This journal issue is devoted to Latin American politics after democratic transition. The introductory chapter consists of five sections. Section 1 highlights the difficulty and uncertainty of the processes of democratic transition and consolidation in Latin America, while at the same time emphasizing the remarkable resilience that Latin American democracies have shown through these years. This resilience is in part explained by the collective defense of democracy which is incorporated in the principles of the Inter-American System. Section 2 takes up the issue of the low quality of Latin American democracies, evident in the continued violation of human rights, the lack of effective civilian control of the military, deficient application of the principle of the rule of law, and the concentration of power into the hands of the executive combined with a politically inactive public, a phenomenon sometimes called “delegative democracy.” The low quality of Latin American democracies, coupled with its deficient performance in the area of economic improvement, public safety and corruption, causes disenchantment among people, making them apathetic and caring little about the future of democracy. Section 3 problematizes the definition of democracy. Due to the low quality of Latin American democracies, a number of authors feel uncomfortable with the minimalist definition, which classifies regimes as democratic as long as there are fair and competitive elections. While it is reasonable to exclude social and economic desiderata from the definition in order to maintain its minimal distinctiveness, a more meaningful definition of democracy should pay less attention to elections and more on civil liberties. Robert Dahl's concept of polyarchy, while valuable for other purposes, is inadequate in that public contestation, one of its two dimensions, does not include explicitly the absence of repression of, and arbitrary exercise of power toward, politically inarticulate and inactive people. Section 4 briefly considers the transformation of politics now underway in Latin America. A first transformation is the fact that domestic politics is more and more integrated with phenomena outside its borders. This is not only seen in the often devastating impact of economic fluctuations from abroad, but also in the collective defense of democracy and human rights, a notable trend since the 1990s. A second and deeper transformation concerns the relationship between state and society and changing consciousness and political behavior of ordinary people. Many phenomena and problems seen in the industrialized world are also occurring in Latin America, though in a modified form and overlapping with those more characteristic of the region. In studying these transformations, we should be careful not to attribute everything to neoliberal transformations of Latin American economy. Finally, the chapter closes with the brief introduction of the feature articles.
In Mexico, the PRI (Institutional Revolutionary Party) had been in power since 1929, winning every regularly-held uncompetitive election. But the split of the PRI reformist faction and its challenge to PRI government in the 1988 presidential election led to the crisis of this one-party-dominant authoritarian regime. After a Pyrrhic victory, the president-elect Carlos Salinas announced that the time of the one party system was over. Here the democratization began. The purpose of this article is to examine the process of transition to democracy in Mexico and discuss the possibility of its consolidation. First, I examine how the PRI regime democratized, focusing on a series of electoral reforms (1990, 93, 94, 96) negotiated among government and political parties. Second, I analyze how the emerging competitive environment transformed Mexican political society, i. e. party system, president and legislature. Third, I consider one of the most serious challenges to Mexican consolidation: the rule of law. I argue that during peaceful, gradual and prolonged transition, characterized by incessant pact-building among political parties, a stable “three-party system” emerged, which worked considerably well in the presidential and federal constitutional framework. But, while Mexican democracy has become consolidated institutionally, its legitimacy still remains rather low because of the inability of governments to improve deteriorating public order and oppose corruption.
In today's Colombia, more than ten thousand people, including many civilians, are killed every year as a result of intensive armed conflicts and terrorist attacks. Also there are about three thousand kidnaps per year, mostly civilians, politicians and journalists, committed by guerrillas and paramilitary squads. All this victimization has been brought about by the country's recent socio-political situation, which Colombians refer to simply as la violencia. The authors of la violencia are divided into three categories. First, the Marxist anti-government guerrilla groups which mainly consist of two organizations, the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) with eighteen thousand soldiers and the smaller National Liberation Army (ELN) with three thousand soldiers. Second, the Colombia-based international drug trafficking cartels with hired gunmen and terrorists. Third, the ultra-rightist paramilitary squads integrated into an organization called the United Self-defense Forces of Colombia (AUC). All these groups are engaged in either attacking the national armed forces and police forces or fighting each other. This has resulted in the creation of a civil war-like situation throughout the country. The main reasons why Colombia has fallen into such a desperate situation are above all the wide disparity in wealth between the rich and the poor, social injustice and corruption. In addition, however, we can point to the lack of governability to contain these illegal armed groups or the hardline policies designed to resolve the conflicts only through a show of a force during past two decades. In short, recent years have witnessed a paralysis of democracy in Colombian politics and society. Theoretically, a modern nation-state legitimizes its monopoly of violence via national military and police forces to secure national security and law and order and to maintain its ultimate power. But in Colombia's case, the existence of several forces in opposition to the national ones is challenging the sovereignty of the state. This sovereignty is further challenged by the 42, 000km2 so-called “demilitarized zone” in the middle of the country which was established as a result of peace talks between the government and FARC in 1999. The existence of this demilitarized zone where no official army or police personnel can enter is evidence of Colombian sovereignty being at bay. In 1999, the government led by President Pastrana launched a comprehensive policy package named “Plan Colombia” to ease this situation by putting an end to armed conflicts. The government requested the international community to provide a billion dollars of financial assistance to implement this plan. The aim of this paper is, firstly, to take a general view of the illegal armed groups; secondly, to assess past governments' policies toward la violencia; and finally, to critically analyze the “Plan Colombia”. The author concludes that the Plan is too simplistic and one-sided to resolve the armed conflicts and demonstrates per se the critical situation of Colombian democracy.
