The Struggle for Democratic Politics in the Dominican Republic

The Struggle for Democratic Politics in the Dominican Republic by Jonathan Hartlyn
The author Jonathan Hartlyn writes in his book The Struggle for Democratic Politics in the Dominican Republic, the struggles of the Dominican State that affect the economy and interactions between the international sectors up to date. The book builds up in the initial pages; page 36-59 providing a detailed analysis of the earlier form of leadership under Trujillo and compares it to the systems of government and decision making in states today.
Pages 36-59
Jonathan Hartlyn builds up his comprehensive analysis of the different historic times in this section of this great book, all encompassed in chapter 2 titled “Historical Pathways: Neopatrimonial Authoritarianism and International Vulnerability.” The pages can be said to be divided into two large sections, the Dominican historic times which is in 1961 during the rise and leadership of dictator Trujillo and the changes in today’s society that began in 1978 to 1996. This section deals particularly with not just Trujillo’s rise, but also the rise of the army under him. Over the past years, the Dominican Republic has continued to face several criticisms and analysis especially in the issue of economic and social balancing. The author points out that political, economic and social factor were strongly influenced by dictatorship of Trujillo a military leader in the Dominican Republic. The author rejects the assumptions that cultural forces and structural factors affect the economy and stability of nations today.
Dominican historic times
During this period talking about democracy was quite optimistic according to the author. This is because in Dominican what really mattered was economic growth and political expansions. Under Trujillo leadership collaboration was encouraged for the sole purpose of benefiting a few persons in the leadership class. He further states that this have continued to reflect in our societies today.
Recent past
This section of the book pays more attention to two main events that marks the national politics today; the elections of 1978 and 1996. The two elections should be viewed as an extension of authoritarian rule that presided in several countries for twelve years. Before this period it was difficult to openly political aspects and participates in national economy. Therefore most of the decisions made during these elections were made by the ruling class or by foreign interactions. Therefore, the states today moved from Dominican Republic where dictatorship was allowed to fledgling democracy which is quite optimistic considering the ruling classes and political structures have remained stable. It is also worth noting that representative dictatorship that existed for over 30 years and followed by 100 years of political instability could not be corrected by simply having political institutions and legitimate participation. The author uses the ideas to express the fact that current political and economic states are mainly as a result of past occurrences. The second section mainly deals with the development of Neopatrimonialism in the Dominican Republic.
State and Society in the Dominican Republic by Emelio Betances
Emelio Betances in his book State and Society in the Dominican Republic analysis the formation of Dominican state and discusses how state-society relations began in the late nineteenth century. The author argues that the modern state began in the regime of Ulises Heureaux and Ramon Carceres and later expanded by the United States military that developed strong political and administrative centers. In the year 1886 to 1924 these administration opened sugar markets for foreign trade, strengthened credit facilities and expanded military role. The state expansion, however, did not improve social and economic status of national elites. The imbalance of the two; the strong military administration and the weak civil society show the rise structural framework for emergency in 1930. This further resulted to the rise of dictatorship by Trujillo and the heavy opposition of the group by the Caudillo Balaguer. The author continues to show how this economic imbalance and political struggle affected substitution programs and economic groups in the new state and class formations since the year 1961. Through the books chapters’ the author focuses on each and every formation that show the rapid imbalance in the socioeconomic sector.
Chapter 5: State Formation and the U.S Military Occupation
In this chapter the authors focus on the works of the United Stated military government in the Dominican Republic. United States developed the groundwork that served the interest of the country in the Caribbean Basin. Since the United States wanted to expand and occupy the Caribean Basin, internal struggles arose in the Dominican Republic to try and stop the military but the nationalist lost resulting to military occupation in 1916. The strong opposition of the military by the nationals forced Wilson administration to include a few local elite in the organization of a new state and exit of the United States military.
The chapter further discusses the relationship of the United Sates and the Caribbean. According to Betances, United States considered Caribbean expansion as a “sphere of influence” that would continuously strengthen the U.S economy. To the United States, Caribbean would assist in ensuring economical growth by providing a clear base for capital export to Britain, France, Germany and Italy. The chapter concludes by discussing the Monroe Doctrine which was proclaimed in 1823 by the United States. The doctrine was to act as a warning to the European countries; any attempt they would make on the Western Hemisphere would be considered a threat on the stability of United States.
Chapter 6: Class and State Formation under Trujillo
The chapter focuses on the formation of class and state under dictatorship. Rafael Trujillo a military leader and dictator struggled to ensure the Dominican state succeeded and developed strong economic and social structures. He paid too much effort by imposing strong rules and regulations that were to be followed by the elites. Despite of his effort the modern Dominican state could not last for long period of time because of the weak social structures that continued to exist and the strong rebellions from different groupings. After the end of dictatorship the formed classes and states could not survive the status quo ante and immediate reforms were put in place to ensure the economy remained stable.
Through this chapter we further understand that the influence on the United States in ensuring the economy in Dominican State did not fall. In 1924 after the United States marines left Dominican Republic the neocolonial agreements were left constant and the military government actions were recognized. To begin with the military were allowed to get foreign loans and control custom houses. The United States were allowed control and mandate to intervene in Dominican economic decisions. The author uses this chapter to analyze the new liberal democratic state that had civilian elite controlling the political sector and the effect of United States military government in maintaining economic stability.

Works Cited
Betances, Emelio. State and Society in the Dominican Republic: Lynne Reinner. Boulder,Co, USA. 1995
Jonathan Hartlyn The Struggle for Democratic Politics in the Dominican Republic


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