Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 63

Search results for: democracy

63 A Theory-Based Analysis on Implications of Democracy in Cambodia

Authors: Puthsodary Tat

Abstract:

Democracy has been categorially accepted and used as foreign and domestic policy agendas for the hope of peace, economic growth and prosperity for more than 25 years in Cambodia. However, the country is now in the grip of dictatorship, human rights violations, and prospective economic sanctions. This paper examines different perceptions and experiences of democratic assistance. In this study, the author employs discourse theory, idealism and realism as a theory-based methodology for debating and assessing the implications of democratization. Discourse theory is used to establish a platform for understanding discursive formations, body of knowledge and the games of truth of democracy. Idealist approaches give rational arguments for adopting key tenets that work well on the ground. In contrast, realism allows for some sweeping critiques of utopian ideal and offers particular views on why Western hegemonic missions do not work well. From idealist views, the research finds that Cambodian people still believe that democracy is a prima facie universality for peace, growth and prosperity. From realism, democratization is on the brink of death in three reasons. Firstly, there are tensions between Western and local discourses about democratic values and norms. Secondly, democratic tenets have been undermined by the ruling party-controlled courts, corruption, structural oppression and political patronage-based institutions. The third pitfall is partly associated with foreign aid dependency and geopolitical power struggles in the region. Finally, the study offers a precise mosaic of democratic principles that may be used to avoid a future geopolitical and economic crisis.

Keywords: Corruption, democracy, democratic principles, discourse theory, discursive formations, foreign aid dependency, games of truth, geopolitical and economic crisis, geopolitical power struggle, hegemonic mission, idealism, realism, utopian ideal.

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62 The Politics of Foreign Direct Investment for Socio-Economic Development in Nigeria: An Assessment of the Fourth Republic Strategies (1999 - 2014)

Authors: Muritala Babatunde Hassan

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In the contemporary global political economy, foreign direct investment (FDI) is gaining currency on daily basis. Notably, the end of the Cold War has brought about the dominance of neoliberal ideology with its mantra of private-sector-led economy. As such, nation-states now see FDI attraction as an important element in their approach to national development. Governments and policy makers are preoccupying themselves with unraveling the best strategies to not only attract more FDI but also to attain the desired socio-economic development status. In Nigeria, the perceived development potentials of FDI have brought about aggressive hunt for foreign investors, most especially since transition to civilian rule in May 1999. Series of liberal and market oriented strategies are being adopted not only to attract foreign investors but largely to stimulate private sector participation in the economy. It is on this premise that this study interrogates the politics of FDI attraction for domestic development in Nigeria between 1999 and 2014, with the ultimate aim of examining the nexus between regime type and the ability of a state to attract and benefit from FDI. Building its analysis within the framework of institutional utilitarianism, the study posits that the essential FDI strategies for achieving the greatest happiness for the greatest number of Nigerians are political not economic. Both content analysis and descriptive survey methodology were employed in carrying out the study. Content analysis involves desk review of literatures that culminated in the development of the study’s conceptual and theoretical framework of analysis. The study finds no significant relationship between transition to democracy and FDI inflows in Nigeria, as most of the attracted investments during the period of the study were market and resource seeking as was the case during the military regime, thereby contributing minimally to the socio-economic development of the country. It is also found that the country placed much emphasis on liberalization and incentives for FDI attraction at the neglect of improving the domestic investment environment. Consequently, poor state of infrastructure, weak institutional capability and insecurity were identified as the major factors seriously hindering the success of Nigeria in exploiting FDI for domestic development. Given the reality of the currency of FDI as a vector of economic globalization and that Nigeria is trailing the line of private-sector-led approach to development, it is recommended that emphasis should be placed on those measures aimed at improving the infrastructural facilities, building solid institutional framework, enhancing skill and technological transfer and coordinating FDI promotion activities by different agencies and at different levels of government.

Keywords: Foreign capital, politics, socio-economic development, FDI attraction strategies, Redemocratization.

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61 Modeling Influence on Petty Corruption Attitudes

Authors: Nina Bijedic, Drazena Gaspar, Mirsad Hadzikadic

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Corruption is an influential and widespread problem. One part of it is so-called petty corruption, related to large-scale bribe giving by ordinary citizens trying to influence the works of public administration or public services. As it is with all means of corruption, petty corruption is related to the level of democracy (or administration efficiency) in a society. The developed model captures some of the factors related to corruptive behavior, as well as people’s attitude towards petty corruption. It has four basic elements: user’s perception of corruption in the society of interest, the influence of social interactions, the influence of penalizing mechanism, and influence of campaigns against petty corruption. The model is agent-based, developed in NetLogo, with a lot of random settings that provide a wider scope of responses. Interactions of different settings for variables of elements provide insight into the influence of each element on attitude towards petty corruption, as well as petty corruptive behavior.

Keywords: Agent based model, attitude, influence, petty corruption, society.

