Democratization In Democracy

1884 Words 8 Pages
In an increasingly complex international system of politics, at least two political ideologies remain significant in today’s world political sphere. Authoritarianism is characterized as a system of government where decision making is afforded to the few, while democracy is categorized as a system of rule based on the government of the people, by the people and for the people. The principle of democracy is largely one linked to Western ideals and has indeed been at the forefront of many Western powers foreign policy objectives; to promote democratization and the corresponding benefits of democracy (Heller 485). Interestingly enough, in the last two decades, there has been a dramatic increase in the number of democracies across the globe (Heller …show more content…
At this particular point in history, Britain began to implement their de-colonial framework and numerous South Asian countries gained their independence (Mitra 228). While the majority of these newly independent states began the democratization process, India remains as the only democracy in that region (Mitra 229). Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Nepal all failed to sustain their democratic rule and have all since transitioned to various types of authoritarian regimes. According to Alistair McMillan, India’s transition to democracy was extremely unlikely due to its low economic development, the total size of the population and the presence of a large number of groups representing a wide variety of ethnicities, religions and values (736). Nonetheless India’s leaders stressed the importance of good governance and focused on firmly entrenching democratic institutions, highlighted by their implementation of a democratic constitution and free and fair elections beginning in 1947 (McMillan 737). While Modernization theory, the main framework discussed throughout this paper, would posit that India be best suited for an authoritarian state system (due to their relative stagnant economy); India’s democratization was successful in the absence of any …show more content…
Chinese citizens are not granted the same fundamental rights, liberties and freedoms that are afforded to citizens living in democratic states (Lam and Mok 468). Considering modernization theory links economic development and democratization, in combination with China’s long history of human rights violations, why hasn’t China’s population made successful demands for democratization? According to Houle there are two explanations for why rich, authoritarian states rarely witness political revolutions, even if the population has the resources to do so (57). The first explanation involves the high living conditions found in rich countries and the resulting stake of the populations in maintaining stability. While extensive inequality does exist, (in terms of human rights) the living conditions in China are high and the risk of loosing economic stability and political stability posses a greater risk to the population then maintaining the current status

Related Documents

Related Topics