IPAInstitute for Political AnalysisProf. Dr. Volker von Prittwitz
Active DefenseAny state is based on the ability and the will to defend its territory (external sovereignty). That’s why states principally dispose at military capacities and operate with the claim of ruling also with force.Existential threats such as terrorism, indeed, can emerge also within a territory - leading to the legitimation of active defense and force within states (internal sovereignty). Hence since the historical upcoming of absolutism (Bodin 1576), princes, later states have claimed external and internal sovereignty, that is absolute power. This claim, in turn, has been reestablished by democratic states with regard to external or internal threats for the public. With the emergence of imperialism and the upcoming of international movements, indeed, the claim on a forceful internal and external defense capacity of states often widens; since territories to be defended have considered then no longer only within certain national borders. Although the main aera of imperalism (19th century) is over, increasing functional arguments can be activated for defending own interests because of globalization - a connection that is usually issued by powerful great countries, but could be issued also by smaller and less powerful countries. In any case the formula of national defense leads to some trouble in the international and global politics: Competing claims of diverse states imply a kind of anomic structure and legitimate even military interventions - see the Ukrain conflict. Facing this situation, only legitimated international coordination based on decisions of the United Nations appears to be the wright way to get out of this mess.In that sense, global cooperation against terrorism and military attacks should be intended. Particularly the middle range and smaller states should pursue a consequent policy of strengthening and reforming the UN - in their own interests and the global interest. A fundamentally problematical feature of nation state’s active defense is its principally unlimited legitimation. If power is exerted without any hindrance, a one-dimensional power system that seems to be simple and clear comes into existence. This kind of unlimited power, indeed, implies many disadvantages and problematical features: •If individual leaders are not well-minded, unlimited power can get fatal for the public.•Systems of absolute power exhibit characteristic short-comings such as motivation deficits of lower levels, communication deficits with fatal dysfunctions, difficulties of learning, adaption, and innovation.•Finally, those systems fail to the degree they lack power at all levels.Hence another basic type of governance has come up in modern times, bound governance.Bound GovernanceDifferent from the governance type of active defense, bound governance historically developed a) stimulated by cultural challenges, joyful games, and learning, b) by challenges of everyday management, particularly the development of law. This governance type works as a two-level system of the operative level and the rule level: Although the rule level and the operative level address them reciprocally, they work strictly autonomously: Whoever dominates the rule level, is not the king at the operative level, and vice versa. Thus a good tennis player (operative actor) need not to have power at the rule level, and vice versa: A top manager or arbitrary does not need to be a top level tennis player…In contrast, both levels have strictly to be divided in order to fulfill their specific functions. Otherwise the specific advantage ob bound governance breaks down because the system would turn into a simple one-level system or an anomy.This pattern marks the basic structure of democracy: People live together by free will, coordinated according to jointly accepted rules, as equal and free persons. Concretely this basic structure is differentiated under some aspects:•Laws and other authoritative program foundations of concrete coordination (rule level) are resolved based on legally fixed procedures. Hence there is a cascade of bound governance structures - mostly reaching from a written constitution up to concrete coordination acts by governments or other actors. •Representative actors are regularly elected (or de-elected) by the people - constituing a regular feed back to how representative rule actors behave.•Diverse contacts between representative rule actors, particularly politicians (deputies), and the public are allowed. Indeed, one-sided forms of buying certain decisions by certain operative actors (corruption) are strictly forbidden.•Politicians are not only empowered to, but committed to act according to their own conscience. Insofar they are both free and bound to democratic basic norms.•The public (media) often serve as tools of making political or normative pressure on certain politicians. Altogether we see a relatively complex structure of bound governance beeing characteristic for democracy.
