The first Joint Conference organised by the International Political Science Association (IPSA) and the European Consortium for Political Research (ECPR) will explore the continuing relevance of the international North-South divide. Applications for papers in the Sections and Panels are now invited and can be submitted online:
Section: Democracy in the Age of Globalization
Social science has developed an immense amount of research on the conditions fostering and hindering the development of democracy. However, given the increasing importance of international and transnational actors and the growing international interconnectedness in the economic, political and social realm, the determinants of democratization have to be reconsidered. The aim of the section is to discuss current trends of democratization in the light of globalization and to focus on how external factors impact on the development of democracy. Panels could discuss the contested relation between economic globalization and democratization or consider the impact of other facets of globalization on democracy. They could deal with the role of international actors and international norms, such as democratic commitments, monitoring and enforcement by international organizations, or the question whether there is a right to democracy and/or an entitlement to democratic interventions. Another relevant issue is whether the expansion of democracy has stagnated, whether (and why) we are in fact, as recent Freedom House surveys suggest, facing a “pushback against democracy”, and how to classify those regimes that inhabit a grey area in between autocracy and democracy. These issues could be addressed by global comparative studies, comparisons within or across regions or innovative theoretical reflections.
Panel 1: Exporting Democracy from Venus? The European Union as Normative Power in International Relations
Chairs: Prof. Sonja Puntscher Riekmann and Dr. Helmut Gaisbauer
Discussant: Dr. Doris Wydra
The European Union, founded on the principles of democracy and the rule of law (article 2 TEU), advances these principles also in its relations with the wider world (article 21 TEU). Different governance modes are used by the Union to promote democracy in its international relations: hierarchical (in enlargement procedures), promoting networks (state- and non-state actors) and market mechanisms, but also social learning and lesson drawing can explain the adaptation of European norms and democratic structures. Nevertheless the assessment of their efficiency is critical, as the EU seems to be successful in exporting its rules, but these rules are often ineffective in propelling real democratization. What hampers democracy consolidation and is effective democracy promotion a question of incentives? How do the addressed countries asses the consequences of European democracy promotion? Can we go with the realist critique on the “benign power” of Europe, committed to 'civilizing' international relations as part of a wider transformation of international society, that stresses that the promotion of democracy is less an export of “values” than a means of “milieu shaping” with a strategic behavior that is influenced by security? Unlike the US the European Union does not (and cannot) export democracy by military means because of the constraints it faces by the diverging foreign policy preferences of its Member states.So is the “soft power Europe” a necessity rather than an asset?
Panel 2: From one-way to two-way street: Democracy promotion as interaction
Chair: Dr. Jonas Wolff and Prof. Hans-Juergen Puhle
Discussant: Prof. Oliver Richmond
Democracy promotion is often depicted as a one-way street. Teachers teach eager students democracy; established democracies export, while third-world countries import "good" norms. Yet, the one-way street seems to hit a dead end both in the field and in academia: After a democracy promotion rush in the 1990s, it is deeply in crisis today. On the ground, the third wave of democracy has given way to "democratic recession", the stabilization of different types of hybrid regimes and, in part, an outright backlash against democracy promotion. In research, the model of norm export, take-over and internalization as used in mainstream IR/democracy promotion research cannot conceptualize more complicated dynamics between "promoters" and "recipients". The panel will take an alternative perspective and look at democracy promotion as an interaction, i.e. as a process that involves meaningful agency on all sides. Analyzing democracy promotion as a two-way communication process implies giving up the notion that promoting democracy is about universalizing a fixed set of democratic norms and their underlying justice principles. We invite both theoretical contributions and empirical studies that may focus on the "translation" of an abstract set of universally conceived norms into country-specific democracy promotion strategies, on the "negotiation" of the meaning and shape of democracy between external and domestic actors, or on the local "appropriation" of democratic norms and institutions.
Panel 3: Implementing Democracy from Outside
Chair: Dr. Sonja Grimm
Discussant: Dr. Jonas Wolff
Democracy promotion can be considered as one of the relevant determinants of democratization. External actors promote democracy all over the world, in countries under transition, in post war societies, in fragile states and in authoritarian states. As a mean of foreign policy, democracy promotion politics are costly, however, less is known about how democracy can be effectively implemented from outside. Classical democracy promotion tools like persuasion, consulting, conditionality, and force, but also new, mere indirect means like functional cooperation need to be systematically assessed for their impact on democratization. Therefore, paper givers are invited to consider theoretically and empirically problems of efficacy and effectiveness of classical democracy promotion as well as alternative forms of promoting democracy from outside.
Panel 4: Mapping Regime Types
Chair: Dr. Brigitte Weiffen
Discussant: Prof. Wolfgang Merkel
In spite of the overall growth in number of democracies around the world, a closer look at democratization processes since the 1970s reveals that many states did not make a clear transition to full democracy, but have either consolidated as something in between autocracy and full democracy or have continuously oscillated between more democratic and more authoritarian forms of rule. Additionally, as recent Freedom House surveys suggest, the tide has apparently turned and we are facing an “erosion of freedom”. Hence, the challenge how to classify regime types and what constitutes the minimum requirements for democracies comes back to the fore.
The panel will address the question how to draft the boundary between democracies and autocracies. It will also discuss whether an intermediate category of mixed or hybrid regimes is necessary to account for cases of incomplete democratization and authoritarian reversal or whether it is preferable to classify them as subtypes of either democracy or autocracy. We will also take issue with recent attempts to distinguish between various types of authoritarianism. While mapping the range of regime types, we will also address the more fundamental question which criteria to use in order to build a coherent regime typology and whether such a typology should rather follow a deductive approach departing from strong theoretical conceptions or an inductive approach trying to capture the variety of real world cases.
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