The Comparative case study Democracy as an ideology first originated In Athens, 5th Century BC; It sought to develop a government that met the needs of Its people by listening to the people. It has since become the most sought after concept in political science, with popularity rising worldwide from the sass’s through waves of post-war demagnification. The increase in democratic regimes has led to complexity in defining the concept, variations in how it is applied, and differing levels of success. The vast range of democracies which now exist have developed the need for comparison and the ability to analyses which factors determine success.
Interest In defining democracy accumulated on a large scale and lead to a huge number of varying approaches. The original basic concept of ‘rule by the people for the people’ has now expanded into bands of sub definitions examples including electoral democracy, illiberal and liberal democracy, delegating democracy, reflective democracy. Thus, the exploration of defining democracy can be split into two main approaches; procedural definitions which focus on how the regime Is organized and the processes by which presentation, accountability and legitimacy are assured.
Substantive definitions of democracy deal also with the goal and effectiveness of the regime, the extent to which the will of the people might be served in a more purposive sense. (Carmine, 2011, p. 88) When defining democracies in order to compare their effectiveness a procedural approach refers to the organization of a state and the processes used to maintain democracy.
Joseph Schumacher offered the most simplistic and widely used deflation, sticking to a strictly procedural deflation of democracy, ‘free competition or a free vote’.
A substantive one however, envisages the achievement of public good hence to be a successful democracy one must strive to achieve this through objectives, not procedure alone. The substantive approach thus has a clearly normative aspect to it. Given that comparative politics as a discipline views itself as an empirical rather than a normative discipline, it should be no surprise to find out that procedural definitions of democracy overwhelmingly predominate. A procedural approach however, Is not Limited to Computer’s simplicity he takes a thin reoccurred approach which dubs democracy as “elections and little more than elections”.
Carmine, 2011) American political scientist Robert Dahl recognized the complexity of defining democracy and insisted the importance of the substantive when analyzing real world cases, creating the thick procedural approach. In short, democracy Is more than elections, citizens must not only have the right to vote, they must also have the basic civil rights and constitutional guarantees. Two ‘dimensions of democracy’ can be distinguished, which together determine the legitimacy and effectiveness of democratic regimes popular democracy and constitutional democracy.
Dahlia’s argument is that you can’t have a democracy if people don’t actually participate (dimension two) but that without dimension one you do not have the basic institutional requirements for a democracy either. You need both dimensions for true democracy. 4 By applying the two dimensions within the deflation to real world regimes, we can determine If a democracy Is liberal or scope of democracy is limited by constitutional protection of individual rights including freedom of assembly, property, religion and speech.
Free, fair and regular elections are based on near universal suffrage. 5 Democracy works on a majorities system, however this cannot always be a positive thing therefore checks and balances are put in place to restrain any abuse of power and represent the rights of the individual against the majority. A liberal democracy has elements of both dimensions, and a level of democracy can be determined by the factors within a state, combining the method of voting, the voting franchise with constitutional rights f the citizens.
An illiberal democracy refers to a democratic regime which is classified as a democracy because elections decide who takes power. Democracy does not exist further than a vote, the rights of the minority are largely ignored and there is often no limit to their power as they simply become ‘elected dictators’ using the law to deny citizens of the basic human rights.
The objective of this case study is to try to identify which factors are positively correlated with (and thus possibly causes of) successful democracy and which factors are not.
In order to do this I have analyses the democracies of four countries The Czech Republic; Italy; South Africa and the I-J. I chose to correlate the democracy level with the variables; gross domestic product per capita (GAP) , Internet Users (%) , and voter turnout in the most recent election defined as the percentage of registered voters who actually voted (%) . Gross domestic product per capita is often considered to indicate a country’s standard of living; it is the market value of all officially recognized final goods and revise produced within a country in a given period.
I would expect that GAP would have a positive correlation with democracy levels within a liberal democracy.
I produced a scattered showing the correlation between GAP/capita and level of democracy, (fig. 2) and as expected there is a positive correlation with the exception of Italy. Italy created an anomaly as it has a high level of GAP however its democracy level is low due to the restraints on freedom of media .
Italy’s democracy is the lowest spite it having the second highest number of internet users which I did not expect as freedom of media is limited in Italy, this perhaps shows however that the power of the internet and ease of access is becoming harder for governments to control. Italy has the highest voter turnout percentage of 80.
5% (fig. L). If I was to define democracy through Computer’s thin procedural approach, Italy in this table would be ranked highest in level of democracy, despite its restraints on freedom of speech and press – a real world example that proves the complexity in defining regimes.