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Crafting Civilian Control of the Military in Venezuela

A Comparative Perspective

Harold A. Trinkunas

Unlike most other emerging South American democracies, Venezuela has not succumbed to a successful military coup d'état during four decades of democratic rule. What drives armed forces to follow the orders of elected leaders? And how do emerging democracies gain that control over their military establishments? Harold Trinkunas answers these questions in an examination of Venezuela's transition to democracy following military rule and its attempts to institutionalize civilian control of the military over the past sixty years, a period that included three regime changes. Trinkunas first focuses on the strategic choices democratizers make about the military and how these affect the internal civil-military balance of power in a new regime. He then analyzes a regime's capacity to institutionalize civilian control, looking specifically at Venezuela's failures and successes in this arena during three periods of intense change: the October revolution (1945@-48), the Pact of Punto Fijo period (1958@-98), and the Fifth Republic under President Hugo Chávez (1998 to the present). Placing Venezuela in comparative perspective with Argentina, Chile, and Spain, Trinkunas identifies the bureaucratic mechanisms democracies need in order to sustain civilian authority over the armed forces. Unlike most other South American democracies, Venezuela has not succumbed to military takeover during its six decades of democratic rule. Trinkunas examines Venezuela's transition to democracy following military rule and its failures and successes at attempts to institutionalize civilian control of its military over the past sixty years, a period that included three regime changes. He argues that current president Hugo Chavez has begun to deliberately dismantle Venezuela's institutions of civilian control of the armed forces. He also puts Venezuela in a comparative perspective against democratization processes in other countries, including Chile, Argentina, and Spain. Trinkunas examines Venezuela's transition to democracy following military rule and its attempts to institutionalize civilian control of the military over the past sixty years, a period that included three regime changes. Placing Venezuela in comparative perspective with Argentina, Chile, and Spain, Trinkunas identifies the bureaucratic mechanisms democracies need in order to sustain civilian authority over the armed forces. Unlike most other emerging South American democracies, Venezuela has not succumbed to a successful military coup d'état during four decades of democratic rule. What drives armed forces to follow the orders of elected leaders? And how do emerging democracies gain that control over their military establishments? Harold Trinkunas answers these questions in an examination of Venezuela's transition to democracy following military rule and its attempts to institutionalize civilian control of the military over the past sixty years, a period that included three regime changes. Trinkunas first focuses on the strategic choices democratizers make about the military and how these affect the internal civil-military balance of power in a new regime. He then analyzes a regime's capacity to institutionalize civilian control, looking specifically at Venezuela's failures and successes in this arena during three periods of intense change: the October revolution (1945–48), the Pact of Punto Fijo period (1958–98), and the Fifth Republic under President Hugo Chávez (1998 to the present). Placing Venezuela in comparative perspective with Argentina, Chile, and Spain, Trinkunas identifies the bureaucratic mechanisms democracies need in order to sustain civilian authority over the armed forces.

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Crafting Peace

Power-Sharing Institutions and the Negotiated Settlement of Civil Wars

Caroline A Hartzell, Matthew Hoddie

The recent efforts to reach a settlement of the enduring and tragic conflict in Darfur demonstrate how important it is to understand what factors contribute most to the success of such efforts. In this book, Caroline Hartzell and Matthew Hoddie review data from all negotiated civil war settlements between 1945 and 1999 in order to identify these factors. What they find is that settlements are more likely to produce an enduring peace if they involve construction of a diversity of power-sharing and power-dividing arrangements between former adversaries. The strongest negotiated settlements prove to be those in which former rivals agree to share or divide state power across its economic, military, political, and territorial dimensions. This finding is a significant addition to the existing literature, which tends to focus more on the role that third parties play in mediating and enforcing agreements. Beyond the quantitative analyses, the authors include a chapter comparing contrasting cases of successful and unsuccessful settlements in the Philippines and Angola, respectively.

