Journal of Democracy

Journal of Democracy
Volume 15, Number 3, July 2004

CONTENTS

    Rubin, Barnett R.
  • Crafting a Constitution for Afghanistan
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    Subject Headings:
    • Afghanistan. Asasi Qanun (2004)
    • Constitutions -- Afghanistan.
    • Afghanistan -- Politics and government -- 2001-
    Abstract:
      On 4 January 2004, Afghanistan approved a new constitution that represents a key step forward in its political reconstruction.This article analyzes the crafting of the new Afghan basic law, from the Bonn Accords in December 2001 to the January 2004 Constitutional Loya Jirga. It discusses the obstacles overcome and the compromises made as this multiethnic country laid down the foundation for democratic government. The author also discusses whether this new constitution will enable the country to surmount the many challenges that lie ahead.

Russian Democracy in Eclipse

    McFaul, Michael, 1963-
    Petrov, Nikolai (Nikolai Vladimirovich)
  • What the Elections Tell Us
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    Subject Headings:
    • Russia (Federation). Federalnoe Sobranie. Gosudarstvennaia Duma -- Elections, 2003.
    • Presidents -- Russia (Federation) -- Election -- 2004.
    • Russia (Federation) -- Politics and government -- 1991-
    Abstract:
      The December 2003 parliamentary and the March 2004 presidential elections witnessed worrisomely lopsided victories for incumbent president Vladimir Putin and the Kremlin-backed United Russia party. These victories were assisted by an unlevel electoral playing field. Russia's political system has become less pluralistic on Putin's watch. During his first term, Putin did little to strengthen democratic institutions and much to weaken them. These antidemocratic political "reforms" made it more difficult for opponents of the regime to compete effectively in the 2003-2004 electoral cycle. Nevertheless, these ballots also demonstrated the extent to which elections in Russia have become thoroughly institutionalized, and that they make more difficult the consolidation of authoritarianism.
    Sestanovich, Stephen, 1950-
  • Force, Money, and Pluralism
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    Subject Headings:
    • Russia (Federation) -- Politics and government -- 1991-
    • Pluralism (Social sciences) -- Russia (Federation)
    • Business and politics -- Russia (Federation)
    Abstract:
      Vladimir Putin has pursued an anti-pluralist strategy, remaking the balance of power in Russian politics to favor "force" (the coercive apparatus of the old state bureaucracy, especially the KGB) over "money" (those who gained new wealth after 1991, especially the "oligarchs"). Will this new balance endure? Business has many reasons — and increasing resources — for pursuing a larger political role. The future of Russian pluralism depends above all on the response of business interests to changing economic and political circumstances. Will they doubt their legitimacy and seek a protector — or ally with others to alter Putin's bureaucratic order?
    Levada, IU. A. (IUrii Aleksandrovich)
    Campbell, Alex, tr.
  • What the Polls Tell Us
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    Subject Headings:
    • Russia (Federation) -- Politics and government -- 1991-
    • Democracy -- Russia (Federation) -- Public opinion.
    • Putin, Vladimir Vladimirovich, 1952- -- Public opinion.
    • Public opinion -- Russia (Federation)
    • Elections -- Russia (Federation)
    Abstract:
      Some think that the failure of the democratic parties during parliamentary elections in December 2003 and undisputed dominance of President Putin's supporters on political arena mean the demise of the hopes of establishment in Russia of a democratic system, in the very least — for the foreseeable future, for 50 or 100 years. Until recently out of all the post-Soviet transformations political pluralism and multi-party system received the lowest grades in public opinion. Democracy attributes that emerged in Russia with the advent of changes did not include citizens' active participation and responsibility. The curtailment of political pluralism which started with President Putin's coming to power and which became obvious after 2003-2004 elections did not meet with serious resistance. During Putin's first presidential term the depolitization of the political arena in the country took place. To the extent the political constituent is returning into public life the democracy mechanisms will also develop.
    Ryzhkov, Vladimir.
    Kuzmina, Anastasiya, tr.
  • The Liberal Debacle
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    Subject Headings:
    • Russia (Federation) -- Politics and government -- 1991-
    • Democracy -- Russia (Federation)
    • Liberalism -- Russia (Federation)
    Abstract:
      The author analyses the defeat of two Russian democratic parties on 2003 parliamentary elections. If the Russian people turned away from political freedom, then the democracy in Russia is in danger. If it is about the defeat of individual politicians, then one can take a deep breath and start getting ready for the new election cycle. Finding the answer to this question the author states that the movement to freedom in Russia is going to be continued very soon after a short soft-authoritarian breathing space. This statement is well reasoned and based on the social researches and a deep understanding of the Russian electors' psychology.
    Diuk, Nadia.
  • The Next Generation
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    Subject Headings:
    • Young adults -- Russia (Federation) -- Attitudes.
    • Russia (Federation) -- Politics and government -- Public opinion.
    • Public opinion -- Russia (Federation)
    • Young adults -- Russia (Federation) -- Political activity.
    Abstract:
      The article profiles the next generation of young Russians, aged 18-35 and concludes that they are materially the best-off group of Russian ever. It explores their voting preferences and questions why they support President Putin in such large numbers. Their values and how far they have moved from Soviet ideals toward a Western mentality are described, as are the prospects for the new leaders from this generation. Even though they constitute the backbone of Russia's rising middle-class, Putin's support of economic reform and the need to court the middle class electorate make it unlikely that political challenges to his leadership will come from this group for the foreseeable future.
    Shevtsova, Liliia Fedorovna.
  • The Limits of Bureaucratic Authoritarianism
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    Subject Headings:
    • Russia (Federation) -- Politics and government -- 1991-
    • Authoritarianism -- Russia (Federation)
    Abstract:
      After a decade of revolutionary changes Russia is returning back toward traditionalism. Vladimir Putin is trying to modernize Russia through forming bureaucratic authoritarian regime. But his authoritarianism is weak being constrained first of all by apparatus, the major gravedigger of all Russian reforms. Russian stability is fragile being based on the presidential ratings and lack of alternative. Russia's economic growth is hardly sustainable when the economy is not diversified. Russian modernization can't be achieved without changing the way Russia is being ruled. So far Putin has proved that he is not ready for this task which means that Russia is doomed to face stagnation or crisis. And the goal of Russian liberals to prepare ground for new reformist agenda.
    Alence, Rod.
  • South Africa After Apartheid: The First Decade
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    Subject Headings:
    • South Africa -- Politics and government -- 1994-
    • Democracy -- South Africa.
    • AIDS (Disease) -- Government policy -- South Africa.
    Abstract:
      South Africa celebrated ten years of democracy in April 2004 with a third round of national elections. The African National Congress — led by Nelson Mandela's successor, Thabo Mbeki — won another overwhelming victory. The country's transition will be remembered for the surprising ease with which seemingly intractable conflict was subjected to the routine functioning of democratic institutions. This essay analyzes South Africa's first decade of democracy — covering themes of electoral politics and administration, and government responsiveness and accountability. Perhaps paradoxically, the emergence of a single-party dominant regime has coincided with the institutional strengthening of political contestation and constitutional government. Implications for democratic consolidation and developmental governance are discussed.