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60 From Industry 4.0 to Agriculture 4.0: A Framework to Manage Product Data in Agri-Food Supply Chain for Voluntary Traceability

Authors: Angelo Corallo, Maria Elena Latino, Marta Menegoli

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Agri-food value chain involves various stakeholders with different roles. All of them abide by national and international rules and leverage marketing strategies to advance their products. Food products and related processing phases carry with it a big mole of data that are often not used to inform final customer. Some data, if fittingly identified and used, can enhance the single company, and/or the all supply chain creates a math between marketing techniques and voluntary traceability strategies. Moreover, as of late, the world has seen buying-models’ modification: customer is careful on wellbeing and food quality. Food citizenship and food democracy was born, leveraging on transparency, sustainability and food information needs. Internet of Things (IoT) and Analytics, some of the innovative technologies of Industry 4.0, have a significant impact on market and will act as a main thrust towards a genuine ‘4.0 change’ for agriculture. But, realizing a traceability system is not simple because of the complexity of agri-food supply chain, a lot of actors involved, different business models, environmental variations impacting products and/or processes, and extraordinary climate changes. In order to give support to the company involved in a traceability path, starting from business model analysis and related business process a Framework to Manage Product Data in Agri-Food Supply Chain for Voluntary Traceability was conceived. Studying each process task and leveraging on modeling techniques lead to individuate information held by different actors during agri-food supply chain. IoT technologies for data collection and Analytics techniques for data processing supply information useful to increase the efficiency intra-company and competitiveness in the market. The whole information recovered can be shown through IT solutions and mobile application to made accessible to the company, the entire supply chain and the consumer with the view to guaranteeing transparency and quality.

Keywords: Agriculture 4.0, agri-food supply chain, Industry 4.0, voluntary traceability.

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59 An Analytical Study on the Politics of Defection in India

Authors: Diya Sarkar, Prafulla C. Mishra

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In a parliamentary system, party discipline is the impulse; when it falls short, the government usually falls. Conceivably, the platform of Indian politics suffers with innumerous practical disorders. The politics of defection is one such specie entailing gross miscarriage of fair conduct turning politics into a game of thrones (powers). This practice of political nomaditude can trace its seed in the womb of British House of Commons. Therein, if a legislator was found to cross the floor, the party considered him disloyal. In other words, the legislator lost his allegiance to his former party by joining another party. This very phenomenon, in practice has a two way traffic i.e. ruling party to the opposition party or vice versa. The democracies like USA, Australia and Canada were also aware of this fashion of swapping loyalties. There have been several instances of great politicians changing party allegiance, for example Winston Churchill, Ramsay McDonald, William Gladstone etc. Nevertheless, it is interesting to cite that irrespective of such practice of changing party allegiance, none of the democracies in the west ever desired or felt the need to legislatively ban defections. But, exceptionally India can be traced to have passed anti-defection laws. The politics of defection had been a unique popular phenomenon on the floor of Indian Parliamentary system gradually gulping the democratic essence and synchronization of the Federation. This study is both analytical and doctrinal, which tries to examine whether representative democracy has lost its essence due to political nomadism. The present study also analyzes the classical as well as contemporary pulse of floor crossing amidst dynastic politics in a representative democracy. It will briefly discuss the panorama of defections under the Indian federal structure in the light of the anti-defection law and an attempt has been made to add valuable suggestions to streamline remedy for the still prevalent political defections.

Keywords: Constitutional law, defection, democracy, political anti-trust.

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58 Young People’s Participation in Decision-Making Using Information and Communication Technology

Authors: Marina Diković

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By giving personal opinions, suggestions and criticism through e-democracy, young people can reinforce the adoption of decisions which they have an impact on. The purpose of this research was to examine the opinion of university students about the possibility of their decision-making by using information and communication technology (ICT). The questionnaire examined young people's values and behaviour associated with e-democracy and the related decision-making. Students are most active online when it comes to finding information connected with their academic responsibilities, but less frequently take part in democratic processes in society, both at the national and local level. E-democracy as a tool can be learned in programmes of Human Rights Education and Citizenship Education. 

Keywords: Active citizens, e-democracy, information and communication technology, university students.

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57 Civic E-Participation in Central and Eastern Europe: A Comparative Analysis

