Manual Handbook of Democratic Government: Party Government in 20 Democracies (1945–1990) (1945-1990)

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Although the communist-led government initially intended to participate in the Marshall Plan , it was forced by the Kremlin to back out. The communist-controlled Ministry of the Interior deployed police regiments to sensitive areas and equipped a workers' militia. He accepted the resignations of the dissident ministers and received a new cabinet list from Gottwald, thus completing the communist takeover under the cover of superficial legality. On 10 March , the moderate foreign minister of the government, Jan Masaryk , was found dead in suspicious circumstances that have still not been definitively proved to constitute either suicide or political assassination.

Czechoslovakia was declared a " people's democracy " until — a preliminary step toward socialism and, ultimately, communism. Dissident elements were purged from all levels of society, including the Roman Catholic Church. The ideological principles of Marxism-Leninism and socialist realism pervaded cultural and intellectual life. The economy was committed to comprehensive central planning and the abolition of private ownership of capital. Czechoslovakia became a satellite state of the Soviet Union; it was a founding member of the Council for Mutual Economic Assistance Comecon in and of the Warsaw Pact in The attainment of Soviet-style command socialism became the government's avowed policy.

Following the Soviet example, Czechoslovakia began emphasizing the rapid development of heavy industry. Although Czechoslovakia's industrial growth of percent between and was impressive, it was far exceeded by that of Japan percent and the Federal Republic of Germany almost percent and more than equaled by Austria and Greece. Gottwald died in March In the s, the Stalinists accused their opponents of "conspiracy against the people's democratic order" and "high treason" in order to oust them from positions of power. In all, the Communist Party tried 14 of its former leaders in November and sentenced 11 to death.

No political parties: How Nunavut's consensus government works

Large-scale arrests of Communists and socialists with an "international" background, i. De-Stalinization had a late start in Czechoslovakia. In the early s, the Czechoslovak economy became severely stagnant. The industrial growth rate was the lowest in Eastern Europe. As a result, in , the party approved the New Economic Model , introducing free market elements into the economy. Democratic centralism was redefined, placing a stronger emphasis on democracy.

Slovaks pressed for federalization. The press, radio, and television were mobilized for reformist propaganda purposes. The movement to democratize socialism in Czechoslovakia, formerly confined largely to the party intelligentsia, acquired a new, popular dynamism in the spring of the " Prague Spring ". Radical elements found expression; anti-Soviet polemics appeared in the press; the Social Democrats began to form a separate party; and new unaffiliated political clubs were created.

The leadership affirmed its loyalty to socialism and the Warsaw Pact, but also expressed the desire to improve relations with all countries of the world, regardless of their social systems. As a result, the troops of the Warsaw Pact countries except for Romania mounted a Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia during the night of 20—21 August Popular opposition was expressed in numerous spontaneous acts of non-violent resistance.

In Prague and other cities throughout the republic, Czechs and Slovaks greeted Warsaw Pact soldiers with arguments and reproaches. The Czechoslovak Government declared that the Warsaw Pact troops had not been invited into the country and that their invasion was a violation of socialist principles, international law, and the UN Charter.

The principal Czechoslovak reformers were forcibly and secretly taken to the Soviet Union, where they signed a treaty that provided for the "temporary stationing" of an unspecified number of Soviet troops in Czechoslovakia. On 19 January , the student Jan Palach set himself on fire in Prague's Wenceslas Square to protest the invasion of Czechoslovakia by the Soviet Union, an action shocked many observers throughout the world. The Slovak part of Czechoslovakia made major gains in industrial production in the s and s.

By the s, its industrial production was near parity with that of the Czech lands. Slovakia's portion of per capita national income rose from slightly more than 60 percent of that of Bohemia and Moravia in to nearly 80 percent in , and Slovak per capita earning power equaled that of the Czechs in The pace of Slovak economic growth has continued to exceed that of Czech growth to the present day Dubcek remained in office only until April A program of " Normalization " — the restoration of continuity with the prereform period—was initiated.

Normalization entailed thoroughgoing political repression and the return to ideological conformity. A new purge cleansed the Czechoslovak leadership of all reformist elements. Anti-Soviet demonstrations in August ushered in a period of harsh repression. The s and s became known as the period of "normalization," in which the apologists for the Soviet invasion prevented, as best they could, any opposition to their conservative regime.

