Making democracy safe for the world a game theory analysis of the impact of elites on the democratization process
Gregg, Heather S.
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The United States has made the spread of democracy one of its foreign policy pillars. Partial conflict analysis presents a means for examining the democratization process and developing an optimized solution in order to achieve this goal. This thesis explores two approaches to democratization: top-down and bottom-up. A top-down approach begins by building civic identity through the establishment of liberal institutions that foster democratic ideals at the national level and propagate down to the individual. A bottom-up approach begins by developing social capital within individuals, continues by forming civic and political associations, and culminates in a national, democratic identity. Each avenue exhibits unique strengths and weaknesses and its effectiveness is measured using eight criteria. In democratization, national elites represent the most significant variable due to their power and influence. Elites fall into two categories: self-oriented and servant-oriented. Based on game theory analysis, transitioners favor the top-down approach, servant-oriented elites favor accepting democracy, and self-oriented elites favor rejecting democracy. Analysis predicts that democratization will succeed whenever transitioners encounter sufficient servant-oriented elites (35%) to induce national elite support. Where servant-oriented elites are inadequate, transitioners must boost their influence, or offer incentives to obtain elite support. Otherwise, attempts at democratization will likely fail.
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