Authors: Izabela Kapsa

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Civic participation is an important aspect of democracy. The contemporary model of democracy is based on citizens' participation in political decision-making (deliberative democracy, participatory democracy). This participation takes many forms of activities like display of slogans and symbols, voting, social consultations, political demonstrations, membership in political parties or organizing civil disobedience. The countries of Central and Eastern Europe after 1989 are characterized by great social, economic and political diversity. Civil society is also part of the process of democratization. Civil society, funded by the rule of law, civil rights, such as freedom of speech and association and private ownership, was to play a central role in the development of liberal democracy. Among the many interpretations of concepts, defining the concept of contemporary democracy, one can assume that the terms civil society and democracy, although different in meaning, nowadays overlap. In the post-communist countries, the process of shaping and maturing societies took place in the context of a struggle with a state governed by undemocratic power. State fraud or repudiation of the institution is a representative state, which in the past was the only way to manifest and defend its identity, but after the breakthrough became one of the main obstacles to the development of civil society. In Central and Eastern Europe, there are many obstacles to the development of civil society, for example, the elimination of economic poverty, the implementation of educational campaigns, consciousness-related obstacles, the formation of social capital and the deficit of social activity. Obviously, civil society does not only entail an electoral turnout but a broader participation in the decision-making process, which is impossible without direct and participative democratic institutions. This article considers such broad forms of civic participation and their characteristics in Central and Eastern Europe. The paper is attempts to analyze the functioning of electronic forms of civic participation in Central and Eastern European states. This is not accompanied by a referendum or a referendum initiative, and other forms of political participation, such as public consultations, participative budgets, or e-Government. However, this paper will broadly present electronic administration tools, the application of which results from both legal regulations and increasingly common practice in state and city management. In the comparative analysis, the experiences of post-communist bloc countries will be summed up to indicate the challenges and possible goals for further development of this form of citizen participation in the political process. The author argues that for to function efficiently and effectively, states need to involve their citizens in the political decision-making process, especially with the use of electronic tools.

Keywords: Central and Eastern Europe, e-participation, e-government, post-communism.

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56 The Use of Information and Communication Technologies in Electoral Procedures: Comments on Electronic Voting Security

Authors: Magdalena Musiał-Karg

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The expansion of telecommunication and progress of electronic media constitute important elements of our times. The recent worldwide convergence of information and communication technologies (ICT) and dynamic development of the mass media is leading to noticeable changes in the functioning of contemporary states and societies. Currently, modern technologies play more and more important roles and filter down to almost every field of contemporary human life. It results in the growth of online interactions that can be observed by the inconceivable increase in the number of people with home PCs and Internet access. The proof of it is undoubtedly the emergence and use of concepts such as e-society, e-banking, e-services, e-government, e-government, e-participation and e-democracy. The newly coined word e-democracy evidences that modern technologies have also been widely used in politics. Without any doubt in most countries all actors of political market (politicians, political parties, servants in political/public sector, media) use modern forms of communication with the society. Most of these modern technologies progress the processes of getting and sending information to the citizens, communication with the electorate, and also – which seems to be the biggest advantage – electoral procedures. Thanks to implementation of ICT the interaction between politicians and electorate are improved. The main goal of this text is to analyze electronic voting (e-voting) as one of the important forms of electronic democracy in terms of security aspects. The author of this paper aimed at answering the questions of security of electronic voting as an additional form of participation in elections and referenda.

Keywords: Electronic democracy, electronic participation, electronic voting, security of e-voting, ICT.

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55 Adoption and Use of an Electronic Voting System in Ghana

Authors: Isaac Kofi Mensah

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The manual system of voting has been the most widely used system of electing representatives around the globe, particularly in Africa. Due to the known numerous problems and challenges associated with the manual system of voting, many countries are migrating to the electronic voting system as a suitable and credible means of electing representatives over the manual paper-based system. This research paper therefore investigated the factors influencing adoption and use of an electronic voting system in Ghana. A total of 400 Questionnaire Instruments (QI) were administered to potential respondents in Ghana, of which 387 responded representing a response rate of 96.75%. The Technology Acceptance Model was used as the theoretical framework for the study. The research model was tested using a simple linear regression analysis with SPSS. A little of over 71.1% of the respondents recommended the Electoral Commission (EC) of Ghana to adopt an electronic voting system in the conduct of public elections in Ghana. The results indicated that all the six predictors such as perceived usefulness (PU), perceived ease of use (PEOU), perceived free and fair elections (PFFF), perceived credible elections (PCE), perceived system integrity (PSI) and citizens trust in the election management body (CTEM) were all positively significant in predicting the readiness of citizens to adopt and use an electronic voting system in Ghana. However, jointly, the hypotheses tested revealed that apart from Perceived Free and Fair Elections and Perceived Credible and Transparent Elections, all the other factors such as PU, Perceived System Integrity and Security and Citizen Trust in the Election Management Body were found to be significant predictors of the Willingness of Ghanaians to use an electronic voting system. All the six factors considered in this study jointly account for about 53.1% of the reasons determining the readiness to adopt and use an electronic voting system in Ghana. The implications of this research finding on elections in Ghana are discussed.

Keywords: Credible elections, democracy, Election Management Body (EMB), electronic voting, Ghana, Technology Acceptance Model (TAM).