Political, social, and economic life stagnated. The population, cowed by the "normalization," was quiet. The only point required during the Prague spring that was achieved was the federalization of the country as of , which however was more or less only formal under the normalization. The newly created Federal Assembly i. He returned Czechoslovakia to an orthodox command economy with a heavy emphasis on central planning and continued to extend industrialization.

For a while the policy seemed successful; the s, however, were more or less a period of economic stagnation. In the s, approximately 50 percent of Czechoslovakia's foreign trade was with the Soviet Union, and almost 80 percent was with communist countries. Through the s and s, the regime was challenged by individuals and organized groups aspiring to independent thinking and activity.

The first organized opposition emerged under the umbrella of Charter On 6 January , a manifesto called Charter 77 appeared in West German newspapers. The original manifesto reportedly was signed by persons; among them were artists, former public officials, and other prominent figures.

The Charter had over signatures by the end of , including workers and youth. It criticized the government for failing to implement human rights provisions of documents it had signed, including the state's own constitution; international covenants on political, civil, economic, social, and cultural rights; and the Final Act of the Conference for Security and Cooperation in Europe.

Although not organized in any real sense, the signatories of Charter 77 constituted a citizens' initiative aimed at inducing the Czechoslovak Government to observe formal obligations to respect the human rights of its citizens.

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Signatories were arrested and interrogated; dismissal from employment often followed. Because religion offered possibilities for thought and activities independent of the state, it too was severely restricted and controlled. Clergymen were required to be licensed. Unlike in Poland, dissent and independent activity were limited in Czechoslovakia to a fairly small segment of the population. Many Czechs and Slovaks emigrated to the West. The slow pace of the Czechoslovak reform movement was an irritant to the Soviet leadership.

The breadth of support for democracy visible across a range of international survey projects—even in less than hospitable environments—is a surprising finding from this new wave of research, and suggests that the aspirations for freedom, equality, and democratic rights is a common human value. One might question whether these opinions are sufficiently ingrained to constitute an enduring political culture in many developing nations, but even abstract endorsements of democratic norms are a positive sign about the prospects for democratic reform van Beek This research has also stimulated new debates on the broad course of human development.

On the one hand, new versions of the social modernization thesis suggest a common pattern of social and political change as nations develop economically. This is most clearly seen in the chapters by Inglehart and Welzel in this volume and their joint book Inglehart and Welzel On the other hand, others claim that historical experiences and national traditions produce different patterns of cultural development and distinct cultural regions—which may produce new sources of regional conflict see Inogouchi in this volume.

While this debate is ongoing, its very existence illustrates how the broadening of systematic opinion research to developing nations has renewed old debates about the courses and consequences of political culture. As questions about political culture have grown in relevance for the democratizing nations, important cultural changes have also emerged within the advanced industrial democracies.

Inglehart's , thesis of postmaterial value change maintains that the socioeconomic forces transforming western industrial societies are creating a new phase of human development. Inglehart's postmaterial thesis has gained considerable attention because of its potentially broad relevance to the politics of advanced industrial societies, although this thesis has also generated much scholarly debate van Deth and Scarborough Other studies examine whether a key element of a democratic political culture is changing in advanced industrial democracies: Almond and Verba maintained that democracy was based on a supportive public that endorsed a democratic system even in times of tumult.

In the United States and many west European democracies, however, citizens are now less trustful of politicians, political parties and democratic institutions Dalton ; Pharr and Putnam ; Norris ; Nye, Zelikow, and King When coupled with evidence of changing orientations toward partisan politics and changing p. In summary, the study of modernization and democratization illustrates the two themes of this book. First, research has made great progress in developing the empirical evidence that describes the political values for most nations in the world. Where once scientific empirical evidence of citizen orientations was quite thin and primarily limited to the large western democracies, we now have rich evidence of how citizens think and act across nearly the entire globe.

