Is democracy a necessary condition for development?
In the modern and globalized world, it is common to find democratic institutions in the most economically developed countries. Democratic regimes look different all across the world, and the term itself is multi-faceted. For the sake of discussion, in its simplest terms, I will refer to democracy as a system of governance where the population that is governed elects their leaders. A substantive democracy would include more such the promotion of human rights and rule of law. As substantive democracies are so common in the developed world, it has led many scholars to ask whether democracy is a prerequisite for development. There are many examples we can look to that provide us with the
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In this case, democracy would be directly related to economic standing, but inversely related with growth. The logic behind this argument is that democracy may be demanded as development grows, however it can in turn also slow development down. Poor country’s economic development may not be the most conducive to democracy, so they could enjoy progress without the weight and pressure of democracy. Countries with a lower degree of economic development would have difficulty managing or keeping democracy, while countries with a greater level of economic development would do a better job with democracy, and therefore encourage development. In many of today’s advanced economies such as the United States, United Kingdom, Japan and others, all had tremendous economic growth under non-democratic or developing democratic regimes. Modern-day examples include China, Singapore, and the UAE. Based on both historical and contemporary examples, it may not be a far stretch to say “development-oriented dictatorships” and authoritarian governments are needed to jump-start development.[viii] Democracy and non-democratic institutions can have beneficial and harmful effects on development. Studies in