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Democracy Building

Nowadays, it is common to have free elections in the country, to have right to vote and those are some of the characteristics that define democracy in some country. However, the question is how did the democratic regime developed what are the factors that helped in establishing the democracy? In this paper I will discuss the texts by Lipset Seymour, Moore Barrington, Przeworski Adam and Fernando Limongi and Skocpo Theda. All the mentioned authors answering the previous question.

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In their papers they discuss transition from the aristocratical type of government to more modernized and democratic government.

The main noticeable variables in texts that kind of pushed for the democracy are economy, education, class structure in the society and political legitimacy. Right from the title of Seymour Lipset text “Some Social Requisites of Democracy: Economic Development and Political Legitimacy” it is obvious that he means that economy and political legitimacy are necessary for development and maintenance of democratic regime in some country. Unlike Lipset, Przeworski Adam and Fernando Limongi in their article “Modernization: Theories and Facts” believe that the strong economy does not need to be necessary for the countries to develop the democracy but they believe that democracy have more chance to survive in countries with stronger economy.

While Lipset, Przeworski and Limongi focus mostly on the influence of the economy on the development of democracy, Moore Barrington in his book “Social Origins of Dictatorship and Democracy: Lord and Peasant in the Making of the Modern World” compares different countries and the regimes that influenced transition to more modernized countries. He describes in his book how independent bourgeois is necessary for transition from the agrarian society to more modern society (democracy).

Alike Przeworski and Limongi disagree in some points with Lipotski, Skocpo Theda in her article “A Critical Review of Barriangton Moore’s Social Origins” criticizes Moore. Skocpo admits that conflict between the classes is important for the development of democracy in the country but she also believes that bourgeois is not as necessary for the democracy as Moore explains. While Moore is focused more on political revolution in the countries, Skocpo is focused primarily on social revolution. I will go on and explain these texts more in depth and I will start first with Lipsent’s article.

“Some Social Requisites of Democracy: Economic Development and Political Legitimacy” is written in very philosophical way, he used more qualitative method over quantitative, and the texts is not focused on small details much, so considering that it seems that Lipset used a macro-level of analysis. Lipset also used a deductive analysis because he has a hypothesis that he needs to test and he claims already in the first paragraph of his article “It his paper the problem is attacked from a sociological and behavioral standpoint, by presenting a number of hypotheses concerning some social requisites for democracy, and by discussing some of the data available to test these hypotheses” (Lipset, 69).

Even though in his article Lipset believes that the main characteristic to have a stable democracy is strong economy, he also agrees that the class structure and historical events are also factors that can influence the development of democracy in a country. Through his essay Lipset indicates that Max Weber says how historical events can influence the country’s political regime (72). Lipset also gave Germany as an example of a state who had good economy, growing industrialization, education but still could not develop stable democracy “…all favored the establishment of a democratic system, but in which a series of adverse historical events prevented democracy from securing legitimacy in the eyes of many important segments of society, and thus weakened German democracy’s ability to withstand crisis” (Lipset 72).

What Lipset also emphasizes is education. From his researchers he found out that the more democratic countries have the higher education. Another reason why the education is important the country’s democracy is because “The higher one’s education, the more likely one is to believe in democratic values and support democratic practices’7” (Lipset 79). However, there is also a connection between education and economy because the countries with the higher education are also the wealthy countries.

In his essay he also compares some variables like urbanization, literacy, media participation, of some countries and political participation in the countries like Turkey, Lebanon, Syria, Iran and Jordan. The Turkey scored the highest (Lipset 81). Even though Egypt is more urbanized than Turkey, Lipset supports Lerner opinion on that Turkey is more modernized state than Egypt because the literacy, participation and urbanization are increasing, while Egypt is “literacy homeless” (Lipset 81).

Furthermore, like Moore, Lipset says that “burgher class whose existence was both a catalyst and a necessary condition for democracy,” from this we can see that the social classes are one of the factors that is important for development of democracy. Lipset also mentions that the better economy influences the class structure. However, the upper class did not like the idea of democracy because they wanted to be different from the lower class. Nonetheless the economical development for the lower class means “greater economic security, and higher education, permit those in this status to develop longer time perspectives and more complex and gradualist views of politics” (Lipset 83).

With the economical development the middle class would be emerge. Lipset indicates that legitimacy and effectiveness are also necessary to sustain the democracy. Legitimacy is defined as “…the capacity of a political system to engender and maintain the belief that existing political institutions are the most appropriate or proper ones for the society” (Lipset 86). With effectiveness Lipset means that the government should take the more active role in political system (Lipset 86). As mentioned before economic development causes extension of the middle class, and with more people on the higher position government will become more efficient and will take the legitimacy more seriously.