The growing empirical evidence has also reinforced the importance of key theoretical concepts that were developed during the early behavioral revolution. For example, Eckstein's concept of cultural congruence has provided a valuable framework for examining the interaction between citizen values and political processes. We now have a much richer and sounder theoretical and empirical knowledge about what are the significant attributes of a political culture Fuchs in this volume.

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Second, as the empirical evidence has grown, it is also apparent that we are living through a period of substantial political change—in both the advanced industrial democracies and the developing nations. This pattern presents several challenges for researchers. Normally, political institutions and the basic principles of a regime are constant; thus it is difficult to study the interaction between institutional and cultural change. However, the recent shifts in regime form in many nations create new opportunities to study the relationship between culture and institutional choices—and how congruence is established.

Changing political norms enable us to study political culture as a dynamic process. Finally, the democratization process and changing democratic expectations in the West raise other questions. Experience suggests that there are a variety of democratic cultures, as well as ways to define culture, that require mapping and further study.

Just as the institutionalists have drawn our attention to the variations in the structure of the democratic politics and the implications of these differences Rhodes, Binder and Rockman , we need to develop a comparable understanding of how citizen norms can create and sustain alternative democratic forms Fuchs and Klingemann One of the central roles of citizens in democracies and other political systems is to make decisions about political matters. In democracies, this involves decisions about which parties or candidates to support in an election, as well as decisions about p.

In other political systems, the choices are different, but the task of making a choice remains. In an authoritarian system, the choice might be between making an openly affirmative statement to a government declaration, remaining silent about it or subtly or even openly criticizing it. In any case, citizens make choices when political issues are brought to their attention, whether in an autocratic or democratic system.

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In democratic systems electoral choices are at the center of the political process. Thus, the study of electoral choice has quite naturally been a core theme in political behavior research, and past research has produced dramatic advances in our knowledge about how voters reach their decisions. Early electoral research presumed that many voters were ill prepared to deal with the complexities of politics; thus voters relied on shortcuts—such as group cues or affective partisan loyalties—to simplify political decision making and guide their individual behavior Lazarsfeld, Berelson, and McPhee ; Campbell et al.

Within a decade the dominant question changed from explaining the persistence of electoral politics to explaining electoral change Dalton, Flanagan, and Beck Decreases in class and religious divisions were a first prominent indicator that electoral politics was changing. Franklin and his colleagues found that a set of social characteristics including social class, education, income, religiosity, region, and gender had a decreasing impact on partisan preferences in western democracies over time.

Nieuwbeerta similarly found a general erosion of class voting across twenty democracies. Evans ; Heath, Jowell, and Curtice In many western democracies, the declining influence of group cleavages on electoral choice is paralleled by a weakening of affective party attachment that was the basis of the Michigan model of electoral choice. Furthermore, there are signs of a growing personalization of political campaigns in western democracies: While there appears to be a consensus that issue voting has become more important, there is less consensus on a theoretical framework for understanding the role of issues in contemporary political behavior.

Other scholars focus on the systemic level, examining how aggregate electoral outcomes can be predicted by the issue stances of the parties. In a sense, this part of the research literature reminds us of the story of the blind men and the elephant: For advanced industrial democracies, the increase in candidate and issue voting has an uncertain potential for the nature of the democratic electoral process.

Public opinion is becoming more fluid and less predictable. This uncertainty forces parties and candidates to be more sensitive to public opinion, at least the opinions of those who vote. Motivated issue voters are more likely to have their voices heard, even if they are not accepted. Furthermore, the ability of politicians to have unmediated communications with voters can strengthen the link between politicians and the people. To some extent, the individualization of electoral choice revives earlier images of the informed voter that we once found in classic democratic theory: Models of rational choice that seemed to rest on implausible assumptions in previous times have thus gained in credibility.

At the same time, there is a potential dark side to these new patterns in electoral politics. In addition, elites who cater to issue publics can leave the electorally inactive disenfranchised.

In addition, direct unmediated contact between politicians and citizens opens the potential for demagoguery and political extremism. At the same time as the electorate is less stable on the basis of established party alignments, it is also more susceptible to potential media manipulation. In summary, comparative electoral studies have made major advances in our understanding of political behavior. This has in no way settled old debates.

