Global Democratic Trends and Their Impact on Developing Nations Essay

Published: 2020-04-22 15:25:15
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The notion of democratic society presumes entire complex of values and social institutions developed by world civilization, among them a legitimate state, civil society, political, economical and social pluralism, worthiness of human rights and liberties freedom of expression, association and organization and their legal guarantee.

The main thing in democratic state is protection of a citizen and his rights from dictatorship of the state and its officials, public control of their activities, subordination of the state to the society and its high responsiveness to societal pressures, supremacy of law, and primacy of individual freedom (Arblaster, 1999, p. 35). Luckily, nowadays we are living in the period of historical expansion of democracy (Shepherd, 1998, p. 41). Although in 1988 two thirds of governments in the world were autocratic (Huntington, 1993, p.

21), now 70% nations in all regions of the world proceed along the democratic path (UNDP, 2002, p. 2). First time in the history majority of citizens in the world are living under the conditions of political system in which opportunity of self-government is laid in one or another form. Although we witnessed some cases of backward moves, but general trend remains positive the apparent globalization of democratization (Huntington, 1993, p. 48). Progress of democracy gives birth to hopes for well-being enhancement accompanying democratic transformations.

At long last, it was recognized that highly industrialized democratic countries have the most dynamic, innovative and efficient economies in the world (UNDP, 2002, p. 3). Stability of that growth, responsibility of financial institutions ensuring it and protection of property rights in those democracies enable them to accumulate and fix turns for the better in quality of lives of their citizens across the generations (Armijo, Biersteker & Lowenthal, 1994, p. 164).

At all that 80% current democratic transformations take place in developing countries (Armijo, 2005, p. 2017). Scholars recognize that they owe to global democratization trend for that. Many of them admit that global nature is a distinguished feature of contemporary democratic wave in comparison with the earlier waves of democratic process, as now democratization encompasses almost all continents (Huntington, 1993). Logically, such global nature encourages developing countries to keep up to date and join the process.

Huntington (1993) explains the causes of expanding globalization of world democratic process by the following factors: crisis of legitimacy of authoritative and totalitarian systems; unprecedented growth of world economy in 1960-s as well as growth of education and increasing of urban middle class; serious changes in doctrine of Catholic church during 1960-s; internationalization of economic growth and associated with it demonstrational effect reinforced by new means of international communication which plays stimulating role and serves as a model for further efforts toward undemocratic regime change in other countries (p.

24). The first factor legitimacy has become the most vulnerable point of authoritarian and totalitarian regimes. While in the past legitimacy of autocratic regimes was grounded by historical tradition, religion, the right of inheritance of the throne (in absolute monarchies) etc. , during the twentieth century only totalitarian ideology and nationalism remained the instruments of legitimacy (Shepherd, 1998, p. 78). Growth of middle class and evolution of education contributed to changes in social structure and moral values which, in their turn, serve as precondition of democratization as scholars argue (Huntington, 1993, p.52).

It makes no surprise as it is generally accepted that namely middle class constitutes both the main massive foundation and driving force for democratization process (Penna, 1998, p. 111). Besides, internationalization of economic growth facilitates integration of all nations in world markets of trade, investment, technologies, tourism, and communication. Especially it is true for developing countries striving for increasing their share in world markets (Armijo, Biersteker & Lowenthal, 1994, p. 165).

Empirical studies demonstrated that the more economically developed a developing country becomes, the more intertwined with the international market places it turns out to be (Imai, 1996, p. 5). Petras and Veltmeyer characterized this trend in a very precise manner: Free markets increase choices, foster individualism and promote social pluralism, all essential ingredients of a democracy. Alternatively, a democratic political system is seen as an indispensable means of securing the optimal [.. ] conditions of capitalism, which is viewed as the most effective and efficient form of economic development (2001, p. 106).

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