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54 Corruption in India: Causes and Remedial Measures

Authors: Ghulam Nabi Naz

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After independence, the popular belief that Gandhian will not indulge in corruption got a setback, post-independence setup paved the way for heavy corruption. The menace which would have dealt with strong legal provisions has become a way of life of Indian society. Corruption is recognized as the single biggest problem facing the country today. It undermines democracy and rule of law, violates human rights, distorts market and corrodes the moral fibre of people. The paper discusses the causes and possible remedial measures of corruption and response of people in Indian society. It emphasizes the factors which provide fertile ground for growth of corruption like, degradation of moral values, absence of a strong anti-corruption law and its effective enforcement, accountability, consistency and a defective system of fighting elections. The paper also highlights the reforms necessary for fighting corruption in India.

Keywords: Embezzlement, colonial, licence Raj, good governance, misappropriation, Sangh ideologue, Anna movement.

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53 Electoral Mathematics and Asymmetrical Treatment to Political Parties: The Mexican Case

Authors: Verónica Arredondo, Miguel Martínez-Panero, Teresa Peña, Victoriano Ramírez

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The Mexican Chamber of Deputies is composed of 500 representatives: 300 of them elected by relative majority and another 200 ones elected through proportional representation in five electoral clusters (constituencies) with 40 representatives each. In this mixed-member electoral system, the seats distribution of proportional representation is not independent of the election by relative majority, as it attempts to correct representation imbalances produced in single-member districts. This two-fold structure has been maintained in the successive electoral reforms carried out along the last three decades (eight from 1986 to 2014). In all of them, the election process of 200 seats becomes complex: Formulas in the Law are difficult to understand and to be interpreted. This paper analyzes the Mexican electoral system after the electoral reform of 2014, which was applied for the first time in 2015. The research focuses on contradictions and issues of applicability, in particular situations where seats allocation is affected by ambiguity in the law and where asymmetrical treatment of political parties arises. Due to these facts, a proposal of electoral reform will be presented. It is intended to be simpler, clearer, and more enduring than the current system. Furthermore, this model is more suitable for producing electoral outcomes free of contradictions and paradoxes. This approach would allow a fair treatment of political parties and as a result an improved opportunity to exercise democracy.

Keywords: Apportionment paradoxes, biproportional representation, electoral mathematics, electoral reform, Mexican electoral system, proportional representation, political asymmetry.

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52 The Analyses of July 15 Coup Attempt through the Turkish Press

Authors: Yasemin Gülşen Yılmaz, Süleyman Hakan Yılmaz, Muhammet Erbay

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Military interventions have an important place in the Turkish Political History. Military interventions are commonly called coup in the society. By coup we mean that the armed forces seize political power either by a group of officer in the army or by chain of command. Coups not only weaken but also suspend the democracy in a country. All periods of coup created its own victims. Two military coups which took place in May 27, 1960 and September 12, 1980 are the most important ones in terms of political and social effect in the Turkish Political History. Apart these, March 12, 1971, February 28, 1997 and April 27, 2007 e-memorandum are the periods when Army submitted a memorandum and intervened the political government indirectly. Beside the memorandums and coups there were also many coup attempts that have been experienced in the Turkish Political History. In this study, we examined the coup attempted by FETO’s military members in the evening of July 15, 2016 from the point of the Turkish Press. Cumhuriyet, Haber Türk, Hürriyet, Milliyet, Sabah, Star, Yeni Akit and Yeni Şafak Newspapers which have different publication policies were examined within the scope of the study. The first pages of the newspapers dated July 16, 2016 were examined using content analysis method. The headlines, news, news headlines and the visual materials used for news were examined and the collected data were analysed.

Keywords: July 15, news, military coup, press.

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51 Developmental Social Work: A Derailed Post-Apartheid Development Approach in South Africa

Authors: P. Mbecke

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Developmental social welfare implemented through developmental social work is being applauded internationally as an approach that facilitates social development theory and practice. However, twenty-two years into democracy, there are no tangible evidences that the much-desired developmental social welfare approach has assisted the post-apartheid macroeconomic policy frameworks in addressing poverty and inequality, thus, the derailment of the post-apartheid development approach in South Africa. Based on the implementation research theory, and the literature review technique, this paper recognizes social work as a principal role-player in social development. It recommends the redesign and implementation of an effective developmental social welfare approach with specific strategies, programs, activities and sufficient resources aligned to and appropriate in delivering on the promises of the government’s macroeconomic policy frameworks. Such approach should be implemented by skilled and dedicated developmental social workers in order to achieve transformation in South Africa.

Keywords: Apartheid, developmental social welfare, developmental social work, inequality, poverty alleviation, social development, South Africa.

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50 Promoting Gender Equality within Islamic Tradition via Contextualist Approach

Authors: Ali Akbar

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The importance of advancing women’s rights is closely intertwined with the development of civil society and the institutionalization of democracy in Middle Eastern countries. There is indeed an intimate relationship between the process of democratization and promoting gender equality, since democracy necessitates equality between men and women. In order to advance the issue of gender equality, what is required is a solid theoretical framework which has its roots in the reexamination of pre-modern interpretation of certain Qurʾānic passages that seem to have given men more rights than it gives women. This paper suggests that those Muslim scholars who adopt a contextualist approach to the Qurʾānic text and its interpretation provide a solid theoretical background for improving women’s rights. Indeed, the aim of the paper is to discuss how the contextualist approach to the Qurʾānic text and its interpretation given by a number of prominent scholars is capable of promoting the issue of gender equality. The paper concludes that since (1) much of the gender inequality found in the primary sources of Islam as well as pre-modern Muslim writings is rooted in the natural cultural norms and standards of early Islamic societies and (2) since the context of today’s world is so different from that of the pre-modern era, the proposed models provide a solid theoretical framework for promoting women’s rights and gender equality.

