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Democracy And Development Essay

2691 words - 11 pages

There have been enormous efforts to spread democracy as a political system throughout the world by the developed democratic countries and the international development organizations including the World Bank. By the late 1990s the United States alone spent over a half billion dollars to promote democratic expansion throughout the world (Diamond, 2003). These were done considering that the democratic system leads towards development. As a result in the late 20th century we saw a huge political transformation towards democracy. During the last few decades a huge number of countries adopted democracy as their political system. However, it retain a big question how far democracy is successful in bringing development of a country? At this stage, some people also criticizes the effort of democratization arguing that it is done without considering the context of a country, sometimes democracy is not ideal for all countries and it is an effort to extinct diversity of political system. In studying the literature regarding the debate, we found a paradoxical relationship between democracy and development. Some argue that democracy has failed to ensure expected outcomes in terms of development. While others confronted that democracy has a considerable impact on development. Another group of people argue that form of political system actually does not have any impact on development process. On the verge of these debates, some development institutions and academics throw light on why democracy is not working properly, and what measure should be taken to make it more successful in bringing effective development of developing countries. Consequently, this writing is an effort of revisiting the different views about impact of democracy on development; does democracy foster development, or vice-versa, or the process is incompatible?
Democracy became a global phenomenon; it is now the predominant and the only legitimate form of government in the world (Diamond, 2003). In the late 20th century we saw a rise of number of countries selecting their leaders through competitive elections (World Bank, 2005), which is noted by S.P. Huntington (2012) as ‘third wave of democratization’. Between the years 1989 to 2000 the number of democratic countries rose from 60 to 100 (World Bank, 2005); and now 117 of 195 countries (Freedom House, 2013) of the world are experiencing electoral democracy; while in 1960 the number were only about 40 and most of them were industrialized countries (Diamond, 2003). Even influenced by this pace of democratization, some scholars like Francis Fukuyama, asserted that in the global struggle over economic and political systems, capitalism and democracy has won (Fukuyama, 2006), although others argue that still it is far too optimistic (Ramaswamy & Cason, 2003). Nowadays, extensively, democracy exists virtually in all types of states; every religious, cultural and philosophical tradition; all sort of...


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