored and tracked by the government All the state employees are appointed by a system of party committees similar to the nomenklatura system in the USSR Government Party Politics Organizational Parallelism is prevalent in the system all government executive legislative and judicial systems are duplicated at every level of the government CPC bureaus supervise the work of state agencies to ensure that the interests of the party prevails Although a Premier a Parliament and Bureaucratic ministries exist party overrides all else 9 Elites in the Polit Bureau standing committee make up the top political leadership and hold power over who is elected All political entities within the party are used to bolster the party39s position and further it39s agenda The 2000 member National Party Congress serves simply as a tool for making policy announcements and drill the party line No real policy is drafted by this entity The secretariate oversees the implementation of the Politburo decisions and propoganda The Central Military Commission is the organisation that is used to control the armed forces They report directly to the polit bureau and is chaired by China39s paramount leader Central Commision for Discipline Inspection ensures party loyalty and gets rid of outside corruption Government System The Government is a Unicameral legislature the National People39s Congress is designated by the constitution as the highest organ of the state it can like all other organs be overriden by the party The National People39s Congress holds elections for nearly 3000 delegates every 5 years It holds the constitutional authority to make laws and policy and has never had an independent role in doing so This makes the process far from democratic Head of State President of the PRC is a titular office although they do hold a higer power due to being the elected leader of other party organs They are refered to as the Paramount leader Executive Branch The State council is the primary organ of daily governance Leader is premier and is chosen by the party and plays the most important role in the economy Judiciary Law is subject to the leaders No Criminal Code was established until 1978 and Reforms have established a judicial system but it39s is a token system that simply follows the party line The Judiciary is responsible for holding numerous political prisoners who have opposed the regime and is also responsible for over 5000 executions every year Local Government The Authoritarian government is very resistant to the ideas of federalism and the local government is organized in a parallel structure to that at the national level although heavily centralized local bodies exist Recently more efforts have been made to give these local bodies more autonomy Civil Society No official civil society exists due to party power and all the quotMass Organisationsquot have to be approved by the state The Constitution doesn39t offer much checks to the power of the officials Economy The Beging Consensus is a evolving system that is changing due to policies of reform and opening the worlds second largest economy has been opened up more and more recently and limited private industries are permitted Foreign Investment is growing rapidly While State owned industries are being abolished the ones that the government controls are strategic and extremely important There is a growing middle class but there is a large section of the society that is still poor and this leads to the startificatoin of classes within the population There is a rapid growth in investment on infrastructure The teritories on the coasts are more industrialised than inland areas Jamine Revolution The chance of this revolution is unlikely due to many reasons including the fact that there is widespread support for the existing central party and several public opinion polls have recognized that pople thing the government is legitimate The success of the economy further makes the revolution unlikely as people believe that the model is working Further if the reforms can also uniformly affec the poor then the revolution will become further unlikely as people have nothing to complain about regarding the economy There is Gradual change in all aspects of the government and people seem to be content with the graudal change they also recognize the chaos that could ensue following a rapid change However the finacial and economic decentralization is weakening the party power The state monitors the growth of civil cociety only official media organizations are allowed to function and organisations that appear illegally are very quickly suppressed Another testament to the growing surveilance state is the Great Firewall a system of network infrastructure that monitors all the traffic on the internet inside China and tracks the activity of every single user in the country People are discontent abut this but dissent regarding this is also quickly suppressed The biggest threat to the authority is the rise of democratic models and youth involvement the Tianamen Square incident shows that the government doesn39t have the political control that it once had over the people Further there is a growing influence from outside the country mainly from the west whcih is contributing to the growth of dissent Irrespective the chance of a Jasmine Revolution in the near future is unlikely because of the widespread acceptance of the current chinese political system and the slow and gradual changes that are being implemented by the government Further the surveilance state makes it harder to plan and execute a revolution Are Islam and Democracy incompatible Events in the arab world in 2011 