It has invigorated them. But they take place on a firmer base of evidence. Today, this literature on electoral behavior represents one of the largest fields of political behavior research. Moreover, as the empirical evidence has accumulated, it has become more apparent that the nature of electoral behavior is changing in advanced industrial democracies. The current research challenge is to define the nature of the new electoral order that is emerging.

There is an apparent similarity between the portrait of voting choice we have just described and the situation in emerging democracies in central and eastern Europe, Asia, Africa, and Latin America. Indeed, there is a seeming preoccupation with the issue of economic voting in these transitional systems, and less attention to full models of electoral choice for positive examples see Tworzecki ; Tucker The new democratic systems of central and eastern Europe, Asia, Africa, and Latin America, for instance, face the task of developing a relatively stable and institutionalized basis of party competition.

Without more structure, it is difficult for citizens to learn about the policy choices available to them, and translate this into meaningful electoral choices. Without more structure, it is difficult to ensure accountability in the democratic process. This situation presents the unique opportunity to study this process to examine how new party attachments take root, the relationships between social groups and parties form, party images develop, and citizens learn the process of representative democracy.

However, the creation of party systems in the world of global television, greater knowledge about electoral politics from the elite and public levels , and fundamentally different electorates are unlikely to follow the pattern of earlier democratization periods. To answer these questions will require a dynamic perspective on the processes of electoral change. It is frankly too soon to determine how political scientists will respond to these challenges. There has already been an impressive development to improve the empirical base of research in these new democracies—a development that took decades in most of the western democracies.

There are many encouraging signs and impressive empirical studies emanating from central and eastern Europe, Asia, Africa, and Latin America but the evolutionary process is still uncertain. Democratic or not, all polities expect some public involvement in the political process, if only to obey political orders.

Thus, one section of the Handbook focuses on political activity. Necessarily this requires an active citizenry, because it is through interest articulation, information, and deliberation that public preferences can be identified, shaped and transformed into collective decisions that are considered as legitimate. Autocratic regimes also engage the public in the political process, although this primarily served as a means to indoctrinate the public to conform to decisions that elites have made.

But even the control capacities of autocratic regimes are limited so that it has to somehow address what the citizenry wants and needs.

History of Czechoslovakia

The major empirical advance in this field has documented the levels of participation across nations and highlighted distinctions between different modes of political action. Verba and his colleagues Verba, Nie, and Kim ; Verba, Schlozman, and Brady demonstrated that various forms of action differ in their political implications, and in the factors that stimulate individuals to act. This was extended by others to include the growth of unconventional political action that occurred since the s Barnes, Kaase, et al.

This theoretical framework of participation modes is the common foundation of participation research. Having identified the modes of action, researchers sought to explain patterns of participation. The charm of parsimony made this an attractive theoretical approach, but this parsimony created oversimplifications, false research paradoxes and actually limited our understanding of citizen action. For the past several years, the most intense debate has focused on whether the level of political participation is systematically changing in western democracies.

These trends have supposedly led to a decline in social capital—the skills and values that facilitate democratic participation—and thereby to declines in the citizenry's participation in politics. The study of social capital and the changes in the patterns of participation in contemporary democracies has been one of the most fertile areas of research for the past decade, as described in several chapters in this volume.

Other measures of partisan activity, such as party membership, also show clear downward trends in most nations Scarrow This might be seen as part of a more general downturn in civic engagement because church attendance, union membership, and the engagement in several types of traditional voluntary associations and collective activities are declining. In addition, social group membership and the formation of social capital seem to be increasing in many advanced industrial democracies, making the US an atypical case Stolle in this volume; Putnam Moreover, modernization processes seem to change the ways in which people interact and engage in the public sphere, transforming the character of social capital instead of eliminating it altogether: This controversy touches the very vitality of the democratic process, and the resolution of the controversy is as yet unclear.

The evidence of decreasing group involvement of the old type and declining social capital of the traditional form is strongest for the United States, but this might not indicate a general erosion of civic engagement and social capital. It might simply reflect a transformation of the ways in which citizens relate to each other and their communities. If one includes new forms of interaction and engagement, participation levels and the various methods of political action are generally expanding in most advanced industrial societies—even while participation in the traditional form of party membership and electoral p.