Through the whole essay Lipset is trying to explain how the development of the economy is essential for the establishment and substation of democracy. He uses many variables to prove his point. He compares different (rich, poor) countries to each other. Lipset has some good points and everything is supported by qualitative or quantitative evidence. He shows through his essay that strong economy is fundamental element in having a stable democracy but he concludes that democracy can survive only if people work together towards it, one man alone cannot do anything (Lipset 103).

Alike Lipset, Adam Przeworski and Fernando Limongi in their article are also trying to explain how development of economy affects transformation from the dictatorship to democratic regime. However, through their article they try to discuss the points that Lipset says about relationship between development of economy and democracy, nevertheless as a mentioned before Limongi and Preworski do not agree with all the points that Lisent made in his essay. In their article they provide a lot of quantitative data to support their theory.

Przeworski and Limongi started their essay by defining two types of democratization, endogenous and exogenous. The endogenous in this content means “…either democracies may be more likely to emerge as countries develop economically…” and exogenous “…or they may be established independently of economic development but may be more likely to survive in developed countries” (Preworski, Limongi pg2). Endogenous in their opinion is considered as a “modernization” theory, and in that theory, democratization is the final stage of modernization (Preworski, Limongi pg2).

The endogenous theory describes us that the democracy can happened under the authoritarian regime if the country develops. On the other hand, exogenous is not considered a modernization theory. Furthermore, exogenous is focused more on economy, the wealthier countries are more likely to stay democratic than poor countries, and they agree with Lipset on this one. Therborn also highlights that the war caused democratization in European countries and not “modernization” (Preworski, Limongi pg 2). However, there also some dictatorship regime that collapsed because of economic crisis or because of the pressure from other democratic countries (Preworski, Limongi pg2).

To get better sense if the “levels of economic development and the incidence of democratic regimes is due to democracies being more likely to emerge or only more likely to survive in the more developed countries.” they tested 224 regimes that existed during the 1950 to 1990, and all the regimes that existed during that time were either under the regime of dictatorship (123 countries) or democracy (123).

They found out that when the per capita income reaches more than $6,000 in dictatorship countries, the country become more stable (Prewoski, Limongi pg 3). So that means that dictatorship survives in the countries that are wealthy, however out 123 dictatorship countries only 19 survived during these years (1950-1990). Even though the small number of countries remained under the dictatorship regime, it cannot be said for sure that dictatorship regime collapses when the country’s economy develop, this is the proof that indeed economic growth does not need to lead to democracy right away. However, some countries after the dictatorship still could not get the $6,000 per capita income. According to that, countries managed to get rid of dictatorship and lean towards the democracy, even though, they were economically weak.

That point supports exogenous theory, which shows us that democracy in the countries occur independently and even with the fragile economy countries can develop democracy. To conclude this point, unlike Lipsot, Prewoski and Limongi prove that development of economy is not necessary for democracy to emerge in some country. However, Prewoski and Limongi do believe that economic development keeps the democracy more stable, and it is likely that democracy in poor countries will not last.

Furthermore, Preworski and Limongi, disagree with Lipset concept that when countries grow quickly, democracy will become more fragile. Preworski and Limongi with their data prove that Lipset is wrong ” Moreover, democracies that grow slowly, at the rate of less than 5 percent per annum, die at the rate of 0.0173, while those that grow at a rate faster than 5 percent die at the rate of 0.0132″(Preworski, Limongi pg 5).

That means that democracies that grow faster than five percent per annum will die in a lower rate than the democracies that grow slower.
Finally, Preworski and Limongi use deductive type of analysis, because they have a theory which they tested and then they concluded it. It also looks like they were more focused more on a micro level of analysis because they used data mostly from the per capita income.

It seems that in both texts’ democracy is treated as depended variable and economy as an independent variable, because they are trying to explain how democracy and the economic development are related. Lipset’s essay and the article from Preworski and Limongi, both have some fair points. After first reading essay from Lipset it looked like he has proof enough and that economy is the key for the countries to establish democratic regime.

On the contrary to Lipset, Preworski and Limongi give more quantitative data, and looking from it is noticeable that Lipset was wrong about that point. Nevertheless, Perworski and Limongi agree with Lioset about how economic development is crucial for democracy to sustain a country. Lipset uses education as an important aspect to stability of democracy and he supports with the evidence while Preworski and Limongi do agree that education is vital aspect for democracy to develop and sustain stable but they mention education just briefly and do not use much data to support it. In both texts we can see that they use different countries in their data, while Lipset is more focused on Latin America and Europe, Prewowski and Limongi take data from 135 countries. Both texts give attention to economy and how economy influences democracy.