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Crafting State-Nations

India and Other Multinational Democracies

Alfred Stepan, Juan J. Linz, and Yogendra Yadav

Political wisdom holds that the political boundaries of a state necessarily coincide with a nation's perceived cultural boundaries. Today, the sociocultural diversity of many polities renders this understanding obsolete. This volume provides the framework for the state-nation, a new paradigm that addresses the need within democratic nations to accommodate distinct ethnic and cultural groups within a country while maintaining national political coherence. First introduced briefly in 1996 by Alfred Stepan and Juan J. Linz, the state-nation is a country with significant multicultural—even multinational—components that engenders strong identification and loyalty from its citizens. Here, Indian political scholar Yogendra Yadav joins Stepan and Linz to outline and develop the concept further. The core of the book documents how state-nation policies have helped craft multiple but complementary identities in India in contrast to nation-state policies in Sri Lanka, which contributed to polarized and warring identities. The authors support their argument with the results of some of the largest and most original surveys ever designed and employed for comparative political research. They include a chapter discussing why the U.S. constitutional model, often seen as the preferred template for all the world’s federations, would have been particularly inappropriate for crafting democracy in politically robust multinational countries such as India or Spain. To expand the repertoire of how even unitary states can respond to territorially concentrated minorities with some secessionist desires, the authors develop a revised theory of federacy and show how such a formula helped craft the recent peace agreement in Aceh, Indonesia. Empirically thorough and conceptually clear, Crafting State-Nations will have a substantial impact on the study of comparative political institutions and the conception and understanding of nationalism and democracy.

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Creative Destruction?

Economic Crises and Democracy in Latin America

Francisco E. González

Throughout the twentieth century, financial shocks toppled democratic and authoritarian regimes across Latin America. But things began to change in the 1980s. This volume explains why this was the case in Argentina, Chile, and Uruguay. Taking a comparative historical approach, Francisco E. González looks at how the Great Depression, Latin America’s 1980s debt crisis, and the emerging markets' meltdowns of the late 1990s and early 2000s affected the governments of these three Southern Cone states. He finds that democratic or not, each nation’s governing regime gained stability in the 1980s from a combination of changes in the structure and functioning of national and international institutions, material interests, political ideologies, and economic paradigms and policies. Underlying these changes was a growing ease in the exchange of ideas. As the world’s balance of power transitioned from trilateral to bipolar to unipolar, international institutions such as the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund increased crisis interventions that backstopped economic freefalls and strengthened incumbents. Urban-based populations with relatively high per capita income grew and exercised their preference for the stability and prosperity they found as a class under democratic rule. These and other factors combined to substantially increase the cost of military takeovers, leading to fewer coups and an atmosphere friendlier toward domestic and foreign capital investment. González argues that this confluence created a pro-democracy bias—which was present even in Augusto Pinochet’s Chile—that not only aided the states’ ability to manage economic and political crises but also lessened the political, social, and monetary barriers to maintaining or even establishing democratic governance. With a concluding chapter on the impact of the Great Recession in other Latin American states, Eastern Europe, and East Asia, Creative Destruction? lends insight into the survival of democratic and authoritarian regimes during times of extreme financial instability. Scholars and students of Latin America, political economy, and democratization studies will find González's arguments engaging and the framework he built for this study especially useful in their own work.

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Criminality, Public Security, and the Challenge to Democracy in Latin America

Edited by Marcelo Bergman and Laurence Whitehead

As new democratic regimes take root in Latin America, two of the most striking developments have been a dramatic rise in crime rates and increased perception of insecurity among its citizens. The contributors to this book offer a collective assessment of some of the causes for the alarming rise in criminal activity in the region. They also explore the institutional obstacles that states confront in the effort to curb criminality and build a fairer and more efficient criminal justice system; the connections between those obstacles and larger sociopolitical patterns; and the challenges that those patterns present for the consolidation of democracy in the region. The chapters offer both close studies of restricted regions in Latin America and broader examinations of the region as a whole. The contributors to this volume are prominent scholars and specialists on the issue of citizen security. They draw on the latest methodologies and theoretical approaches to examine the question of how crime and crime fighting impact the consolidation of democracy and the rule of law in the region. These studies represent a major first step towards evaluating broadly a relative dearth of hard data about the Latin American security situation, as well as identifying future research paths. This book will be important for scholars, policy makers, and students, especially in the fields of Latin American and comparative law, political science, sociology, and criminology.

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Dangerous Liaisons

Organized Crime and Political Finance in Latin America and Beyond

edited by Kevin Casas-Zamora

The relationship between criminal syndicates and politicians has a long history, including episodes even from the earliest years of America's colonies. But while organized crime may not get the headlines it once did in North America, the resurgence of such criminal activity in Latin America, and in some European nations, has grabbed the public's attention.

