Towards Democratic Consolidation – April 23, 2013

by aem00

The path to democratic consolidation can be a tough one to go down. However there are a few indicators that a country is heading in the right direction:

-no significant political group seriously attempts to overthrow the democratic regime or promote domestic or international violence in order to secede

-when they are no longer dominated by the problem of how to avoid democratic breakdown

-the overwhelming majority of the people believe that any further political change must emerge from the parameters of democratic procedures

-political conflict within the state will be resolved according to established norms

-when democracy becomes routinized and deeply internalized in social , institutional and psychological life

-when no significant institutional actor spends significant resources attempting to achieve their objectives by creating a nondemocratic regime or by seceding from the state

-when a strong majority of the people, even in bad times, holds the belief that democratic procedures and institutions  are the most appropriate way to govern collective life

-the development of a free and lively civil society

-relatively autonomous political society

-rule of law

-state bureaucracy that is usable

-institutionalized economic society


Three Countries: Canada, United States, Russia

-Canada, in my opinion has reached democratic consolidation because I could not find one of the criteria that didn’t fit with Canada’s customs in politics or society

-The United States also has reached democratic consolidation. My only hesitation would be with some factions in the US that are trying to change political life or even secession. The United States has a long history of anti-establishmentism and I feel like it sometimes comes out. However, I do not think that these factions prove to be a verifiable threat.

-Russia, although it is a Global North country fails to hit all of the criteria that is needed for democratic consolidation. Democracy is not entrenched in the psychological mind of all Russians. Many are used to the communist ways of the USSR. There is not a free and lively political society and Putin tends to put down any threat that could threaten his leadership, including those in government and industry. There is not rule of law as many of those around leadership positions tend to skirt many laws in order to make business, and the government goes along with it.