An action systemCertainly, a well-fortified democracy is necessary for being on guard towards barbaric violence; a real chance to overcome this violence and to meet other challenges, however, results only from thinking and acting in terms of action systems. Possible cornerstones of such a system of challenged democracy are, a) active defense (safeguard) and bound governance (See also action systems in specific issue-areas such as environmental protection: active defense, risk management, structural ecologization).At it, active defense denotes being on guard concerning current threats as well as fighting against violent attacks. Bound governance (see above) constitutes the normative order and structural core of any democracy. Integration, finally, denotes a soft requirement of binding See the case of Molenbeek, Brussel’s … Defective democracies? If the periodic holding of political elections is regarded as making up democracy, other institutional patterns such as civil rights, the division of powers, or a functioning state, seem only to embed democracy (if they are considered relevant at all). According to this concept of embedded democracy, democracy is possible, also if one or several embedding regimes fail - resulting in various types of defective democracysuch as:•exclusive democracy (parts of population are excluded from universal suffrage),•delegative democracy (one branch of government becomes powerful enough to control the entire government),•domain democracy (veto power of domain actors aside of elected actors),•illiberal democracy (failing civil rights, division of powers).By using this concept, all political regimes that operate with political elections are classified as democracies - independently from whether they allow to strive at absolute power or not and whether human rights are protected or not. Even groups that strife at destroying democracy such as right wing and left wing extremists as well as religious fundamentalists can claim to act democratically according to this concept - simply by referring to a possible majority of votes for their programs. Resumed, just the main enemies of democracy can claim to be democrats in a way - a fatal conceptual diffusion and a fatal practical contradiction.Functional democracyFacing the described inconsistency of the defective democracy approach, the concept of functional democracyhas been developed. Accordingly, democracy can only work (function) based on three requirements: governance of the people (human rights), governance by the people (participation) and governance for the people (coordination). At it, the peoplemeans a) the collective of, b) the sum of all persons and groups in a unit of reference (for instance a country) - including weak and marginalized persons and groups.These three basic functions work reciprocally together, as showed in the following. Figure 1: The democracy cycleSpecific interrelations are:•Protected human rights (of the people) enable fair and free procedures of participation. Additionally they help to make coordination work for the people. •Participation (by the people) is, according to the principle of self-interest, the only reliable control and stimulus of coordination for the people.•Coordination for the people (maximizing the general welfare) is the substantial aim of democracy. It renders technical, economic, social, juridical, and cultural capacities to run a democracy, and it legitimates such a complex order best.Facing these interrelations, only a system with protected human rights, participation, and effective coordination for the people can work as democracy; if only one of these requirements is not fulfilled, a democracy cannot emerge, and an existing demorcracy turns into another system such as autocracy, anomy, or a hybrid. Hence the denotation illiberal democracy(without protected human rights) is deceptive and misleading. Quantification: The People IndexHow far functional requirements of democracy are realized can
empirically be assessed with The People Index (TPI). This index, that is deduced from the model of functional democracy, measures the protection of human rights, participation, and coordination for the people, based on the investigation of 13 questions.The results are systematically sorted according to a three-third structure: •Democracy is attested only if the measured scores for all three criterions reach more than 66.7% (upper third).•Anomy is attested if the measured scores for all three criterions reach less than 33.3% (lower third).•Autocracy is attested if the score for human rights lies under 33.3%, while the score for coordination lies distinctly higher (over 33.3%, may be higher than 66.7%).