Democratization refers to the transition process within a nation to a more democratic political system. These transitions may be from authoritarian to either full or semi-democracy or from a semi-democratic system to a full democratic regime. The outcome of such processes may either be beneficial to the organization or reversal in other cases such as that in Argentina. The diverse patterns observed in democratization often predict other political phenomena such as economic growth and war. Certain factors, including civil society, history and economic development influence democratization. Seemingly, Russia moved progressively towards its idealized form of democracy. Contributing factors such improved economy facilitated democratization in the country. Contributing factors to democratization in Russia not only facilitated its transition to a full egalitarian state but also designed the type of democratization.
In order to understand the democratic tendency in Russia, it is vital to define the term democracy. Within this context, democracy is a system in which both citizens and the government can participate in state affairs by mutually respecting equal rights of citizens within a regulatory officially permitted order that protects limits and defines those limits. From a narrow perspective, democratization in Russia refers to policies enforced by Gorbachev Mikhail together with his close associates from 1987 to 1991 (Chandler 37). Interpretations of the term democracy in Russia diverged essentially from global definitions. According to their perceived definition, democratization implied increased engagement with other political parties, increased open discussions on economic and cultural issues as well as some expansion of relaxation of restriction. However, it restricted the electoral competition for power.
Depending on the experience and legacy of Khrushchev’s law, Gorbachev insisted on democratization by following the slogan pattern that promised on more socialism and more democracy. Progressive steps towards democratization in the country began from the local levels in 1987 when electoral democracy took place involving the Central Committee plenum. Increased numbers of electoral contests in various towns in the state together with Gorbachev’s involvement facilitated the opening of the first congress, in 1989 (Uhlin 158). This market the peak of Gorbachev’s goals of attaining democratization while disappointing the previous realities of democracy among state officials. By 1990, all ideologies based on one union form of democracy shifted away. Resulting from the events from 1988 to 1991, Russia acquired an institutionalized procedural democracy, which provided its citizens freedom against decisive influence from authorities.
The rise of democracy in Russia upgraded beyond the political levels. Higher levels of education correlate with democracy in a given state. An educated nation presents a platform for independent thinking on pro-democratic and more liberal ideas. Similarly, the presence of uneducated people promotes authoritarian forms of government since individuals lack necessary knowledge regarding their role in electing leaders and they often fall subject to voting for populist politicians (Uhlin 158). Due to increased education levels in Russia, activists such as Gorbachev acquired the power to influence development of democracy in the region. In fact, his acquired knowledge together with that of other learned citizens formed an associate where they expressed their ideas regarding leadership and democracy. Using Gorbachev as their mouthpiece and associate, their ideas actualized and resulted in the present democratic regime in the country.
The previous experience of a country regarding democracy influences its democratic establishments. The fact that the country was semi-democratic facilitated its progression towards becoming a democratic nation. The presence of a semi-democratic regime presented oppressing situations, mostly on aspiring leaders to experience freedom. The fact that its government only allowed the participation of one union presented a challenge among individuals aspiring to be leaders. This meant that the country’s decisions solely depended on the decision made by the existing union (Uhlin 158). Some of these decisions went astray from political ideologies of aspiring leaders. Therefore, citizens acquired the thirst of having and experiencing full democracy.
Intrigued by this phenomenon, Gorbachev together with his associates pushed by liberation and their efforts bore fruits. Additionally, models on contributing factors to democratization in Russia indicate that its economy was part of the driving force. These models correlate with the modernization theory where economic development facilitates democratic transitions (Ross 99). By 1988, Russia had an established economic industry, marking developments from the past. Though the relationship between wealth and democracy do not directly influence each other, the presence of a developed economy had significant effects on the transition. Economic development means increased channels for conducting businesses, which facilitates democratization.
Factors that Led to Democratization
In every transition, there are contributing factors with which individuals should be able to distinguish them from the exact factors. In this context, the presence of emancipative values among various citizens and human empowerment led to democratization. By definition, emancipation refers to the various efforts to acquire equality or political rights among individuals in an organized setting. Emancipative values portrayed by Gorbachev and his associates display their thirst for democracy. It enables them engage in elite discussions amongst themselves on various strategies to employ in order to experience a full democracy. The fact that Gorbachev fought against all odds and pushed for better electoral policies created the backbone of democratization in Russia.
Contributing Factors on the Type of Democracy
Russia’s transition from a semi-democratic government to a full democratic country depended on various factors. Although there was a pre-existing democratic regime in Russia, its ideologies pertaining to egalitarianism differed from universal definitions of democracy. It did not practice full democracy due to lack of diverse electoral contestation. Lack diverse leadership regimes facilitated the rise of resistance to the rule. Thirst for the power to rule regardless of the leader’s party motivated citizens such as Gorbachev as well as his associates to revolt against such rulings(Local Politics 58). Additionally, their emancipative values partly influenced the country’s transition to a full democratic state. Therefore, interrelationship between these two factors facilitated the country’s changeover from a partially democratic state to a full democratic nation.
is among the few countries that experience full democratic independence in the
world. Its transition from a semi-democratic country to a full egalitarian
nation resulted due to certain factors. The disillusionment accompanied with
democratization of the Russian nation led to elite discussions pertaining to
its importance while weighing them against the potentiallosses. Some view the transition as an obstacle in the sense that
it demotivates market reforms while others view it as a progressive approach
towards acquiring malleability in times when economic collapse would be
threatening. However, most credit on the transition falls on the efforts and techniques
employed by Gorbachev, as well as his associates. Their emancipative values,
human empowerment and political flexibility facilitated democratization in Russia.
democratization existed due to the presence of other indirect factors such as
the country’s economy and education levels.
Chandler, Andrea M. Shocking Mother Russia: Democratization, Social Rights, and Pension Reform in Russia, 1990-2001. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2004. Print.
Local Politics and Democratization in Russia. Basees/routledge Series on Russian and East European Studies. Taylor & Francis, 2008. Print.
Ross, Cameron. Local Politics and Democratization in Russia. London: Routledge, 2009. Print.
Uhlin, Anders. Post-soviet Civil Society: Democratization in Russia and the Baltic States. London: Routledge, 2006. Print.