After a thorough reading of the paper the last couple of days, I tried to adjust the different sections so they they can better serve the argument. I thought giving the status quo of the politics in Mauritania before drawing upon previous stages of elite rules helps strengthen the consistency of the thesis. Finally, I submitted my paper.
I learned exactly how difficult to define what constitutes as a democratic political system in a world completely incapable, at the current time period, of supporting and sort of direct democracy. Even the representative democracies that we have function more like exaggerated oligopolies. Due to the lose of the necessity of democratic qualities that are involved in our association of a specific state in its classification of a democracy to a truly democratic state. Also in the development of my paper I have come to the conclusion that the development of democratized communication technologies will not play the role of transmitting the democratic fever that some individuals suggest.
This class has challenged me to look at my area of interest in a new way. Instead of focusing exclusively on the human rights aspects of overcrowded prisons in Ghana, I now understand and value the importance of the impact in which overcrowded prisons have on a countrys’ democracy and I hope to express this throughout my paper. Overall, this course was extremely bennifcial not only for the construction of future papers and assignments but also for enabling me to understand various theories regarding democracy.
Then after the introduction I talk about the sections I referred to and tried to discuss those contextual factors in two dimension an absolute dimension and an interaction dimension to demonstrate the idea that once we expand on the theory to add certain factors and conditions to it, it makes it easier to decide whether it fits with the case we are interested in. That realization I came about as I was struggling from the uni-dimensionality of the theory and that it wasn’t dynamic to include a dynamic situation such as Egypt where the regime choices, people’s expectations and perceptions and their opinion matter and determines the outcome for the last two years.
So that is one of the things I took out from the class and that isn’t not to refer to one construct as the bases for my argument as this construct can tackle only one thing and there are always externalities that need to be accounted for.
After writing the paper I feel that my argument is more convincing now given that its backed by theory and tackles the theory limitations through contextual factors about the case I am studying in specific. and for that I will share the introduction with you to tell me if it does serve my point. I tried to abide by the writing handout that was given to us in class to make sure I tackle enough background to help frame my research question and to prove that the sections will solve this question.
Democratization of the Egypt regime became possible with the establishment of the republic in 1953 after the 1952 revolution. Ever since 1953, Egypt was an authoritarian country with varying degrees of freedom that was seldom recognized as democratic. Near the end of Mubarak’s rule, most scholars asserted that the Egyptian regime is far from democratic and that Egypt has reached saturation in its authoritarian rule. Yet with the 2011 uprising and its success in toppling Mubarak, scholars adopted the hopeful tone that Egypt’s 2011 regime transition is in fact on the path to democracy. This confidence soon disappeared after the Muslim Brotherhood assumed power and with the continuation of protests in the street till the present day. Does that mean that Egypt’s regime transition failed? Does that mean that Egypt will not reach a consolidated democracy as a result of that transition? In Egypt there are intrinsic challenges against the success of the transition to democracy such as the nature of the regime elite who has been always loyal. In addition to that, scholars warn that the polarization in people’s opinion between the religious Islamist parties and the non-religious parties is intensifying and that polarization constraints the possibility of democracy. On the other hand, these challenges don’t exist in void but they interact with factors such as the new regime choices, people’s value for democracy, the election results and people’s expectations of the new regime. Therefore judging the outcome of Egypt’s regime transition should incorporate these challenges and their interactions with the present day developments.
This paper concludes that Egypt is indeed on the path to democracy by outlining some of the challenges that pose difficulty against applying the transition hypothesis (O’Donnell and Schmitter, 1986) to the Egyptian scenario. It applies the transition scenario to Egypt’s case after accounting for certain factors; these factors are chosen for that they are instrumental to the Egyptian case and provide insights about the possibility of democratic consolidation in Egypt.
The first section of the paper discusses some literature related to transition theory and democratic consolidation. After outlining the theory the paper takes on the job of relating the events that Egypt has gone through and then it discusses the structural challenges of applying the transition theory to Egypt. After that, certain actor- specific factors are discussed while shedding the light on their relevance to this paper’s thesis and to the theory outlined. This section ends by confronting both sides: the challenges and the factors in an effort to conclude that Egypt is on the path to a consolidated democracy.
This class has instilled in me many new theories and ideas regarding democratization, and choosing an aspect of the class that I find most interesting is tough. Although I have learned about a wide variety of perspectives, I believe the lesson most interesting to me was that which we learned about authoritarian regimes.
What interests me most about authoritarian regimes is that bad politics often does not translate into bad dictatorship. There are many tools at the dictator’s disposal to properly control a population, with many of them being terrible for the people but entrenching power simultaneously. Austerity can silence a state, frightening subversive groups into hiding. Even humanitarian abuses like famine and torture could be beneficial to a dictator as long as he is able to balance between silencing his people and keeping the international community out of his affairs. Coalition building also plays a major role in dictatorial success, with the inner circle of the political elite being the only people that truly need satisfied for a dictatorship to thrive and continue.
Due to the President ATT’s incompetent management of the rebellion ,the Malian Army underequipped, poorly structured with corruption within the higher military ranks was defeated. The Tuaregs had killed them using every inhuman techniques. Some soldiers were cut into pieces; others had the stomach split open, while some had to throat cut from the back and their genitals in their mouths .I lost my uncle in Tinzawatin in addition to several relatives. All of them killed one the ways described above. Overall, I enjoyed writing this paper and hope I improved it well enough in the final draft.
This is one of my favorite quote of all times, it might not be of recent source but I believe this to be reality of Mali’s colonial heritage.
The Objective of nationalist parties as from a certain given period is, we have seen, strictly national. They mobilize the people with slogans of independence, and for the rest leave it to future events. When such parties are questioned about the economic program of the state they are clamoring for, or on the nature of the regime which they propose to install, they are incapable of replying, because, precisely, they are ignorant of the economy of their own country….(P.153).
With regards to economic failure Fanon argues that “[t]he national economy of the period of independence is not set on a new footing…We go on sending out raw materials; we go on being Europe’s small farmers, who specialize in unfinished products”(Fanon,P.152-53).
As an American, I have always thought of democracy in terms of the ideal American democratic way. I have thought of certain concepts like checks and balances and the “American Dream” as being highly democratic. In this respect, I assumed all other democratic countries must have these same principles and any country striving to become a democracy must adapt them. This class really helped me broaden my thoughts on what a democracy is. I learned a lot about the different types of democracy and how countries came to be democracies. I particularly found it interesting when we went over the early struggles of American democracy and how it was not democratic for many years after the Constitution was written. I completely agree with that now but had never thought of it that way before the class. I think I have a more multicentric view on democracy and the world. That will help me further as a student and in other aspects of life.
Some Background information about the conflict in Mali. It does not touch all the point but the essential is here.
The Tuaregs rebels had received sophisticated weapons from Lybia. At the same the offensive operations of the Malian army had been reduced as agreed in the 2009 peace treaty with the rebels. It was the golden opportunity they had been awaiting since 1968. March, 25, 2012 a coup ejected Toure from the comfort of his palace on top of the hill of Koulouba. Three day later, 2/3 of the country fell in the hands of terrorists.
The bus has fallen apart. Mali is now occupied by those gentlemen who enjoy cut hands and stoning Malians to death. They want to supposedly implement sharia in a country that has been following Islam before the birth of their ancestors.
From 1960 to 2012, the different Malian regimes have failed for the same reasons but at various degrees and angles: economic, financial, corruption and bad governance. Corruption for example occurs on many levels in the Malian government.