Factors Affecting Democratization

Category: Democracy, Literacy, Poverty
Last Updated: 28 Jan 2021
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This time period witnessed the collapse of over 30 authoritarian regimes in Europe, Asia, and Latin America which then made the transition to democracy and were characterized mainly by one party systems. Nations that undergo the translation to a democratic form of government usually display three particular characteristics: a high level of economic development, a highly educated public, and a large middle class.

The second table, below Huntington, provides the literacy rates, Gaps, and life expectancies of five imaginary countries. Of these five countries, D and E are the most likely to democratic and hey are also the most likely to consolidate democracy because they possess the three main characteristics of democratic countries. Huntington provides a chart, on page 62 of his work, In which countries are classified according to their GNP In 1 976 In relation to the type of government they possessed in 1974.

It also shows whether the countries democratic or liberalized between 1974 and 1989, or whether they maintained their non-democratic regimes throughout those years. The chart below Huntington provides the literacy rate, GAP per capita, and life expectancy of five imaginary countries. The characteristics provided on the second graph are critical to understanding each Individual country potential towards becoming democracies and their ability to consolidate democracy.

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The first characteristic of the chart is the literacy rate of the five countries, which is an excellent indicator of the overall level of education the countries. A highly educated public is a crucial factor in the transition to democracy, and political scientist Mitchell Gilson argued that in Latin America the thresholds that made democracy possible were both a GNP of $250 and a literacy rate of over fifty percent. This demonstrates that a countries literacy rate Is almost as Important as the level of economic development of a country In demagnification.

Between 1960 and 1981 many more people began attending secondary schools to improve their educations. It has been proven that highly educated people tend to develop the characteristics of trust, satisfaction, and competence which form the civic cultural attitudes necessary in a democracy (Huntington, 69). Without an educated public, it is very difficult for democracies to survive. Thus, a high literacy rate provides evidence of a highly cattle puddle, wanly Is also positively oscillate Witt democracy.

In Alton, a high literacy rate also provides evidence that a particular nation possesses a large middle class, which is often a product of industrialization and economic growth. The presence of a large middle class is another one of the most important factors of demagnification. Due to the fact that democracies often rely on a system of majority rule, a middle class is necessary in order to accurately represent the wishes of the populace. In addition, it is the middle class which strives to achieve their objectives.

In virtually every country the most active supporters of demagnification came from the urban middle class,[l]" and it was this group which led the third wave movements for demagnification. For example, in the Philippines, the middle class, comprised of professionals and business people, encouraged and actively participated in the demonstrations in 1984 against the oppressive regime of Ferdinand Marco's. It is clear that "When tear gas meets the middle class... Tear gas loses. 2]" A large middle class is crucial in the transition to democracy because they are the people who lead the demonstrations, rallies, and protests calling for an end o authoritarian regimes and the transition to a democratic form of government. The literacy rates of the five countries suggest that countries A and C most likely have a very small middle class and only a small percentage of the overall population is highly educated, country Bi's literacy rate was unavailable, and that countries D and E have both a highly educated population and a large middle class.

The second characteristic of the chart is the GAP per capita of the five countries. The gross domestic product (GAP), the gross national product minus the net income earned abroad, tells us the economic development and status of each particular nation. A higher GAP per capita is found in wealthy, economically advanced countries such as Switzerland which has a per capita income of $21 ,330. Conversely, a lower GAP is found in poorer countries such as Ethiopia with a per capita income of $130 (Huntington, 60).

Undoubtedly, there exists a positive relationship between economic development and demagnification. Huntington claims that the nations most likely to undergo a transition to democracy are those characterized as "middle- income" countries. The correlation between wealth and democracy implies that transitions to democracy should occur primarily in countries at the middle levels of economic development. In poor countries demagnification is unlikely; in rich countries it has already occurred. 3]" Thus the GAP per capita of country D shows that it is the only country out of the five which is in the middle income range which Huntington claims possesses the most potential to make the transition to democracy, while countries A, B, C, and E are in the lower income range and less likely to make the transition to democracy. The third characteristic on the chart is the life expectancy, which is another important factor because it helps determine the level of technology of a nation.