The purpose of this article is to take a brief overview of the politics of memory about human rights violations in Uruguay and consider the meaning of the Commission for Peace, which was formed by President Jorge Batlle in 2000. Uruguay was well known as one of the most democratic countries in Latin America, but in 1960's the immobilism of traditional party politics caused the rise of leftist guerrilla movement, known as Tupamaros. The armed forces, which enunciated the National Security Doctrine, fought a Dirty War with their own citizens before and during the de fact regime (1973-1985). Many people were arrested or imprisoned, tortured or disappeared. After democratization, parliament passed impunity law which terminated the punishment of human rights violations by the military regime without any official and effective Truth and Reconciliation Committee and/or any apology by government. The social movement which was intended to nullify the impunity law by referendum failed because of the double dealing by politicians who had made secret promises with the military to assure their impunity in return for democratization. There were no investigations on forced disappearances except for nominal investigations by the military whose own organization had committed those crimes until Batlle established the Commission for Peace. Batlle is the first president prepared to talk about problems of forced disappearance in Uruguay. But this commission has some disabilities to reconcile memories of the military and their victims, because the military have not acknowledged their human rights violations until now. And the impunity law which contradicts the obligations of state parties to international laws which Uruguay has ratified. Those are the contradictions of the politics of memory by Batlle.
Latin America has entered the “Democratic Era, ” in which “democracies” are sustained in many countries. However, considerable doubts exist as regards the “quality” of some “democracies.” Influential interpretations posit that a typical pattern of “democracies with bad qualities” appears with “neopopulism.” Some suppose that that type of politics will persist in the region. Analyses of “neopopulism” (including the possibility of its recurrence) can be useful for the understanding of the present and future state of Latin American “democracies.” Basically, there are two types of approaches to Latin American populism, which focus on the different elements of the phenomenon; the one focuses on a particular political style of the leader/mass relationship and electoral mobilization of the mass by the leader, while the structuralist school of social sciences points out that a core feature of populism (the “populist state”) was the fact that it pursued a project of capitalist development in a form of the politics based on the working-class support, which was possible by the character of the first phase of ISI. Classical populism of J. Perón, G. Vargas, or L. Cárdenas had both elements, which has made possible many definitions of populism with various combination of the two approaches mentioned above. Facing the appearance of the leaders, such as Argentina's C. Menem or Peru's A. Fujimori, with neoliberalism (which destroyed the matrix that had characterized the populist state) and a populist political style, the stylefocused approach to populism as well as the structuralist school of social sciences tend to explain the phenomenon by the fact that Latin American societies are atomized with economic changes and neoliberal policies, although neither can adequately approaches the question whether populist-style politics will be a recurrent phenomenon in Latin America in the neoliberal era. Recent studies on Argentina under Menem, denying the previous studies' emphasis on the rupture that Menem brought to Argentine politics, tend to point out the continuity of many political features in the period, among them the resilience of two major parties and the partisan identity of the Peronistas. Those interpretations are compatible with precipitate decline of Menem's popularity and the fact that he could not form a political party as Perón did. They also suggest that we should be cautious in explaining neopopulism with the atomization hypothesis. The present essay's reviews of the studies suggest that a perspective that analyzes how socioeconomic features of the neoliberal era transform the party system in each country can be very valuable in understanding the new era's politics in Latin America.
