The Importance Of Democracy To Economic Development

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Democracy has become a universal standard of governance. Within today 's society this term relates with states having a social contract between government and the citizens, positive freedom, economic freedom and human rights. Due to globalization and the use of media there has been a spread of democracy growing in the global south, but it tends to be highly unstable and governments tend to be weak. The election system tends to be flawed and often represent a period of great instability. Therefore, to put in economics terms, democracy is a normal good because people will demand a better state when there is high income within society. Development is defined as the process of economic and social transformation that is to improve states economic…show more content…
With developing states it is better to have an authoritarian government because it allows the state to mobilize more effectively the resources necessary for industrial take off. Lee Kuan Yew took on Atul Kohli (1986) ‘cruel dilemma’ thesis where development is driven by capital accumulation. Lee cites that a country needs to be disciplined before focusing on implementing democracy. He argues how democracy should follow economic development to make it possible for countries to reach a certain level where they can enjoy living a luxuries lifestyle like those in the West. His way of developing can be seen in Ferdinand Marcos (1966) reforms in the Philippines. Marcos took an authoritarian approach to help the economy grow, in his first term he made progress in the education, production and agriculture sphere. It was one of the only times that the annual growth rate increased rapidly since the pre and post war era (in post-war 5.5% annual rate and in 1978-79 6.1%). One of his aims was to make the nation self-reliant and productive. His aim links with Lipset ideology that states that development is a precondition of democracy. This means that once a non-democratic regime obtains a certain level of economic development and social maturation, it will inevitably become a…show more content…
However, Amartya Sen would disagree with this approach advocating Freedom; freedom is both the primary end and the principal means of development. If a state has political freedoms, economic facilities, social opportunities, transparency guarantees, and protective security it will enhances the ability of individuals to help themselves, a property that Sen describes as the ‘agency aspecy’ of the individual (Sen, 1999:19). especially since they are labor-intensive and since labor is so cheap in poor countries. Thus, he argues against the ‘Lee Thesis’, named for President Lee Kuan Yew of Singapore

(Later years in power were marred by rampant government corruption, economic stagnation, the steady widening of economic inequalities between the rich and the poor).

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