World Religions and Democracy

    Ham, Chae-bong.
  • The Ironies of Confucianism
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    Subject Headings:
    • Confucianism -- Political aspects.
    • Confucianism and state.
    • Democracy -- East Asia.
    Abstract:
      The teachings of Confucius and the heritage of Confucianism in East Asian societies such as Japan, Korea, China, Vietnam, Taiwan, and Singapore have encouraged loyalty to the state, including the modernizing nation-state. Such modernization, at least when it has taken the form of market-based, capitalist economic growth or development, has aided democratization. Confucianism guards no special sphere of conscience against the state in the way that some other spiritual traditions have, but the Confucian tradition sponsors no fundamentalisms and has even been a protoliberal influence. Its career has been ironic, but it has not hurt and may even have helped democracy.
    Mehta, Pratap Bhanu, 1967-
  • Hinduism and Self-Rule
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    Subject Headings:
    • Hinduism and politics -- India.
    • Democracy -- India.
    • Pluralism (Social Sciences) -- India.
    • India -- Politics and government.
    Abstract:
      This article explores the complicated relationship between Hinduism and Democracy. It argues that modern Hinduism proved receptive to democratic ideals because democracy provided one plausible solution to the riddle of authority that beset Hinduism in the course of attempts to reform it. The article describes the ways in which Hindu nationalism poses a threat to democracy, and the resources Hindus can draw upon to resist this threat.
    Fradkin, Hillel Gideon, 1947-
  • Judaism and Political Life
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    Subject Headings:
    • Judaism and politics.
    • Democracy -- Religious aspects -- Judaism.
    • Israel -- Politics and government.
    Abstract:
      The question of the relationship between Jews and Judaism, on the one hand, and democracy on the other, is of extraordinary complexity. It requires examining both the Jewish religion, and above all its holy book, the Hebrew Bible, plus three thousand years of Jewish historical and political experience. Today, Jews everywhere are among democracy's strongest supporters and the Jewish state, modern Israel, is the only securely democratic regime in the entire Middle East. The Bible cannot exactly be called a handbook of modern political democracy, but it does often recommend an ethical approach of working toward the good or righteous with and through flawed human persons and institutions, and approach that has a certain affinity with modern democracy's need for sobriety, moderation, and prudence.
    Ruhl, J. Mark, 1948-
  • Curbing Central America's Militaries
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    Subject Headings:
    • Civil supremacy over the military -- Central America.
    • Central America -- Armed Forces -- Political activity.
    • Central America -- Politics and government.
    Abstract:
      The military traditionally has been a politically powerful obstacle to democratization in Central America. In a little more than a decade, however, democratically elected leaders in El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, and Guatemala have curbed the military's influence and largely subordinated it to civilian control. Nevertheless, the process of democratizing civil-military relations in the region remains incomplete. Although the armed forces no longer interfere in civilian policy-making, they retain much more institutional autonomy in the management of their internal affairs than would be considered acceptable in advanced democracies. Military officers also have not yet been held fully accountable to the rule of law.

Conversation

    Gauchet, Marcel.
    Manent, Pierre.
    Finkielkraut, Alain.
    Seaton, Paul, tr.
    Mahoney, Daniel J., 1960-, tr.
  • The Perils of Identity Politics
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    Subject Headings:
    • Gauchet, Marcel -- Interviews.
    • Manent, Pierre -- Interviews.
    • Finkielkraut, Alain -- Interviews.
    • Group identity -- Political aspects.
    • Pluralism (Social sciences)
    Abstract:
      Three leading French political thinkers reflect on why modern democracies tend to forget their own natures, even to the point of encouraging an assertive "identitarianism" that could undermine liberal democracy itself.

Books in Review

    Hagopian, Frances.
  • What Makes Democracies Collapse?
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    Subject Headings:
    • Bermeo, Nancy Gina, 1951- Ordinary people in extraordinary times: the citizenry and the breakdown of democracy.
    • Civil society.

Books Received

Election Watch

Documents on Democracy

News and Notes




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