Keywords: Contextualism, Gender equality, Islam, Women’s rights.

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49 The Impact of Governance on Happiness: Evidence from Quantile Regressions

Authors: Chiung-Ju Huang

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This study utilizes the quantile regression analysis to examine the impact of governance (including democratic quality and technical quality) on happiness in 101 countries worldwide, classified as “developed countries” and “developing countries”. The empirical results show that the impact of democratic quality and technical quality on happiness is significantly positive for “developed countries”, while is insignificant for “developing countries”. The results suggest that the authorities in developed countries can enhance the level of individual happiness by means of improving the democracy quality and technical quality. However, for developing countries, promoting the quality of governance in order to enhance the level of happiness may not be effective. Policy makers in developed countries may pay more attention on increasing real GDP per capita instead of promoting the quality of governance to enhance individual happiness.

Keywords: Governance, happiness, multiple regression, quantile regression.

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48 An Empirical Investigation of Montesquieu’s Theories on Climate

Authors: Lisa J. Piergallini

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This project uses panel regression analyses to investigate the relationships between geography, institutions, and economic development, as guided by the theories of the 18th century French philosopher Montesquieu. Contemporary scholars of political economy perpetually misinterpret Montesquieu’s theories on climate, and in doing so they miss what could be the key to resolving the geography vs. institutions debate. There is a conspicuous gap in this literature, in that it does not consider whether geography and institutors might have an interactive, dynamic effect on economic development. This project seeks to bridge that gap. Data are used for all available countries over the years 1980-2013. Two interaction terms between geographic and institutional variables are employed within the empirical analyses, and these offer a unique contribution to the ongoing geography vs. institutions debate within the political economy literature. This study finds that there is indeed an interactive effect between geography and institutions, and that this interaction has a statistically significant effect on economic development. Democracy (as measured by Polity score) and rule of law and property rights (as measured by the Fraser index) have positive effects on economic development (as measured by GDP per capita), yet the magnitude of these effects are stronger in contexts where a low percent of the national population lives in the geographical tropics. This has implications for promoting economic development, and it highlights the importance of understanding geographical context.

Keywords: Montesquieu, geography, institutions, economic development, political philosophy, political economy.

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47 Enforcement of Decisions of Ombudsmen and the South African Public Protector: Muzzling the Watchdogs

Authors: Roxan Venter

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Ombudsmen often face the challenge of a lack of authority to have their decisions and recommendations enforced. This lack of authority may be seen as one of the major obstacles in the way of the effectiveness of the institutions of Ombudsman and also the South African Public Protector. The paper will address the current legal position in South Africa with regard to the status of the decisions and recommendations of the South African Public Protector and the enforcement thereof. In addition, the paper will compare the South African position with the experiences of other jurisdictions, including Scandinavian countries like Sweden, Denmark and Norway, but also New Zealand and Northern Ireland, with regard to the enforcement of the decisions of Ombudsmen. Finally, the paper will make recommendations with regard to the enhancement of the power and authority of Ombudsmen in order to effectively enforce their decisions. It is submitted that the creation of the office of Ombudsman, and the Public Protector in the South African system, is an essential tool to ensure the protection of society against governmental abuse of power and it is therefore imperative to ensure that these watchdogs of democracy are not muzzled by a lack of powers of enforcement.

Keywords: Enforcement of decisions of Ombudsmen, Governmental control, Ombudsman, South African Public Protector.

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46 Transfigurative Changes of Governmental Responsibility

Authors: Ákos Cserny

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The unequivocal increase of the area of operation of the executive power can happen with the appearance of new areas to be influenced and its integration in the power, or at the expense of the scopes of other organs with public authority. The extension of the executive can only be accepted within the framework of the rule of law if parallel with this process we get constitutional guarantees that the exercise of power is kept within constitutional framework. Failure to do so, however, may result in the lack, deficit of democracy and democratic sense, and may cause an overwhelming dominance of the executive power. Therefore, the aim of this paper is to present executive power and responsibility in the context of different dimensions.

Keywords: Confidence, constitution, executive power, liability, parliamentarism.