In Dangerous Liaisons noted scholars describe and analyze the role of organized crime in the financing of politics in selected democracies in Latin America (Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica, and Mexico) and in Europe (Bulgaria and Italy). The book seeks to unravel the myths that have developed around crime in these locales, while providing facts and informing the debate on how organized crime corrupts democratic institutions, especially in relation to the funding of political parties and their activities.

Among the subjects studied in detail are the role of organized crime in political finance through the lens of Argentina's presidential campaigns of 1999 and 2007; Brazil's elected officeholders and their role in corruption; the weakness of Colombia's democracy; the growing role of money in Costa Rica's politics; the destructive effects of drug money on Mexican institutions; the link between organized crime —narrowly and broadly understood —and political financing in Bulgaria; and crime and political finance in Italy.

The work of the scholars corrects what volume editor Kevin Casas-Zamora calls "a glaring gap in the literature on the role of organized crime in the corruption of democratic institutions." That is, the funding of political parties and their activities —which in these cases are mostly election campaigns. The chapters not only present the evidence but also can be regarded as a call to action.

Contributors include Leonardo Curzio (CISAN/UNAM), Donatella della Porta (European University Institute), Delia Ferreira Rubio (a member of the international board of directors of Transparency International), Mauricio Rubio (a researcher at the External University of Colombia), Daniel Smilov (Center for Liberal Strategies, Sofia), Bruno Wilhelm Speck (University of Campinas), and Alberto Vannucci (University of Pisa).

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Decentralization, Democratization, and Informal Power in Mexico

Andrew Selee

In the last two decades of the twentieth century, many countries in Latin America freed themselves from the burden of their authoritarian pasts and developed democratic political systems. At the same time, they began a process of shifting many governmental responsibilities from the national to the state and local levels. Much has been written about how decentralization has fostered democratization, but informal power relationships inherited from the past have complicated the ways in which citizens voice their concerns and have undermined the accountability of elected officials. In this book, Andrew Selee seeks to illuminate the complex linkages between informal and formal power by comparing how they worked in three Mexican cities. The process of decentralization is shown to have been intermediated by existing spheres of political influence, which in turn helped determine how much the institution of multiparty democracy in the country could succeed in bringing democracy “closer to home.”

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Deepening Local Democracy in Latin America

Participation, Decentralization, and the Left

Benjamin Goldfrank

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Defect or Defend

Military Responses to Popular Protests in Authoritarian Asia

Terence Lee

Although social movements and media can help destabilize authoritarian governments, not all social protest is effective or culminates in the toppling of dictatorships. Frequently, the military’s response determines the outcome. In Defect or Defend, Terence Lee uses four case studies from Asia to provide insight into the military’s role during the transitional phase of regime change. Lee compares popular uprisings in the Philippines and Indonesia—both of which successfully engaged military support to bring down authoritarian rule—with protest movements in China and Burma which were violently suppressed by military forces. Lee’s theory of “high personalism” and power-sharing among the armed forces leadership provides a framework for understanding the critical transitory phases of democratization. He uses this theory to review and assess Eastern Europe’s democratization events in 1989, the Colored Revolutions of the early 2000s, and the protests and revolutions unfolding in the Middle East. This book will appeal to students and scholars of comparative politics, Asian studies, security studies, and international relations, as well as defense policymakers.

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Defending Democracy

Reactions to Extremism in Interwar Europe

Giovanni Capoccia

How does a democracy deal with threats to its stability and continued existence when those threats come from political parties that play the democratic game? In Defending Democracy, political scientist Giovanni Capoccia studies key European nations between World Wars I and II which survived such democratic crises. A comprehensive and thoughtful historical analysis of the democracies of interwar Europe, Defending Democracy provides a unique perspective on the many lessons to be learned from their successes and failures. With this exclusively empirical investigative approach, Capoccia develops a methodology for analyzing contemporary democracies—such as Algeria, Turkey, Israel, and others—where similar political conditions are present. Given the rise of terrorism and the persistence of extremism in both established and new democracies today, continued research and dialogue on the defense of democracy are necessary for its preservation.

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