New forms of engagement and participation expand political participation beyond the boundaries of what it was conventionally viewed to be. These tendencies reflect a great flexibility of democracies, allowing forms of participation to adapt to changing societal conditions. The new style of citizen participation places more control over political activity in the hands of the citizenry as well as increasing public pressure on political elites. However, the expanding repertoire of action also may raise potential problems. These new forms of participation also create new challenges for aggregating diverse political demands into coherent government policy.

The challenge for established democracies is to expand further the opportunities for citizens to participate in the political process and meaningfully structure the decisions affecting their lives. To meet this challenge means ensuring an equality of political rights and opportunities that will be even more difficult to guarantee with these new participation forms. However, a socially biased use of expanded political opportunities should not blame the opportunities but should blame the policies that fail to alleviate the social bias, such as unequal access to education and other social benefits that influence the citizens' resources to participate in politics.

In new democracies the challenge is to engage the citizenry in meaningful participation after years of ritualized engagement or actual prohibitions on participation. Similarly, party activity has atrophied as democratic institutions have developed Barnes and Simon ; van Biezen Consequently, eastern Europe still faces the challenge of integrating citizens into democratic politics and nurturing an understanding of the democratic process.

The advance of survey research has provided some unique insights into participation patterns in these environments. Shi's study of political participation in Beijing , for example, found that there was much more extensive public involvement than expected. Furthermore, political participation can occur in more varied forms in political systems where citizen input is not tolerated and encouraged through institutionalized channels also see Jennings Similarly, Bratton and his colleagues find a surprisingly robust range of political activity across a set of African nations. If this occurs in these two settings, then we might expect a greater role for the citizen even in transitional political systems.

The desire to participate in the decisions affecting one's life is common across the globe, but political institutions can shape whether these desires are expressed and how Inglehart and Welzel Possessing the skills and resources to be politically active is an equally important factor. Research is now identifying how these two forces combine to shape the patterns of citizen action. Another section of this Handbook addresses the topic of the impact of public opinion on policy makers and governments—which is the ultimate question in the study of public opinion within a democracy.

To what extent do the views of policy makers and the outputs of government policy reflect the preferences that the public itself prefers? The indirect effect of public opinion in a democracy, mediated through representative institutions, has created questions about the congruence of mass—elite outcomes, and the factors that affect this intermediation process. However, systematically studying this process has had a difficult research history, despite the theoretical and political importance of the topic.

The first empirical study of representation was the famous Miller—Stokes study of representation in America Miller and Stokes This model and research approach were soon expanded to a host of other advanced industrial democracies Barnes ; Converse and Pierce ; Thomassen This research examined some of the most important questions in research on democracy, but the findings p. The theoretical model developed in the United States did not travel well to other democracies.

In addition, the resources required to conduct parallel studies of the citizenry and political elites were exceptional. Thus, in the fifty years since the original Miller—Stokes study, their full research project has not been replicated in the United States. Other studies in the United States have examined elements of the representation process; for instance, comparing the congruence between mass and elite opinions in the aggregate or the dynamics of mass opinion change Erikson, McKuen, and Stimson ; Stimson Researchers have also examined the congruence between public policy preferences and the outcomes of government Page and Shapiro Gradually, this research has also spread to other western democracies, often adopted to national institutions or the structure of representation Miller et al.

One important branch of this approach compares programmatic profiles of political parties and political preferences of their followers. Most of the findings produced thus far seem to indicate that in terms of left—right orientations parties have not lost their capacity to represent and mobilize citizen support for public policies Klingemann et al.

The contributions in this Handbook engage these important research questions.

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Wlezien and Soroka examine the congruence between mass policy preferences and the policy outputs of government. Stimson's chapter adds a broader view of what we have learned, and the research questions that remain. In one sense, this represents one of the areas with the greatest theoretical and empirical potential to understand the functioning of the democratic process through the mass—elite relationship.

But it also remains one of the most challenging areas to study and compare across nations. But gradually we are developing a better understanding of how the democratic process actually functions, which yields a positive view of the vitality of the process. We have just lived through what are arguably the most significant political events of our lifetimes: This "Cited by" count includes citations to the following articles in Scholar.

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