joel lazarus political parties and western democracy promotion in georgia

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  • 1.Promoting Democracy? Political Parties and Western Democracy Promotion in Georgia Work in progress, May 2009Joel Lazarus, DPhil candidateDept of Politics & International Relations,University of Oxford

2. Caveats if democracy cannot answersPreliminary analysis and be consolidated in Sacrificing details for comprehensiveness Georgia, it is not clear where it can be Food for discussion and thought consolidated. As difficult as the challenges are, theoutlook in Georgia still looks brighter than in mostof the rest of the nondemocratic worldLincoln Mitchell (2008: 6) 3. Georgias democratic potentialCons avoided:if democracycannot be consolidated in Natural resource wealth (Ross 2001) Oligarchic it is not clear (?) (Stefes 2006) beGeorgia, economic structure where it can Clan party politics (Collinsas the challenges are, theconsolidated. As difficult 2002) Ethnic party politics (Barany & Moser 2005)outlook in Georgia still looks brighter than in most Military as autonomous political force (Geddes 1999)of the rest of the nondemocratic world Lincoln Mitchell (2008: 6) 4. Georgias democratic potentialPros: Good social indicators: high literacy rates and education levels Open to effects of democratic diffusion (Whitehead 1996; Brinks & Coppedge 2005) and of linkage (Levitsky & Way 2002). Unchallenged ideological position of democracy Pro-democratic revolution and explicitly pro-democratic leadership The largest regional per capita beneficiary of democracy promotion and development aid If Finkel et al (2007) are right we should see positive outcomes in Georgia. 5. if democracy cannot be consolidated in Georgia, it is not clear where it can be consolidated. As difficult as the challenges are, the outlook in Georgia still looks brighter than in most of the rest of the nondemocratic worldLincoln Mitchell (2008: 6) 6. Opposition politician clashes with riot police, May 6th 2009 7. Georgian politics since independence Civil war 1992-3 No constitutional transfer of power Post-Rose Revolution (November 2003) Media/NGO repression Electoral fraud and intimidation Large-scale protests violently crushed Opposition boycott of parliament Current street protests and violence Intense polarisation of party politics 8. Georgias political parties Georgian parties traits accord with Carothers (2006: 4) standard lament about political parties in new or struggling democracies around the worldSalient traits Highly centralised, leader-centric organisations Ideological vagueness: nationalism as dominant ideological force Informal rules of the game Opaque, illicit financing Personal insults and violence instead of debate Dominant ruling parties: administrative resource, patron-client networks, electoral fraud 9. The research questionWhy,afteralmosttwo decades of independence, do Georgias political parties andpartysystemremainso weakly institutionalised? 10. Research methodsQualitative methods and techniques: Primary and secondary literature sources Semi-structured interviews with: Georgian political elites; NGO leaders; academics Western aid donors, providers, diplomats Elite interviewing Process tracing Discourse analysis Secondary quantitative data Data collection on aid flows 11. Political parties as bellweather of democracyParties the indispensable element Schmitter 1999: Symbolic integration policy and ideology choices Electoral structuration recruiting citizens into electoralcampaigns and public office Governing function forming governments and providinginternal structure to legislative process Aggregative function aggregating and articulating voterspreferences Representation linking citizens to political system- the demos to democracy 12. Standard definitions of party and party system institutionalisation Institutions: [R]ules and procedures that structure social interaction by constraining and enabling actors behaviour (Helmke & Levitsky 2006: 5) Institutionalisation: the process by which the rules of the political game are established and politicians and parties behaviour becomes patterned and predictableRules and behaviour 13. Weakly institutionalised partiesInternalExternalStructuralsystemnessdecisional autonomyAttitudinal value infusionreificationRandall & Svsand 2002: 7 Almost almost parties, even the ruling party, score very poorly agains all but the decisional autonomy dimension 14. Weakly institutionalised party systemProcess or rules-focused approach: Stability of formal rules of the game: constitution, electoral code (Cox 1997; Bielasiak 2002) Party-focused approach Stability of system components parties (Pedersen 1979; Laakso & Taageperas ENEP 1979; Mainwaring & Scully 1995) 15. Incumbents build dominant party: Opposition seeks clientelism; administrative resource; to oust electoral fraud government by any means Informally patterned and predictable:The vicious cycle of