February 5, 2017

The endogenous democide of Spain

From Theorising Democide: Why and How Democracies Fail:
Ko Maeda has made the case that ‘research on the determinants of democratic durability can be advanced by paying closer attention to the manner by which democracies are terminated.’ Specifically for Maeda, we need to pay closer attention to two distinct types of democratic breakdowns: endogenous termination and exogenous termination
Exogenous termination: when democracy and its popularly elected government are overthrown by forces external to the democracy and government. Spain suffered a coup d'état in February 23rd, 1981.
Endogenous termination:‘where democratically elected leaders ended the democratic process themselves’,endogenous terminations occur most frequently as the result of acts ‘suspending the constitution, arresting the opposition politicians, restricting the activities of the mass media, or rigging electoral results’. Against the conventional assumption that democracies do not self-immolate, there has been little or at least a great deal less attention paid to breakdowns of democracies whose source stems from democratic practices and institutions themselves. But as Maeda is quick to identify, this assumption has been problematic given the empirical data, which suggests that some 40 per cent of all democratic breakdowns which occurred between 1950 and 2004 were due to  endogenous factors. Democracies fail, and they do so not because of some extrinsic or exogenous factor. Indeed, almost half of all democracies that have collapsed during the last half century have done so as a result of endogenous causes: that is, democratic  reasons and processes. In other words, there is something intrinsic to democracy that makes it prone to self-destruct.
When incapable of redressing the political crises they have manufactured  themselves,whether because of individual freedoms, bureaucratic morass or the sluggishness of democratic politics, the claim is that democracies can die by their own hand. They have, in Keane’s words, ‘suffered and died under several bad moons’, another of which he claims ‘is now rising over all democracy’ In contrast to its more common meaning – the murder of a person or people by their government – the theory of democide put forward in this book focuses instead on a people who elect, by more or less democratic means, to murder their democracy.
This is precisely what will begin tomorrow. The indictment of our former president and 4 ministers confirms the process of democide of Spain.