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IS DEMOCRACY NECESSARY IN BRINGING DEVELOPMENT? Institution Instructor Introduction Democracy is usually defined as the rule of the people by the people. This is a very simple but enduring definition which continues to capture and express virtually all the key attributes of democracy…
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Download file to see previous pages The meaning of development has evolved over time and so have the development paradigms and approaches. Development has been defined much more broadly to include the question of the quality of life of people. Seers had argued that in evaluating a country’s progress towards development, we should ask what has been happening to poverty, inequality and the general quality of life of the people. Development is also about the respect for human rights and the creation of equitable and inclusive systems of governance (Lipset, Seong and Torres, 1993 pp.156). Most people believe that democracy is a valuable component in enhancing the process of development. However, there has been a negative relationship between democracies in improving development, but it is not clear whether it can hinder any economic growth. Democracy can be viewed in three aspects, one relates to issues relating to civil, and political rights which citizens of a country enjoy, secondly it may relate to issues of daily accountability and administration. Thirdly, it relates to periodic exercises during election of representatives. The strengths of the three aspects vary in different countries or states. Development can be viewed as improvement of economic growth within a country resulting to improved sectors like education, infrastructure and agriculture. Different empirical studies have shown positive and negative views on democracy as necessary components to development (Horowitz, 1990 pp.75). Emergence of democracy and development The fact that developed and richest countries like UK, US and Netherlands are democratic forced the debate and expectations that democracy and development will entirely co exist in the same space, and there is a causal link of relationship between them. A number of Sub-Saharan African countries did embrace multi-party rule (democracies) in the years 1990s after a decade of single party rule and dictatorship. This led to a renewed optimism and increased poverty levels, corruption, coups and conflicts, the governance system was unable to provide any development, peace, security or even fight for human rights. However, after two decades of such type of governance countries have recorded progress by creation of democratic institutional infrastructures and there is improved security, peace and consideration of human rights leading to economic growth. Nevertheless, despite the improved democratic process and systems a number of analysts and parties have argued that there is some link between democracy and development because these countries still have high poverty levels and are less developed Sub- Saharan Africa has the highest incident of poverty than the rest of the world (Lipset, Seong and Torres, 1993 pp.156). Democracy and Development It is not clear whether this matter will ever be resolved or how soon this will be particularly because evidence is mixed and almost contradictory. It may not be easy to prove causality in this case but a relationship between the two does exist. It is obvious that development cannot take place under conditions of instability, war, or even major conflict. It is also a fact that democracy is the only system known today which can generate conditions of peace and security and sustain them. Democratic regimes are more likely to come up with policies that are reflective of the will of the people. These policies provide the environment and context for development to ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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