have put the conversationa about Islam and Democracy in the limelight In 2011 a single individual protest raised the expectations of the democratic world who have hopefully named it quotthe Arab Springquot This also forced many autocratic regiemes in the middle east to consdider democratization This raises the question of compatibility of democratic ideals with that of Islam The primary challenge there is understanding the relationship between religion and the state Like all political regimes democracy depends on the presence of rulers ie persons who occupy specialised roles of authority What distinguishes democratic leaders from non democratic ones is the norms that determine how rulers come to power and the practices taht hold them accountable for their actions In contemporary lslamic societies we see the coexistence of two concepts of power The first is a modern one and considers only the state as the seat of legitimate power It is the well known secular concept that is introduced to the islamic thought in the 19th and 20th centuries along with the concept of a nation state The islamic concept of power differs form the western definition in that the legitimacy of the ruler comes through religious law Power in these societies therefore belongs to jurists and legal elites who interpret the islamic law that gives rise to the legitimacy of the rule In these regimes Religious scholars are the source of legal authority becaues they have the regious knowledge and methodology to interpret and explain the holy scriptures Jurists in this form of government play the role of ensuring that the laws are in sync with Sharia and have the authority to overturn any law that they believe isn39t in sync with sharia Thus Rulers need to maintain a close connection with Jurists and Religious Scholars this strong connection between these three powers explains why islam continues to set the rules and laws that regulate not only the personal life of the beliver but also the public sphere Thus in an islamic system seperation of powers can39t take place while this seperation is one of the fundamental aspects of democracy Additionally a democratic regieme that is ruled purely by islamic standards would also not leave room for secularism another corner stone of democracy Hence a democratic state that is ruled by islamic principles contradicts itself That doesn39t however mean that Islam and Democracy are incompatible there are numerous ways in which these two factors can coexist in a same system Countries like Malaysia and Maldives are examples of countries where lslamic principles are applied to public policy yet Islam is not the supreme law neither is it the only source of law At the same time while Islam is prescribed as the state religion all the protections that are offered under a democracy are offered This establishes an example of a situation where a hybrid form of democracy can be created where both can coexist Alternatively lslam can also pave the way for a Democracy in which both these entities can co exist In a majority of the middle east the primary holders of power are islamic parties and without their support the region can39t undergo democratization since they are the only nongovernmental parties with large constituencies Additionally other democratic parties in the region do not hold enough authority to force democratization thus making them fundamental to the process of democratization These parties if they lead the charge of democratization can establish a system where multiple parties can exist where each can moderate their own views and become actors in the democratic process Hence if democracy arrives to the middle east it won39t be due to western supporters but due to the very islamist parties that many now see as the chief obstacle of democratization Add info about Political Culture Theory Lack of Democracy in Middle East doesn39t mean that it39s not possible Sam Huntington Clash of Civilizations he repeatedly asserts that Muslim countries are infertile ground for democratic development and hence the underlying problem for the West is not Islamic fundamentalism It is Islam a different civilization whose people are convinced of the superiority of their culture and are obsessed with the inferiority of their powerThis leads Muslims to reject western values including democracy which leaves them disadvantaged and controlled by an authoritarian regime Alfred Stepan suggested that all religious traditions were multivocal containing organizational and intellectual resources that could be called upon in support of democratic forms of governanceMany writers excluding Huntington and Fukuyama understand that Islam cannot be referred to as one form True the ideal authentic religion has its own political doctrine but the Islam that is practiced by Muslims around the world may not necessarily adhere to this authenticity Furthermore Islam39s concept of ljtihad or independent reasoning allows Muslim scholars to interpret or reinterpret the Islamic laws Surveys have found that Islam is compatible with democracy and Muslims attitudes are not only positive towards it but by and large Muslims prefer a democratic political system over other systems Because Muslim countries39 historical experiences have been greatly impacted by the West Muslims have developed negative feelings towards it Western imperialism war exploitation and political interference in the Middle East led to an entrenched feeling of distrust fear and insecurity Because democracy is generally thought of as a product of the West the countries of the Middle East have been reluctant to accept a Western democracy As a religion