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45 Democratization, Market Liberalization and the Raise of Vested Interests and Its Impacts on Anti-Corruption Reform in Indonesia

Authors: Ahmad Khoirul Umam

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This paper investigates the role of vested interests and its impacts on anti-corruption agenda in Indonesia following the collapse of authoritarian regime in 1998. A pervasive and rampant corruption has been believed as the main cause of the state economy’s fragility. Hence, anti-corruption measures were implemented by applying democratization and market liberalization since the establishment of a consolidated democracy which go hand in hand with a liberal market economy is convinced to be an efficacious prescription for effective anti-corruption. The reform movement has also mandated the establishment of the independent, neutral and professional special anti-corruption agency namely Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) to more intensify the fight against the systemic corruption. This paper will examine whether these anti-corruption measures have been effective to combat corruption, and investigate to what extend have the anti-corruption efforts, especially those conducted by KPK, been impeded by the emergence of a nexus of vested interests as the side-effect of democratization and market liberalization. Based on interviews with key stakeholders from KPK, other law enforcement agencies, government, prominent scholars, journalists and NGOs in Indonesia, it is found that since the overthrow of Soeharto, anti-corruption movement in the country have become more active and serious. After gradually winning the hearth of people, KPK successfully touched the untouchable corruption perpetrators who were previously protected by political immunity, legal protection and bureaucratic barriers. However, these changes have not necessarily reduced systemic and structural corruption practices. Ironically, intensive and devastating counterattacks were frequently posed by the alignment of business actors, elites of political parties, government, and also law enforcement agencies by hijacking state’s instruments to make KPK deflated, powerless, and surrender. This paper concludes that attempts of democratization, market liberalization and the establishment of anti-corruption agency may have helped Indonesia to reduce corruption. However, it is still difficult to imply that such anti-corruption measures have fostered the more effective anti-corruption works in the newly democratized and weakly regulated liberal economic system.

Keywords: Vested interests, democratization, market liberalization, anti-corruption, leadership.

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44 Freedom of Media, Democracy and Gezi Park

Authors: Emine Tirali

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This article provides a conceptual framework of the freedom of media and its correlation with democracy. In a democracy, media should serve the publics’ right to know and reflect human rights violations and offer options for meaningful political choices and effective participation in civic affairs. On that point, the 2013 events at Gezi Park in Turkey are a good empirical example to be discussed. During the events, when self-censorship was broadly employed by mainstream Turkish media, social media filled the important role of providing information to the public. New technologies have made information into a fundamental tool for change and growth, and as a consequence, societies worldwide have merged into a single, interdependent, and autonomous organism. For this reason, violations of human rights can no longer be considered domestic issues, but rather global ones. Only global political action is an adequate response. Democracy depends on people shaping the society they live in, and in order to accomplish this, they need to express themselves. Freedom of expression is therefore necessary in order to understand diversity and differing perspectives, which in turn are necessary to resolve conflicts among people. Moreover, freedom of information is integral to freedom of expression. In this context, the international rules and laws regarding freedom of expression and freedom of information – indispensable for a free and independent media – are examined. These were put in place by international institutions such as the United Nations, UNESCO, the Council of Europe, and the European Union, which have aimed to build a free, democratic, and pluralist world committed to human rights and the rule of law. The methods of international human rights institutions depend on effective and frequent employment of mass media to relay human rights violations to the public. Therefore, in this study, the relationship between mass media and democracy, the process of how mass media forms public opinion, the problems of mass media, the neo-liberal theory of mass media, and the use of mass media by NGOs will be evaluated.

Keywords: Freedom of expression, democracy, public opinion, self-censorship.

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43 Social Media: The Major Trigger of Online and Offline Political Activism

Authors: Chan Eang Teng, Tang Mui Joo

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With the viral factor on social media, the sense of persuasion is generated by repetition and popularity. When users’ interest is captured, political awareness increases to spark political enthusiasm, but, the level of user’s political participation and political attitude of those active users is still questionable. An online survey on 250 youth and in-depth interview on two politicians are conducted to answer the main question in this paper. The result shows that Facebook significantly increases political awareness among youths. Social media may not be the major trigger to political activism among youths as most respondents opined that they would still vote without Facebook. Other factors could be political campaigning, political climate, age, peer pressure or others. Finding also shows that majority of respondents did not participate in online political debates or political groups. Many also wondered if the social media was the main power switch that triggers the political influx among young voters. The research finding is significant to understand how the new media, Facebook, has reshaped the political landscape in Malaysia, creating the Social Media Election that changed the rules of the political game. However, research finding does not support the ideal notion that the social media is the major trigger to youth’s political activism. This research outcome has exposed the flaws of the Social Media Election. It has revealed the less optimistic side of youth political activism. Unfortunately, results fall short of the idealistic belief that the social media have given rise to political activism among youths in the 13th General Election in Malaysia. The research outcome also highlights an important lesson for the democratic discourse of Malaysia which is making informed and educated decisions takes more commitment, proactive and objective attitude.

Keywords: Social media, political participation, political activism, democracy, political communication.

