A Comparative Politics On A New Democracy Essay
Professor Deborah Norden
PLSC 440: Seminar in Comparative Politics
Reaction Paper 4
“Accountability”, the “Rule of Law” and “ Responsiveness” are qualities of democracy that Professors Phillipe Schmitter and Guillermo O’Donnell and G. Bingham Powell Jr. support in terms of measuring the level of development of governments of new democracies. Though the authors approach these ambiguous and complex political ideas from conflicting methodological perspectives, I believe these concepts are linked to one another and are, in my view, significant factors in evaluating the degree of sophistication of a new democracy.
The three aforementioned themes seem connected by the much-discussed political concept of the demos, or the mass citizenry. For example, O’Donnell’s definition of the “democratic rule of law” is based upon the insurance of political equality to all citizens, while also promising political rights, civil liberties and mechanisms of accountability while the absence of this “rule of law” would also jeopardize the political rights of a citizenry. (Diamond, Morlino, 2005, 3) Further, his measurement of “flaws” with this model also involves the citizenry-specifically the potentially problematic application of the law to citizens; with government agencies and the far removed judiciary. (Diamond, Morlino, 2005, 10-11) Schmitter’s framework for measuring political accountability seems also to rest upon the demos, suggesting that “ active citizen…