Peruvian democracy is one of the most unstable ones in Latin America. Its fragility revealed itself symbolically in 1992 by the autogolpe (self-coup) performed by Alberto Fujimori, the President of Peru at that time with massive support for this radical measure. Several countries in Latin America have gone through the severe moment of coups d'état or its attempts since the end of 1970s, during which the return to civilian government from military rule began. In this regard, Peru is the only country to have experienced a “successful” coup in 1992, that allowed its protagonist Fujimori to hold power for more than five years since then. As for the main reason of the unconsolidated democracy in Peru, many researchers aptly analyze that the Peruvian political parties are dominated by authoritarian caudillos, or political bosses, and do not have any democratic procedures nor the mission of democratizing society. The author agrees to this analysis on the Peruvian political parties. However, he also holds that it is necessary to take account of political culture for more integral understanding on fragile Peruvian democracy. In this article, the author focuses on the sectores populares or lower classes in Lima, to indicate another reason that does not favor the consolidation of democracy in Peru. Many investigators took up the themes of political procedures and attitudes of the lower classes, as the popular social movements assumed grater prominence and the informal-sector economy expanded since the second half of the 1970s. Thus, there are accumulated data and knowledge of the lower classes in Peru available to us. After summarizing the history of the relations between politics and the lower classes in Peru, the author reviews the research trend since 1980s and looks into two confronting viewpoints. One emphasizes the founding of a new social order from the grass-roots level. It sees democratic characters of the lower classes affirmatively. The other is skeptical about grass-roots democracy and insists on the persistence of traditional features of authoritarian politics at the grass-roots level. In the Second section of this article, the author argues for the plausibility of the skeptic perspective based on the concrete analysis of internal processes reflected in case studies. At this point, the author refers to a hypothesis of the “plebiscitarian” tendency of the lower classes presented by a Peruvian analyst. According to this analysis, the lower classes put great importance on the solution of certain economic or social problems in the short term and delegate full powers to political leaders for this aim, underestimating the democratic participation in the decision-making process. Finally, quantitative studies made by the author in 1999 are analyzed from the “plebiscitarian” point of view.
Colombian stable democratic regime has its origin in the coalition of political elites between Liberals and Conservatives, which formed the political regime of the bipartisan government called the National Front (1958-1974). This bipartisan regime (“bipartidismo” in Spanish) has been backed by the patron-client relationship of intermediation. The process of political reform to change “bipartidismo” took the first step in the 1980s, as the decentralization policy institutionalized in 1983, and then made another considerable progress by means of the new Constitution of 1991. Some new rules introduced in this Constitution express explicitly anti-clientelistic practice, such as the abolition of “parliamentary subsidy”. Another institutional reform worth being emphasized is the creation of JAL (Local Administrative Board), which stimulated the political participation of leftist and civic movement organizations. In fact, the result of elections of central as well as local government since the 1990s shows that the dominance of two traditional parties has been slightly declined while the penetration of non-bipartisan power has been increased. This article argues how the recent trends of decreasing “bipartidismo” have influenced the patron-clientelistic relation at the level of local community in Colombia. Have the patron-clientelistic practices been reduced, or maintained? Are there any indications on the emergence of autonomous civil society? First, the historical process of Colombian patron-client system in the context of bipartisan regime is surveyed. Creation of JAC (Community Action Board) and its national expansion is interpreted as the outcome of the political intention to diffuse the National Front regime. Second, a series of political reforms since the 1980s and its general reflection in the result of elections are analyzed, pointing out that the share of non-bipartisan power is increasing as a common phenomenon among different levels of governments. Finally, the inhabitants' opinion and behavior toward political intervention are analyzed, based on the author's case studies of two contrasting irregular settlements in Bogotá. One is a settlement showing the strong influence of political clientelism, built by a politician's direct intervention. The other has been abandoned by the intervention of the city authorities, under its evaluation as a “red zone”. Their up-grading processes are compared, especially in terms of the inhabitants' behavior toward the political intervention and of their strategies resorted to obtain basic services. The findings from this exercise show that the new type of patron-clientelism has been reproduced between JAL representatives and JAC leaders, while some of the autonomous community actions for political participation indicate the emergence of civil society. All this leads to the conclusion that the Colombian political process is evolving toward a transitional stage.