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42 Inflating the Public: A Series of Urban Interventions

Authors: Veronika Antoniou, Rene Carraz, Yiorgos Hadjichristou

Abstract:

The Green Urban Lab took the form of public installations that were placed at various locations in four cities in Cyprus. These installations - through which a series of events, activities, workshops and research took place - were the main tools in regenerating a series of urban public spaces in Cyprus. The purpose of this project was to identify issues and opportunities related to public space and to offer guidelines on how design and participatory democracy improvements could strengthen civil society, while raising the quality of the urban public scene. Giant inflatable structures were injected in important urban fragments in order to accommodate series of events. The design and playful installation generated a wide community engagement. The fluid presence of the installations acted as a catalyst for social interaction. They were accessed and viewed effortlessly and surprisingly, creating opportunities to rediscover public spaces.

Keywords: Bottom-up initiatives, creativity, public space, social innovation, urban environments.

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41 Controlling Youths Participation in Politics in Sokoto State: A Constructive Inclusiveness for Good Governance in Nigeria

Authors: Umar Ubandawaki

Abstract:

Political participation involves voluntary and deliberate efforts by the members of a political system to determine the kinds of political institution and individuals that will govern them and equally influence the mobilization and allocation of the available societal resources. Over the years, youths in Nigeria participate actively in political party rallies and voting to elect their leaders and representatives in governance. This paper examines categories and nature of participation in politics as well as factors that drive youths into politics in Sokoto State. A survey conducted, through focus group discussions, interviews and questionnaire, in the six sampled Local Government of Sokoto State identifies three category of political participation; namely, active, moderate and apathetic participation. The findings reveal that 63.57% of respondents are apathetic to politics in the State and unemployed youth constitutes 34.74% of the entire responses. The paper establishes that lack of attainment of need (63.22%) is one of the reasons that make youths engage into participatory activities that encourage political thuggery and manipulation of electoral outcomes. The paper recommends that youths should be engaged into positive rational participatory activities that ensure inclusiveness and promotion of good governance in Nigeria. It is hoped that this will enlighten youths and policy implementers on the constructive strategies in controlling youths’ negative participation in politics in Nigeria.

Keywords: Democracy, Governance, Inclusiveness, Participation and Politics.

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40 Demagogues and the Challenge of Democratic Politics in Nigeria

Authors: Barnabas M. Suleiman, Ifeanyi P. Onyeonoru, Egharevba E. Matthew

Abstract:

This article interrogates the question of leadership in the context of the antidemocratic tendencies of Africa’s political leaders. The African continent has continued to struggle behind other continents of the world as a result of the failure of leadership to address the political and socio-economic challenges of the continent. Thus, bedevilled with the challenges of development, the African continent is in need of people-centred leadership. However, as the continent struggles to overcome its political and development predicaments, it is stuck in the dystopia of demagoguery that promises nothing but apocalyptic future for its teeming population. Thus, despite the enormous resources available in Africa, leadership failures have made progress difficult to achieve. At the centre of this leadership failure are demagogues: a set of leaders who have influence over a large number of people but take advantage of that influence to undermine democracy and good governance. Citing various examples across Africa, the article describes how demagogues, especially in democratic countries, have become the problem of the African continent in its quest to achieve democratic progress, development and peaceful progress.

Keywords: Africa, demagogue, good governance, democracy, leadership.

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39 The Role of Online Deliberation on Citizens’ Attitudes

Authors: Amalia Triantafillidou, Georgios Lappas, Prodromos Yannas, Alexandros Kleftodimos

Abstract:

In this paper, an experiment was conducted to assess the impact of online deliberation on citizens’ attitudes. Specifically, this research compared pre and post deliberation opinions of participants who deliberated online via an asynchronous platform regarding the issue of political opinion polls. Results indicate that online deliberation had a positive effect on citizens’ attitudes since it was found that following deliberation participants changed their views regarding public opinion polls. Specifically, online deliberation improved discussants perceptions regarding the reliability of polls, while suppressing their negative views about the misuse of polls by media, polling organizations and politicians.

Keywords: Online deliberation, attitudes change, opinion polls, e-democracy.

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38 Media Regulation and Public Sphere in the Digital Age: An Analysis in the Light of Constructive Democracy

Authors: J. Bolzan, C. Marden

Abstract:

The article proposed intends to analyze the possibility (and conditions) of a media regulation law in a democratic rule of law in the twenty-first century. To do so, will be presented initially the idea of the public sphere (by Jürgen Habermas), showing how it is presented as an interface between the citizen and the state (or the private and public) and how important is it in a deliberative democracy. Based on this paradigm, the traditional perception of the role of public information (such as system functional element) and on the possibility of media regulation will be exposed, due to the public nature of their activity. A critical argument will then be displayed from two different perspectives: a) the formal function of the current media information, considering that the digital age has fragmented the information access; b) the concept of a constructive democracy, which reduces the need for representation, changing the strategic importance of the public sphere. The question to be addressed (based on the comparative law) is if the regulation is justified in a polycentric democracy, especially when it operates under the digital age (with immediate and virtual communication). The proposal is to be presented in the sense that even in a twenty-first century the media in a democratic rule of law still has an extremely important role and may be subject to regulation, but this should be on terms very different (and narrower) from those usually defended.

