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chapter6_cq--C - Principles of Comparative Politics Chapter...

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Principles of Comparative Politics Chapter 6: Economic Determinants of Democracy
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Introduction In the last chapter, we examined the criteria for classifying whether a country was a democracy or a dictatorship. In this chapter, we investigate how economic development and the structure of the economy influence the likelihood that a country will become and remain a democracy.
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Classic Modernization Theory Most economic explanations for democracy can be linked to a family of explanations called “Modernization Theory.” All societies develop through a series of stages. Immature society Mature society Large agriculture Small agriculture Small industry Large industry Small service Large service
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Classic Modernization Theory “Stage theory” of development. All countries pass through the same historical stages of economic development. Contemporary underdeveloped countries are merely at an earlier stage in this linear historical progress. In the 1950s and 1960s, Latin America, Asia, and Africa were seen as just “primitive” versions of European nations. They would eventually “develop” and come to look like Western Europe and the United States. Can be adapted to talk about regime type as well.
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Classic Modernization Theory Immature society Mature society Large agriculture Small agriculture Small industry Large industry Small service Large service Dictatorship Democracy
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Classic Modernization Theory As (countries) develop, social structure becomes complex, labor processes begin to require active cooperation of employees, and new groups emerge and organize. As a result, the system can no longer be effectively run by command: the society is too complex, technological change endows the direct producers with some autonomy and private information, civil society emerges, and dictatorial forms of control lose their effectiveness.” (Przeworski and Limongi, 1997) “the more well-to-do a nation, the greater the chances that it will sustain democracy.” (Lipset 1959) Modernization theory predicts that as countries develop economically, they are (a) more likely to become democratic AND (b) more likely to remain democratic.
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Classic Modernization Theory Definitions of mature society make it look remarkably like Western Europe and the United States. Implicit notion that when societies grow up, they’ll look like us. Led to a slight backlash. Primitive Backward 3 rd world Developing Underdeveloped
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Classic Modernization Theory BUT , just because you don’t like the overtones should not make us reject the theory out of hand. One of the central implications of modernization theory is that there should be a strong relationship between how economically developed a country is and whether it is a democracy. Let’s look at some data.
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Proportion of Democracies at Various Levels of Wealth
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Classic Modernization Theory Clearly, there is a strong relationship between wealth and democracy.
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