This article aims to contribute to an understanding of the Japanese defense industry, focusing mainly on its structural characteristics. To analyze this topic, it employs the structure-conduct-performance paradigm for industrial organizations. The article also examines Japan's national security policy in the postwar period as one of the factors that influences the formation of the industry. Journalists and scholars have researched the Japanese defense industry in the past; however, we are still in the earliest stages of being able to account sufficiently for the structural characteristics of the industry, which features close-nit relationships between the sole buyer and the very limited number of suppliers. In addition, this paper tries to combine a micro-level approach such as industrial analysis, with a security analysis which requires macro-level approach. The first section examines the characteristics of the buyer (i. e., the Japanese government and the Japan Defense Agency) by reviewing the Japanese defense procurement system from the following aspects: regulations stipulated by the government and the agency, source selection, and contract type. These business terms and conditions, all of which are barriers of entry into Japanese defencse market, tend to restrict defense contractors to a limited number of firms. In other words, these firms are protected in the closed market where the fixed relationships between the government and the suppliers provide the noncompetitive mechanism of the procurement system. The second section reveals the uniqueness of the Japanese defense firms. This paper points out, as the features of the Japanese defense industry, that; 1) the Japanese market is occupied by highly concentrated firms at the aggregated level; 2) major prime contractors have cooperatively and routinely shared works in accordance with policy implementation and administrative guidance by the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry and the Defense Agency; 3) business transactions between a prime contractor and subcontractors are likely to be made through the cooperative organizations which could lead to long and stable relationships between the upper-tier firms and the lower-tier firms. Judging from these aspects, it can be said that the Japanese defense industry is disposed to the noncompetitive structure, which is described as a rigid structure in this paper. To determine the reason for the rigidity, the Japanese security policy in the postwar period is examined in the third section. In general a government which is a sole buyer in a defense market has a great influence on defense acquisition, and its intervention in the defense industry can be justified on the grounds of the importance of national security. The weapons acquisition process in Japan features budget primacy, followed by achievement of a quantitative target of a defense buildup plan within the restricted budget. New weapons systems are seldom acquired in Japan's defense buildup planning; rather the planning gives priority to the replacement of the obsolete systems with the new ones. Coupled with the small demand in the Japanese defense market due to the government's principle of banning export of weapons, the uniqueness of the weapons acquisition process would make the structure of the industry rigid. Estimation of the future demand for defense equipment would be easy and likewise, Japan's defense budget has been stable. These features enable the defense production programs to be deliberately allocated to a limited number of companies, leading to fixed relationships between the buyer and the suppliers. The Japanese government has maintained the Security Treaty with the United States as the critical part of the fabric of Japan's security policy throughout the entire postwar period. The reliance on U. S. military capabilitgy and presence under the bilateral security system has directed Japan's defense
This paper investigates the issue of the participation of various countries in the Japanese Peace Treaty (hereafter JPT) Conference in 1951, with a particular emphasis on Korea, which was once a Japanese colony. An investigation of the discussions about which countries should be invited to the JPT Conference is a good way to understand how powerful nations such as the U. S. and Britain achieved mutual consent on the issue of participation, and helps clarify the formation of the international situation and relations among the postwar nations. In particular, I will focus on the participation of former Western colonies in the JPT and the major powers' decision to reject Korea's request to participate in the Conference. Firstly, I examine the differences among the Japanese, British, and American plans for the list of participants in the JPT Conference and also discuss the processes by which these differences were resolved. Cases such as the debate over the participation of China or Indochina show that the interests of powerful nations were more important in determining the participants of the JPT than a consistent logic of the law. Secondly, I analyze the Korean issue in the JPT. The Republic of Korea (hereafter Korea) government put a considerable effort to participate in the Conference. In addition, the United States strongly wanted to see Korea take part in the JPT because it hoped to demonstrate its power over the Soviet Union by making the Korean government a part of an international conference. On the other hand, Britain, which hoped to resist the U. S. stance over the question of China's representation, opposed Korea's participation by reasoning that Korean participation might provoke China. Eventually, the United States accepted Britain's opposition to the Korean participation so as to avoid confrontation among the Western Allies. Then the United States notified Korea that it did not have the right to participate in the JPT Conference because Korea had not participated in the fight against Japan during World War II and the Allied Nations had not officially recognized the Korean Provisional Government during the war. In this respect, the prewar ‘imperialism’ continued into the postwar era as well. As a result of this Anglo-American logic, Korea was not able to sign the Peace Treaty with Japan, which had colonized Korea for more than thirty-six years. In contrast, because Southeast Asian nations were former colonies of Allied nations, they were able to participate in the conference and gain the status of victorious nations. Consequently many problems between Japan and Korea were left unsolved.