Liberal and democratic political modes in a modern world

Definition and the interpretation of democracy. Main factors of a democratic political regime, their description. The problems of democracy according to Huntington. The main characteristics of the liberal regime. Estimation of its level in a world.

Рубрика Иностранные языки и языкознание
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Язык русский
Дата добавления 14.05.2011
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In Greek democracy means "government by the people" (demos - people, cratos - power). A more detailed definition of democracy, which became a classic, was given to U.S. President A. Lincoln in his famous speech hetysburskiy (1863): rule of the people, chosen people and for the people. However, despite evidence of the interpretation of democracy as a democracy, there are several problems that belong to the contents and functioning democracy. These issues raise serious dispute, as reflected in the emergence of various theories of democracy, the emphasis on its various properties: freedom (liberalism), equality (Marxism), people's participation in decision-making (participatory theory or participatory democracy), competition for votes between elites (elite theory).

In today's world is very often misused word democracy. Most modern games contain in its title the term "democratic", virtually all modern political regimes, even authoritarian, pretend to be democratic. Such freedom in using the term "democracy" and the very diversity of interpretations of its nature makes some reputable scientists to conclude that democracy - a concept that defies definition. Nevertheless, political scientists, and various international organizations use this concept and agreed on criteria that can be attributed or that a democratic regime [2, 211].

Whose main factors of a democratic political regime are:

· legal and factual guarantee human and civil rights;

· individual sovereignty;

· pluralism of social and political life;

· priority of civil society and rule of law;

· creation of competitive power through fair elections;

· legitimacy;

· Implement the principle of separation of power;

· existence of a multiparty system and political competition;

· institutionalization of conflict, the rule of law regulating them;

· consensus between the main social structures;

· basic unity of society, common citizens' interest in maintaining social organization;

· high professional and moral qualities of a leader [4].

But do not equate democracy with the embodiment of all hopes, of which the person seeks. Democracy not only has advantages, but can become a "tyranny of the majority," degenerate into a dictatorship of Parliament or a parliamentary majority. Strong government - generally required, especially during establishment, but it can turn into an authoritarian dictatorship. Nevyklyuchene of E. Fromm described the phenomenon of "escape from freedom." And all the same humanity, according to Winston Churchill, not yet invented anything better than democracy.

Three waves of democratization in the history of the modern world calls an American political scientist S.P. Huntington in his book "The Third Wave: Democratization in late XX Century" (1991). The origins of the first wave (1826-1926 biennium) are from Great American and the French revolutions. The formation of democratic institutions was in the XIX century. in countries such as USA, France, England, Switzerland and some Nordic countries, the British Dominions. The main factors that contributed to it, were industrialization, urbanization, the emergence of the bourgeoisie and middle class "of the working class and its organizations, the gradual reduction of economic inequality. The second wave of democratization (1943-1962 biennium) caused by the Second World War. In some countries (Austria, Federal Republic of Germany, Italy, South Korea, Japan) democracy was secured by military occupation administration. Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Greece, Colombia, Peru, Turkey, Ecuador took the road to democracy influenced the outcome of World War II, including the defeat of totalitarian regimes. Another numerous group of countries gained independence as a result of decolonization, which was also initiated by the results of war, and on the path to democracy.

First two waves of democratization were largely frozen, "washed" reverse wave, which brought the establishment of various forms of authoritarian, totalitarian rule. The first reverse wave (1922-1942 biennium) had came to power in Italy, Mussolini's fascist regime. And even in countries where democratic institutions are kept (France, United Kingdom), affected by the economic crisis, depression grew antidemocratic movement. The second reverse wave (19581975 years) was ambitious, has captured most third world countries, where firmly established - mostly through military coups - authoritarian regimes [1, 62].

The third wave of democratization began in the mid-70's of XX century., Fueled, according to Huntington, five major factors.

The first factor is due to undermine the legitimacy of authoritarian systems, as in society is growing discontent over the failure of government promises no mechanism for self-renewal of political leadership, the collapse of communist regimes in Eastern Europe and the USSR undermined the possibility of Marxism-Leninism as an alternative to democracy.

The second factor is due to economic growth. Although, according to the author, the level of economic development by itself is neither necessary nor sufficient condition for the consolidation of democracy (some regimes of rich countries, particularly oil exporters, is not democracy), economic factors in this process is significant. The transition to democracy should be primarily in countries with medium levels of economic development economic growth after World War II allowed many States to join the group of middle-income countries, which expanded the potential base of democracy, economic spryalo transition to it.

The third factor associated with the adjustment of its position the Catholic Church. The fact that modern democracies were formed especially in Christian countries, and until recently Catholicism coexisted with authoritarian regimes. Change the position of the Roman Catholic Church, which began to advocate the need for social change, helping the poor, protection of human rights has stimulated a wave of democratization.

