133 S. 36th Street, Room 350
Ronald O. Perelman Center for Political Science and Economics
Fatih Umit Cetin (UMass Amherst Dept. of Political Science)
Racial Enfranchisement as a Distinct Act of Democratization: Comparative Historical Analysis of The United States, Germany, and Austria
Zachary Smith (Penn Political Science)
“How Treacherous the Gift”: Settler Motivations for Self-Government in Natal, the Cape Colony, and Palestine
WHY DO ELITES AGREE TO GIVE POWER TO EXCLUDED GROUPS that could shift the balance of power between different groups in society and political life? What informs their decisions towards this important political change? These are the serious questions and dilemmas that democratization literature has been tackling since its emergence as an organized body of work. Various explanations have been developed to provide answers to these questions in the context of workingclass enfranchisement and women’s suffrage, but none of our theories can explain this with regards to the suffrage extension to racialized minorities. In his paper, FATIH UMIT CETIN seeks to address this blind spot in democratization literature by tackling this question: Why did the United States and Germany extend the franchise to racialized minorities in the 1960s and 1990s, whereas Austria retained policies that disenfranchised these groups? Cetin argues that enfranchisement requires both the rise of a counter-hegemonic elite that embraces an expanded vision of peoplehood and, critically, their achievement of power within key political institutions.
HISTORICALLY, SETTLER-COLONIES WERE OFTEN DEEPLY DIVIDED PLACES where class and race inequality overlapped and reinforced one another. Why then did settlers press for elected representative bodies—institutions that, in their own words, were sites of equality, freedom, and self-government—given such inequalities? Certainly, arguments about the natural rights of citizens were an important part of how settlers discursively made their case to their imperial rulers. ZACHARY SMITH argues, however, that the primary motivation settlers had in attempting to form elected representative institutions was an economic one: the protection and accumulation of property and wealth, as well as guaranteed access to cheap labor. Smith explores the importance of land to settler institutional formation in Natal, drawing on debates over what to do with the so-called “native locations.” In the Cape Colony, he demonstrates the centrality of labor to the formation and functioning of the Cape Parliament, using petitions and debates over a new labor code. And to explicate the crucial role of state-building, he delves into the struggle the Zionist movement faced in gaining taxation powers in early modern Palestine.