lslam contains democratic concepts such as shura and ljtihad while Muslims tend to strongly favor democracy over any other system Since lslam supports democracy and Muslims favor it then Huntington39s claim that Islam is resistant to democracy holds no truth Nevertheless there is a lack of democratic development in the Muslim world and it is caused by many factors other than religion two of which are sociocultural preferences and strong hostile authoritarian regimes Democracy has become a need for the majority of Muslim citizens who desire political participation liberal rights and accountable government With an opportunity to build their own democracy their societies will flourish and the clash of civilizations will cease to exist lranian Revolution and it39s Implication In 1953 the democratically elected president of Iran Mosaddeq attempted to nationalise oil assets which angered the British and the US who feared loss of profits and a comunist takeover hence the CIA amp the Ml6 organised operation ajax to stage a coup to overthrough the government They replaced the president with the Shah and a new absolute monarchy is installed that is backed heavily by the United States Shah sought modernization and slowly moved away from the ideals of the jurists by addressing land reform and female enfranchisement The Shah ruled unopposed for the next 15 years through political oppression and extensive use of the SAVAK Rapid but uneven modernisation took place in Iran During his tenure he developed an extremely large army and greatly increased the oil revenue of the country This period was heavily beneficial for the ruling elite who were able to exploit the system to gather wealth However the benefits never reached the masses hence doing little to gain popular support for his rule In 1979 Islamic Revolution occurs as a consequence of the growing opposition to the Shas39 western influence Shah left Iran for france and the revolution39s leader Ayothollah Khomeni took over Many expected that this revolution would result in a democratic outcome but it just led to the transfer of power from one authoritarian to another The Aythollah was able to capitalize on the political turmoil and the using his charismatic appeal managed to take over control of the transition government and oversaw the drafting of a new constitution with religion the prime determinant of policy the new constitution adopts Khomeni as the supreme leader and estalishes a SemiPresidential theocracy aimed to guide people to Allah All laws are based on the principles of Islam Supreme Leader is the most powerful man in the country and is also a religious leader that holds that position The Majlis form the legislature of the country laws are passed in accordance with religion and thus can be struck down if they aren39t in sync with sharia Revolutionary courts were established to look into the issue of protests and other threats to the state Officials looking to get elected must be now approved by the Guardian Council The Revolutionary Guard is established to prevent any opposition to the revolution this organisation has since become an independent organisation members of which ended up holding very high profile positions in the government International Influence This revolution has established a very antiwestern sentiment in tandem with heavy religious support Shortly following the revolution the IranIraq war took place as Saddam Hussein was threatened by the revolution and is backed by the US heavily in the war The war culminiates with massive dammages on both sides Many islamic leaders saw that this revolution would extend beyond the borders of Iran and became a beacon hope to numerous muslims around the world against western oppression Iraq was seen as the next likely target of islamic revolution however this faced numerous barriers First of the being that Iran was a shiite state Explain Shiite This religious difference also prevent the spread of this cultural revolution to other parts of the world which is predominantly sunni This revolution changed the landscape of the region forever Many current policies of the government can be seen as a direct revolt against western principles The Iranian government has been suspected of backing the shiite group Hezbollah in Lebanon The establishment of an Islamic republic led to the formation of a hostile relationship with Israel based on religious differences The antiwest sentiment coupled with the hostility against Israel drove the republic to pursue nuclear technology This received widespread crticism from the world community and has been met with very harsh sanctions that are now crippling the economy All these factors furthered the antiwest sentiment against the United States which is seen by many as quotthe Great Satanquot The invasion of Iraq meant that the United States was literally on the border of the country and this further complicated relations with the two countries which have oscilated from hostility to recounciliation since 1979 Despite this however Iran has probably developed the most international importance since 1979 and is become extremely relevant to todays policy makers around the world Civil Society was origniall repressed during the revolution but they have no reemerged but the government is consistently under attack Lessons from apartheid in South Africa South Africa was the victim to an era of african policy during the 1948 to 1994 which advocated for racial segregation imposed by the ruling white majority It aimed to consolidate afrikaner power and eliminate all balck political participation in the country The legal basis for this was established