Keywords: Media regulation, public sphere, digital age, constructive democracy.

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37 The Relationship between Democracy, Freedom, and Economic Development

Authors: Ugur Karakaya, Hasan Bulent Kantarcı

Abstract:

In this study, firstly democratic thoughts which directly or indirectly affect economic development and/or the interaction between authoritarian regimes and the economic development and the direction and channels of this interaction were studied and then the study tried to determine how democracy affects economic development. It was concluded that the positive contributions of democracy to economic development were more determinant than the effects that were either negative or restrictive in terms of development. When compared to autocracy, since democracy is more successful in managing social conflicts, ensuring political stability and preventing social disasters such as famine, it contributes more to economic development. Democracy also facilitates delegation of authority, provides a stable investment environment and accelerates mobilization of resources in accordance with economic growth/development. Democracy leads to an increase in human capital accumulation and increases the growth rate through reducing income inequality. It can be said that democratic regimes are the most appropriate ones in terms of increasing economic performance and supporting economic development through their strong institutional structures and the assurance they will ensure in property rights.

Keywords: Autocratic Regime, Democracy, Economic Development, Economic Freedom.

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36 Participatory Democracy to the Contemporary Problems of Polish Social Policy

Authors: Agnieszka Szczudlińska-Kanoś

Abstract:

Socio-economic development, which is seen around the world today, has contributed to the emergence of new problems of a social nature. Different political, historical, geographical or economic conditions cause that, in addition to global issues of social policy such as an aging population, unemployment, migration, countries, regions, there are also specific new problems that require diagnosis, individualized approach and efficient, planned solutions. These should include, among others, digital addiction, peer violence, obesity among children, the problem of ‘legal highs’, stress, depression, diseases associated with environmental pollution etc. The central authorities, selected most often with the tools specific to representative democracy, that is, the general election, for many reasons, inter alia, organizational, communication, are not able to effectively diagnose their intensity, territorial distribution, and thus to effectively fight them. This article aims to show how in Poland, citizens influence solving problems related to the broader social policy implemented at the local government level and indicates the possibilities of improving those solutions. The conclusions of theoretical analysis have been supported by empirical studies, which tested the use of instruments of participatory democracy in the planning and creation of communal strategies for solving social problems in one of the Polish voivodeships.

Keywords: Commune, democracy, participation, social policy, social problems.

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35 Governance and Economic Growth: Evidence of Ten Asian Countries

Authors: Chiung-Ju Huang

Abstract:

This study utilizes a frequency domain approach over the period of 1996 to 2013 to examine the causal relationship between governance and economic growth in ten Asian countries, which have different levels of democracy; classified as “Free”, “Partly Free”, and “Not Free” countries. The empirical results show that there is no Granger causality running from governance to economic growth in “Not Free” countries and “Partly Free” countries with the exception of Singapore. As for “Free” countries such as South Korea and Taiwan, there is a one-way causality running from governance to economic growth. The findings of this study indicate that policy makers in South Korea, Taiwan, and Singapore could use governance index to improve their predictions of the future economic growth.

Keywords: Economic growth, frequency domain, governance, Granger causality.

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34 Botswana and Nation-Building Theory

Authors: Rowland M. Brucken

Abstract:

This paper argues nation-building theories that prioritize democratic governance best explain the successful postindependence development of Botswana. Three main competing schools of thought exist regarding the sequencing of policies that should occur to re-build weakened or failed states. The first posits that economic development should receive foremost attention, while democratization and a binding sense of nationalism can wait. A second group of experts identified constructing a sense of nationalism among a populace is necessary first, so that the state receives popular legitimacy and obedience that are prerequisites for development. Botswana, though, transitioned into a multi-party democracy and prosperous open economy due to the utilization of traditional democratic structures, enlightened and accountable leadership, and an educated technocratic civil service. With these political foundations already in place when the discovery of diamonds occurred, the resulting revenues were spent wisely on projects that grew the economy, improved basic living standards, and attracted foreign investment. Thus democratization preceded, and therefore provided an accountable basis for, economic development that might otherwise have been squandered by greedy and isolated elites to the detriment of the greater population. Botswana was one of the poorest nations in the world at the time of its independence in 1966, with little infrastructure, a dependence on apartheid South Africa for trade, and a largely subsistence economy. Over the next thirty years, though, its economy grew the fastest of any nation in the world. The transparent and judicious use of diamond returns is only a partial explanation, as the government also pursued economic diversification, mass education, and rural development in response to public needs. As nation-building has become a project undertaken by nations and multilateral agencies such as the United Nations and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, Botswana may provide best practices that others should follow in attempting to reconstruct economically and politically unstable states.

Keywords: Botswana, democratization, economic development, nation-building.

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