Lipset's Theory Of Democracy

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Lipset’s theory about the correlation between economic development and democratization is probably one of the strongest find in the social sciences (Cheibub & Vreeland 2012). According to him, “the more well-to-do a nation, the greater the chances that it will sustain democracy” (Lipset 1959, p. 75). He formulated two explanations in the correlation of economy and democracy. The first is the endogenous explanation or simply the “modernization theory”. This theory examines how modernization processes, and economic growth in particular, relate to democratization and democratic consolidation (Johannessen 2009). In simple terms, democracy resulted from development under authoritarianism. The second preposition
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They argued that there are some flaws in Lipset’s theory because he missed some considerable factors. According the Przeworski and Limongi, ‘there are no grounds to conclude that economic development breeds democracy’. They debunked the first assumption of the endogenous explanation of Lipset by looking at the different cases and the results exhibit a “bell shaped pattern of instability”. This means that the results are not conclusive in order to say dictatorship dies when there is economic development. On the exogenous explanation, they agree to Lipset when he said that democracies are more likely to survive in developed countries. But they supplemented this idea saying that when a democratic state reached the per capita income of $6,000, democracy will last forever. They also debunked the idea of Lipset that ‘democracies were more likely to be destabilized when the countries grew rapidly’. They both argued that democracy and dictatorship can withstand rapid economic growth. But poor democracies tend to be the most vulnerable in the face of economic crises. Based on their findings, they concluded that democracy is not the end or the by-product of economic development. Economic constraints just play a role in its survival once a regime is already established. Poor countries can also begin and survive democracy as long they can…show more content…
This relation shows up when democracy is represented by electoral rights or civil liberties and when the standard of living is measured by per capita GDP, primary school attainment, the gap between male and female primary schooling (which enters negatively), and the importance of the middle class. Democracy does not relate significantly to school attainment at the secondary and higher levels (Barro 1999). Lipset’s theory was also revisited by scholars like Ghada Fayad, Robert H. Bates, and Anke Hoeffler. In their work Income and Democracy: Lipset’s Law Revisited, they used a dynamic and heterogeneous panel data estimation technique. They found a significant and negative relationship between income and democracy. That means higher or lower incomes per capita hinder or trigger democratization. They drew information from two sources of variation overlooked by previous scholars. One is cross country variation in the short term responses to income shocks; another is variation in the structure and composition of income. In countries that receive little or no income from resources the relationship between democracy and income is positive and significant. In resource rich countries, the reverse is true: higher incomes bear a negative relationship with democracy (Bates et al.
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