through numerous acts Prohibition of Mixed Marriages Act Group Aeras Act Populatoin Registraton Act There was widespread unrest in the community in the 1960s regarding this policy this led to the economic decline of the country by mid70s advocates of this policy also realised that this was anachronistic and backwards Wide spread international anger over this policy many countries cut trade ties with South Africa Finally in 1996 a new constitution was approved that was promlgated by Nelson Mandela and marked the end of the apartheid regieme whcih plagued the country for decades The Constitution was approved in 1996 and established the law of the land and extended the rights to the entire population The political atmosphere was made inclusive Now a part of the BRICS the nation has rosen rapidly on the international arena Lessons from Transition The biggest lesson from the transition of government in south africa is that for any transition to be successfull there needs to be a capable leadership that can properly address the issue without causing social unrest Without that the transition would fail The transition process was inclusive multiple parties were consulted in the drafting of the constitution and views from each of the representative groups within the country were adopted into the constitution The Constitution also established broad political social and economic freedoms that helped ease the transition The Truth and Reconcilation council setup a concrete system to recognize abuses and pay repartions The idea of recognizing evils of a past regime and coming to terms with the subjugated group is an important lesson They also allowed for amnesty to the convict hence differntiaing themselvs from the Nuremberg Trials that took place after WWII The aim of the committee wasn39t to punish the abusers but to enable an easy transition that can allow for the country to move on The council avoided the challenge of victors justice by ensuring that the both sides were investigated South Africa despite having been independent for over 20 years still faces a lot of challenges and many are still scarred by the events of the mid90s There is an extremely low education rate low standards of health care and widespread racial disputes Postconflict reconstruction efforts aren39t copmleted yet and are still in progress to mitigate the effects of the apartheid Despite this the country has greatly developed it39s economy and has emerged as one of the fastest growing in the world Internal dynamics of nondemocratic regimes What variables are associated with nondemcratic rule How do nondemocratic regimes maintain their hold on power What is the future of nondemocratic rule A non democratic regime is one that does not operate under a democratically elected system In a nondemocratic system there is a small group of people that exercise power over the state The Government isn t constitutionally responsible to the public and Individual Freedoms are extremely restricted at the minimum they try to restrict political participation These Governments may be viewed as legitimate by the people provided they are happy and content with the quality of governance Many different types of nondemocratic regimes but they can be broadly divided between authoritarian and totalitarian Authoritarian regime is one that is characterized by a social system where the political power is held by a single leader or by a group of leaders who have exclusive power over the country s affairs Totalitarian regime is one in which all aspects of the society the state and the economy are controlled by the government Violecence and Oppression are typically used as tools to drive this regime This political system in this type of regime is usually very centralized with very little autonomy for local bodies Historically the most dominant for of NDRs have been monarchies and similar entities that have existed for millinea and have justified their rule through traditionalism While there is no direct correlation between modernization and NDR usually countries with an extremely high GDP are more likely to be institutionalized democracies while Singapore is an exception to this Disruption of modernization could also lead to the formation of NDR as a result of the unrest caused by modernization policies Characteristically NDRs are those in which wealth can be easily accumulated and we see in these regimes that wealth is usually concerted by a few select people who control the power NDRs can also be formed as a reaction to change or when the political culture in the state is conducive for an NDR They can also be produced by international influence US operation ajax and installing pinochet in chile NDRs use different means of control Coercion where public obedience is enforced through violence and surveillance is often the most commonly found NDRs can be maintained using Cooptation where members of the public are brought into beneficial relationship with the state and the government NDRs can also be formed as a result of a charismatic leader Finally NDRs can also get their legitimacy through religious reasons for instance lran There has been a global trend to move away from these regimes globalization and the exchange of ideas is the prime driver for this trend The success of western nations against authoritarian regimes is another reason why NDRs aren t looked on favorably Some NDRs like China are doing relatively well and hence could possibly be a model for a successful NDR Recent revolutions in the middle east have challenged authority of their NDRs to transition into democracy


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