Three Paradoxes of Democracy Ideas of Larry Diamond 1. Conflict versus Consensus Democracy is a system of institutionalized competition for power. Too much conflict can yield instability Democracy requires conflict - but not too much. Cleavage must be tempered with consensus 2. Representativeness versus Governability Democracy disperses power, prevents its excessive concentration But democracy must have what Alexander Hamilton called “energy.” All governments need to act quickly at times. Democracies need to respond to group demands, and sometimes to resist them. Too much representation can yield paralysis. The challenge: to represent conflicting interests without being captured by them. 3. Consent versus Effectiveness Democracy means “rule by the people.” But democracies must not only have the consent of the people, they must also be effective governments. To be approved by the people, democracies must provide effective performance across a variety of issues. But the process of gathering consent is not always efficient. Performance Democracies doe not necessarily perform more efficiently than do authoritarian regimes. Authoritarian regimes can ignore public discontent while they press for long-term payoffs. Pinochet’s Chile is a good example. Performance #2 Democracies do not inherently perform better or worse economically than do authoritarian regimes. In the long run, democracies must maintain a broad consensus on economic policy. Performance #3 But democracies are a more modern form of governance. Democracies can interact with more complex and heterogeneous societies with modern economies. Modern and growing economies often require modern governmental systems in order to continue to grow in size and complexity. Adding Stability One relatively easy way to add stability to a democracy is to make is somewhat less representative. This can be accomplished in a proportional representational setting by raising the electoral threshold. Germany - 5%, Israel - 1%, Turkey - 10% Ethnic and Party Cleavages There are four principal mechanisms for managing potentially divisive ethnicity within a democracy. Ethnic cleavages never die. They can destroy any society if they are not managed effectively. Rwanda and Burundi are two examples among many. Four mechanisms Federalism Proportionality in distribution of resources and power Minority rights Sharing or rotation of power Federal systems Disperse conflict, transferring it to local and state levels Generate intraethnic conflict, pitting different factions of ethnic group against one another in the struggle to control local and state governments Induce interethnic cooperation, forming coalitions along changing issue lines Federal systems #2 Generate crosscutting cleavages when some ethnic groups are split into different states, with different interests, advantages, and needs Reduce disparities by enabling backward and minority peoples to rise within their own state educational and bureaucratic systems. Federal systems #3 Federal systems give all major territorially based ethnic groups some control over their own affairs, and some opportunity to gain power at multiple levels. But... STABLE DEMOCRACY IS IMPOSSIBLE IN A SOCIETY WHERE ETHNIC CLEAVAGES ARE DEEP AND POWER IS HEAVILY CENTRALIZED.