The End Of The Cold War Essays

The End of the Cold War Essay

1842 Words8 Pages

The end of the Cold War and the dissolution of the Soviet Union resulted in major shift in United States foreign policy. For years, the United States supported tyrannical dictators in return for stable anti-communist government receptive to United States interests. The Cold War resulted in a new world order with the United States as the lone global hegemonic power. In Eastern Europe in particular, the end of the Cold War ushered in an era of economic growth and a large increase in the number of liberal democracies. Although the world saw a large increase in liberal democracies, a new regime type referred to as competitive authoritarianism began to emerge. According to Levitsky and Way, “In competitive authoritarian regimes, formal…show more content…

In these systems, the regimes possess some of these characteristics but have found ways to manipulate the system to consolidate their power. “Rather than openly violating democratic rules (for example, by banning or repressing the opposition and the media), incumbents are more likely to use bribery, co-optation, and more subtle forms of persecution, such as the use of tax authorities, compliant judiciaries, and other state agencies to ‘legally’ harass, persecute, or extort cooperative behavior from critics” . While it is apparent that these regimes are not fully democratic, it would be unfair to label them as fully authoritarian either. Unlike traditional totalitarian governments, the persistence of true democratic institutions in competitive authoritarian regimes allows the opposition to contest, weaken and occasionally even defeat autocratic incumbents. While these situations are generally uncommon, these situations are possible in competitive authoritarianism due to four independent means, the electoral arena, the legislature, the judiciary and the media. These four branches are virtually independent of the executive control however, unlike in democracies, the competitive authoritarian regimes use its power to undermine their independence. “In regards to the electoral arena, large-scale abuses of state power, biased media coverage, harassment of opposition candidates and activists are widespread, legislatures tend to be relatively weak, the

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The End Of The Cold War

The end of the Cold War and the dissolution of the Soviet Union resulted in major shift in United States foreign policy. For years, the United States supported tyrannical dictators in return for stable anti-communist government receptive to United States interests. The Cold War resulted in a new world order with the United States as the lone global hegemonic power. In Eastern Europe in particular, the end of the Cold War ushered in an era of economic growth and a large increase in the number of liberal democracies. Although the world saw a large increase in liberal democracies, a new regime type referred to as competitive authoritarianism began to emerge. According to Levitsky and Way, “In competitive authoritarian regimes, formal democratic institutions are widely viewed as the principal means of obtaining and exercising political authority. Incumbents violate those rules so often and to such an extent, however, that the regime fails to meet conventional minimum standards for democracy” . In labeling these regimes as authoritarian and not democratic, Levitsky and Way place emphasis on the importance of differentiating these questionable regimes from prototypical democracies. In their definition they argue that all democracies have four inherent traits; “Executives and legislatures are chosen through Elections that are open, free, and fair, virtually all adults possess the right to vote, political rights and civil liberties, including freedom of the press, association, to criticize the government are protected and elected authorities possess real authority to govern, in that they are not subject to the tutelary control of military or clerical leaders” . These, Levitsky and Way argue are fundamental for the prospects of democracy. Despite these deviations, the authors refuse to label all regimes without these characteristics as intrinsically authoritarian. In these systems, the regimes possess some of these characteristics but have found ways to manipulate the system to consolidate their power. “Rather than openly violating democratic rules (for example, by banning or repressing the opposition and the media), incumbents are more likely to use bribery, co-optation, and more subtle forms of persecution, such as the use of tax authorities, compliant judiciaries, and other state agencies to ‘legally’ harass, persecute, or extort cooperative behavior from critics” . While it is apparent that these regimes are not fully democratic, it would be unfair to label them as fully authoritarian either. Unlike traditional totalitarian governments, the persistence of true democratic institutions in competitive authoritarian regimes allows the opposition to contest, weaken and occasionally even defeat autocratic incumbents. While these situations are generally uncommon, these situations are possible in competitive authoritarianism due to four independent means, the electoral arena, the legislature, the judiciary and the media. These four branches are virtually...

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9738 words - 39 pages Origins of the Cold War Author(s): Arthur Schlesinger Jr. Source: Foreign Affairs, Vol. 46, No. 1 (Oct., 1967), pp. 22-52 Published by: Council on Foreign Relations Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/20039280 . Accessed:...

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