Countries with high life expectancies are more technologically advanced than those with lower life expectancies due to above average health care systems, medications and vaccines, and competent doctors. Most wealthy countries tend to have higher levels of technology than poorer countries, and most wealthy countries are democracies. "Most wealthy countries are democratic and most democratic countries - India is the most dramatic exception - are wealthy. [4]" As such, a higher life expectancy is also associated with democracy. Entrees A, c, Ana nave ten tenure lowest Tie expectancies wanly demonstrates Tanat they are the least technologically advanced. Country D has the second highest life expectancy, but based on life expectancy alone, country B would be the most technologically advanced of all the countries because it has the highest life The literacy rate, GAP, and life expectancy are three vital statistics in expectancy. Formulating a hypothesis as to the level of education, level of economic development, and level of technology that a country possesses and help in determining the type of government of a particular country.

From these characteristics it is possible to infer that the countries least likely to democratic would be countries A and C, country B has somewhat a chance of demonstrating, depending on its literacy rate, and countries D and E would be the most likely to democratic. Countries A and C have the lowest literacy rates, Gaps, and life expectancies of the entire group and as such lack the high level of economic development, highly educated public, and large middle class which are almost always present in countries making the transition to democracy.

The lack of an educated population and large middle class shows that it loud be extremely difficult to establish a democracy in these nations because the people, for the most part, would be unable to participate or take an active role in their governments. Country B would most likely remain whatever government, most likely authoritarian, that it currently was because of its decent GAP and because it has the highest life expectancy of the group.

The high life expectancy suggests that the people are living relatively well, and as such, they would most likely not attempt to undermine their current regime. However, country E would most likely emaciation, and country D is the most likely to democratic out of the entire group. The reason that countries E and D are the most likely to democratic is because they possess the highest literacy rates (68 % and 78 % respectively), highest Gaps per capita ($700 and $1600), and good life expectancies (46 and 48 years).

Both countries possess the characteristics common to democracies: high levels of economic development, a highly educated public, and a large middle class which is why they are the countries which would undergo the transition from a non democratic form of government to a democratic form of government. Country D is the most probable, out of the five countries, to democratic because it is precisely in the middle income range which Huntington believes leads to the demagnification of a nation.

He proves his assertion in his chart which shows that the highest percentage of countries to democratic or liberalize between 1974 and 1989 did in fact occur in countries with per capita GNP in the $1000 - $3000 range (the middle income range). In fact, 76 percent of countries in the middle income range democratic or liberalized, while poorer nations with per capita GNP of $250-$1000 such as countries A, B, C, and E) experienced only a 29 percent transition rate.

Therefore, countries A and C are the least likely to democratic, B is somewhat likely to democratic, and E and D have the highest probability of demonstrating. Furthermore, supposing that all five nations have experienced a transition to democracy and have established a democratic regime, countries A, B, and C would be the least likely to consolidate democracy while countries E and D would be the most likely to consolidate their newly emerged democratic regimes. Political scientist

Adam Paperwork's claimed that "Democracy is consolidated when under given political Ana economic contraltos a particular system AT Institutions Decodes ten only game in town, when no one can imagine acting outside the democratic institutions, when all losers want to do is to try again within the same institutions under which they have Just lost. [5]" It could be argued that countries A, B, and C have such low literacy rates, and Gaps that their situation could only get better; however, they do not have the resources (both economically and population-wise) to maintain or strengthen their new found democracies.

Out of the five nations, countries E and D are the most economically developed which means they are the least likely to experience an economic crisis which could potentially undermine their regimes. The fact that they are the least likely to experience an economic crisis is extremely important, because economic crises were one of the main reasons that countries converted from non-democratic governments to democratic forms of government in the third wave of demagnification. In the third wave, the combination of substantial levels of economic development and short-term economic rises or failure was the economic formula most favorable to the transition from authoritarian to democratic government. [6]" Country E and Ad's educated middle class will actively work to maintain, improve, and strengthen the democratic system which gives them their freedoms and opportunities.

Those two countries have the most potential and the most resources available at their disposal to maintain and strengthen their democracies. Therefore, due to their superior economic development, abundant resources, and the existence of an educated, middle class, countries E and D are by far the most likely to consolidate democracy. The third wave of demagnification witnessed the transition of over 30 countries to democratic forms of government, predominantly due to the economies of those countries.

The countries most likely to establish a democratic regime are those which display a high level of economic development, a highly educated public, and a large middle class. These factors are crucial to demagnification. Countries A, B, and C are the least likely to democratic and consolidate demagnification because of their low literacy rates and lack of abundant resources. As time progresses and their literacy rates and Gaps increase, they may eventually enter the "middle income" range which is so conducive to democracy.

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Factors Affecting Democratization. (2017, Oct 24). Retrieved from https://phdessay.com/factors-affecting-democratization/

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