•All other constellations are sorted as hybrids. These hybrids are differentiated into four types: a) democracy-near hybrids with both scores over 66.7% and under 66.7%, b) middle-range hybrids (all scores between 33.3% and 66.7%), c) anomy-near hybrids with both scores under and over 33.3%, d) full range hybrids with scores in all three thirds. Additionally, they can be qualitatively sorted according to their specific constellations - see for instance Namibia, a country with formally protected human rights (over 66.7%), but low coordination status (as of 42.9%) with an extremely unequal distribution of incomes and properties. Democratic and autocratic participationA specific learning result from the hitherto done studies with The People Index refers to participation: Whenever human rights are effectively protected, participation has fundamentally democratic character. Therefore democracies strictly need protected human rights and developed participation. Vice versa, classical autocracies such as monarchies usually exhibit very low degrees of participation - currently see for example Saudi Arabia (participation score: 11.7%). In contrast, participation does not guarantee democracy whenever human rights are not protected. Thus totalitarian states, the strict counterpart to democracies, often operate with kinds of extended participation - see for instance the German Nazi-system between 1933 and 1945. This system operated with a series of popular decisions and a developed order of multi-level implementation including some free space of decision-making within the ruling ideology - for instance, think of National socialist caretakers that often practically decided whether to search for hidden Jews and other enemiesmore or less intensively to send them to concentration camps. That’s why not only the opinion that elections would be a sufficient indicator of democracy is blatantly wrong; also the identification of any political participation with democracy fails; aside of democratic participation, rather, autocratic participation is possible and significant, too. Democratic violence?In a democracy all involved actors and the public are free to have any opinion and to argue however they want. According freedoms such as the freedoms of opinion, religion, press, and demonstration belong to basic accomplishments of democracy. Indeed, these freedoms presuppose that everyone respects the same freedoms of all others, particularly through the waiver of any violence and through respectful communication. Hence democrats communicate in free, but respectful ways with one another and toward thirds; since human rights are indivisibly valid for everybody within or without a certain political unit, amongst them women, weak, or anyhow marginalized persons.Starting from these ascertainment, any intra-systemic communication in the logic of war (in terms of enemies) does not belong to a democracy; in the contrary, as soon as actors start interacting in the logic of war, democracy is in great danger. With the prevailing turning to the logic of (internal) war, a democracy is gone. That’s why such ways of communication should be strictly avoided or held down in a democracy - a main function of political correctness (indeed a complex and in border areas contradictional challenge). Even the approach of violent revolution against an authoritarian ruler, that is the external usage of the logic of war, is very ambivalent for democrats: Indeed, real chances to change a totalitarian or authoritarian system into a democracy should be used. But to fight against an authoritarian ruler violently implicates the high risk of turning oneself into an authoritarian or totalitarian fighter; since the logic of war is per se totalitarian. This risk doubles in cases where an autocratic system is militarilly strong - with the consequence of a long lasting war instead of democracy.Against this background, any legitimation of violent resistance against an authoritarian ruler, for instance by the reproachful formula: violence against the own people, is highly ambivalent: As important public information about violence by ruling autorities often is, there must not be any automatic legitimation of violent resistance, that is war.I consider the usage of systematic force against a ruling political system only legitimate if a) the system essentially threats democracies, b) there is a realistic chance to overcome it - see the war against the Nazis or the current war against the Islamic State. The Guardian-text on Hungary’s wright-wing governmenthttp://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/oct/29/budapest-viktor-orban-democracy-edge-hungaryBoell-Stitung zu Ungarn: Andreas Borowski 2012:https://www.boell.de/de/node/276334Benjamin Abi/New Statesmenhttp://www.newstatesman.com/austerity-and-its-discontents/2013/04/hungary-no-longer-democracyCicero zu Ungarns gelenkter Demokratie:http://www.cicero.de/ungarn-im-spannugnsfeld-zwischen-eu-und-russland-wie-viktor-orban-ungarn-putinisiert/58894 Bester Artikel:…http://www.wiwo.de/politik/europa/ungarn-ist-die-demokratie-in-gefahr/9718590-2.htmlhttp://www.spiegel.de/politik/deutschland/rechtsextreme-ueberrumpeln-berliner-senat-mit-massenaufmarsch-a-1082065.htmlRechtsextreme Demo mit Hass-Sprüchen in MittePoland: No lurch to the right, but old Sovjet traditions in mind…http://www.politico.eu/article/poland-
Governance Types and Political SystemsVolker von Prittwitz (March 24, 2016)Worldwide democracy is meanwhile challenged through both violent barbary and so-called forms of illiberal democracy. A chance to meet these challenges effectively results only from thinking and acting in terms of active defense and bound governance. In the article, these concepts are outlined theoretically, followed by specific references to current terrorism, coordination poblems in the EU, and outer relations to hybrids and clear autocracies.