The fourth factor is dictated by the change in the early 70's foreign policy of leading political forces - the U.S., former Soviet Union, European Community, which was to support the ideas of democracy and human rights protection

The fifth factor is caused by the development of global information systems. A characteristic feature of the third wave of democratization is mainly used for its development and approval of non-violence, compromise agreements, elections. Their presence is increasingly important, given the scope of problems facing the countries that enter into the third wave. According to Huntington, these are the problems of democracy:

a) development of a new constitution and new electoral law;

b) purge the state apparatus, the replacement officials proavtorytarnoyi targeting supporters of democracy;

c) cancellation or modification of laws that do not correspond to democracy;

d) cancellation or fundamental reform of authoritarian institutions such as the secret police;

e) one-party state in the distribution of property rights, functions, personnel between state and party;

f) forming the main political elites are able to work together to solve problems facing society and to refrain from the temptation to exploit them in their group of economic and political interests [3].

The main characteristics of the liberal regime are: the separation of powers into legislative, executive and judicial branches at the increasing importance of legislative power, constitutionality, multi, absolute personal freedom, and almost complete restriction of the competence and scope of the state, its interference in the affairs of civil society, economic, social, spiritual processes.

Features of the liberal regime is, above all, it is to some extent, intermediate, transition from totalitarian to democratic or authoritarian. Therefore, the lack of state control of the liberal regime (hypertrophied role as a counterweight to it in previous cases) leads to monopolies in various areas of life: a monopoly in politics - though there is a multi, but real power is often only one party, other parties are not her balances and do not compete with her monopoly in the economy - the lack of equal competition initially leads to economic growth, but then causes a decline in the economy.

In a liberal political regime in a variety of forms of ownership is a continuing priority for public ownership of means of production. But unlike the totalitarian society that is also based on the priority of public property, now allowed the political parties representing the whole spectrum of special interests. Authorities regularly conducts dialogue with representatives of political parties in power structures [2, 215].

The liberal regime took place in Western Europe, where the Socialists came to power (Sweden, Finland, France). But liberal regime occurred in the economy, which effectively developing and society that is already on a democratic path. The socialist experiment in such a pursuit very specific purpose: to find the optimal balance between individual liberty and public interest. Using the tools of violence, the Socialists, not in the distant future by denying the need to replace private property public, tried to subordinate state control and regulation of the major areas of production and consumption. But initiating rapid development of political freedoms, transparency, taking into account public opinion, alternative political and state structures, a liberal regime would collapse in the economy - its effectiveness has dropped sharply during the first steps towards nationalization.

In modern terms the Socialists of France and Spain who are in power, rejected the idea of nationalizing the economy, seeing its devastating impact. Moreover, the privatization process is conducted at their insistence. But the Socialists did not relinquish the utopian idea of the possibility of achieving full equality of people and social justice. Appeal of socialist ideas as a liberal political regime, is now insignificant for the so-called "far abroad", but remains a subject of debate in political circles, the Commonwealth of Independent States and the democracies of Eastern Europe.

The presence of liberal democracy is largely determined implemented effectively matched regime principles and the above criteria. For example, Canada is officially a monarchy, but actually operated by a democratically elected parliament. The UK has the highest authority formally hereditary monarch, but in fact this government has the people, through representatives chosen by him (as there are opposing views that parliamentarism in the UK - just a screen for the absolute monarchy). Monarchy in these countries is largely symbolic.

Scandinavia is the Social-Democracy. This is a high level of social protection, equality in standards of living, free secondary education and health, significant public sector in the economy and high taxes. However, in these countries, no government intervention in the pricing (even in the public sector, with the exception of monopolies), private banks, and there are no barriers to trade, including international, effective laws and transparent system of government safely protect the civil rights of people and property entrepreneurs.

Several organizations and political analysts are rating the level of liberal democracy in the world. These estimates are the most popular Polity Data Set, Freedom in the World, consisting American organization Freedom House index of democracy and the magazine «Economist» [1, 64].

democracy liberal political regime

List of sources

1. Breheda AY Politics: navch. method. Guide to Random. Study. discitis. / AY Breheda. - K.: MBK, 1999. - 108 sec.

2. Politics modeling training I. / I. modeling training, KN Levkovsky, VPAndrushchenko et al.; For common. yet. I. modeling training, KN Levkovskoe. - K.: High School, 1998. - 304 sec.

3. Typы of political regimes [electronic resource] / / State and Government. - Mode of access:.

4. Tsыhankov AP Modern polytycheskye rezhymы [electronic resource] / Sociology in Ukraine. - Mode of access:

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