Power changes Zero-sum unconstitutional politics inhands throughpolitics: Georgia?...unconstitutional means. Those win by anylinked to former meansregime are punishedIncumbentsfear ofretribution 16. The mistakes of the past should be analyzed so as not to get locked in the same vicious circle tomorrowHow long should the authorities and the opposition compete with each other in radicalism? Giorgi Targamadze,Leader of Christian Democratic Party6th March, 2009 17. Preliminary answers Domestic variables Formal institutionalist explanations often confuse cause with effect (endogeneity) e.g. constitutional or electoral code choices, amendments not made in a political vacuum Poor leadership (agentic factors) best explained by structural factors Georgias structural factors explain why charismatic, impulsive leaders with authoritarian tendencies come to power Alternative socially-grounded, substantive approach/definition of party and party system institutionalisation 18. Preliminary answers Domestic variables continued Path-dependency Political No early experience of democratic politics Socio-economic Pre-Soviet feudalism Late and limited urbanisation/industrialisation Bureaucratic No tradition of rational bureaucratic governance Soviet: patrimonial communism (Kitschelt et al 1999) Bureaucratic/governance - patron-client structures, fiefdoms Social privatisation of social sphere Post-Soviet: weak social cleavages -> weak citizen-party linkages Weak party and party system institutionalisation 19. Preliminary answers Domestic variables continued Political culture inimical to party institutionalisation/ democratic development Low levels of organisation/mobilisation; Very low levels of trust in parties, other political institutions; Lack of pro-democratic values: tolerance, self-reliance,restraint 20. Preliminary answers Domestic variables continued Territorial/sovereignty issues Nationalism dominates political scene Ruling party/president stress need for unity Political opponents dismissed as traitors War and political instability inimical to generalprocesses of social and economic development 21. Preliminary answersInternational variables Western democracy promotion aid and diplomacy Political democracy promotion (Carothers 2009) backing reformers to exclusion of all others Ignoring, even praising unfree and unfair elections Ignoring constitutional/electoral code manipulations (Perceived?) shift in funding from CS/media to directgovernment support after Rose Revolution 22. Inherent tension in Western democracy promotion foreign policy and diplomacySelf-interest trumps principled foreign policy Stability rather than democracy/HR the objective Political democracy promotion individuals over values Ignoring democratic/hr transgressions Hypocrisy Democracy discredited 23. Understanding the current political crisis Systemic crisis US/EU backing to revolutionary government Greatly diminished sense of domestic accountability Constitutional and electoral code manipulation Oppositional disillusionment and distrust with West and democracy Unconstitutional political struggle Undermines potential effects of diffusion, linkage, leverage? 24. Understanding the current political crisis Social crisis Painful economic/social reforms Society as object of, not partner in, reform project Lack of communication/explanation/empathy Huge sense of social alienation and anger Non-parliamentary opposition feeds into this 25. What can/must realistically be achievedin Georgia?Systemic stability not democracy Agreement over formal rules of the game New constitutional and electoral agreements De jure and de facto agreements Georgia achieves level of Eastern European states Social stability Conciliation and humility on part of government 26. Party aid in GeorgiaParty aid providers U.S. Party Institutes (NDI, IRI): NDI very (pro-)active in revolution IRI chief now government minister Issue of legitimacy, neutrality in eyes of opposition 27. Party aid in Georgia Party aid providers European organisations: NIMD large multi-party project: Political Institutions in Georgia Small FCO/GFSIS multi-party project German stiftungens partisan approach KAS-Christian Democrats FNS-Republicans 28. Party aid in GeorgiaObjectives II.Professionalisation of party cadre andelectoral campaigns III. Internal democratisation IV.Inter-party co-operation and consensus-building 29. Party aid in Georgia Outcomes Pluses Valuable technical assistance toparty leadership and lower partycadre (multi-party and partisan) professionalisation of parties; strategy political skills Stiftungen building deeper relationships, achieving more 30. Party aid in Georgia Outcomes - Minuses II.ProfessionalisationVery little increase in programmatic contentMore leader-centric party structures (?)Playing field even less level? III. Internal democratisationFailed attempts at internal elections (Conservative Party)Internally democratic parties not electorally successful IV.Inter