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Which is More Stable: Democracy or An Authoritarian Regime - Essay Example

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In determining the level of stability of either authoritarian or democratic leadership styles, a number of arguments raised by political theorists has to be taken into account. Undeniably, both regimes have their pros and cons but a thorough investigation will reveal the weaknesses that may render one system to be unstable. …
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Which is More Stable: Democracy or An Authoritarian Regime
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"Which is More Stable: Democracy or An Authoritarian Regime"

Download file to see previous pages A wider population in our today’s world is quickly moving from the traditional authoritarian regime to democratic one. This alone is pointing out that there must be some systemic flaws within the authoritarian regime that leads to instability thereby affecting the possibility of a long-term prospect. This discussion will be based upon the transition of Angola, a South African country, from authoritarian regime to democracy. Since gaining independence from Portugal, Angola has only had one multi-party election held back in the year 1992 (Hague & Harrop, 2007, p. 58). This new era was in parallel with the ‘third wave’ of the 1990s global democratic transition in which more than 60 states took part. Although the nation-state is the property of its citizenry, it was elites, not masses, who originally created and ruled it. In the third phase, the masses conquered the right to participate in government decision making and, hence, democratic states (or democracies) were created. Despite the obvious advantages, authoritarian regimes enjoy in terms of general control – it appears, these regimes are unstable mainly because of their internal organization and manner in which they attained as well as retained power. Governments that are run democratically have a better structure that indicates how transition from one leader to another can be handled peacefully (Newton & Van Deth, 2005, p. 65). Very peaceful elections are normally the means to choose rival leaders and it means stability is guaranteed. On the other hand, transition of power in an authoritarian regime is unclear and may be easily tainted with civil war as it happened in Angola. Democracy allows the citizens of a country to choose different leaders basing on their skills of leadership they have in different sectors. This means that failure of one leader does not mean that a whole state fails; rather a replacement with a leader who can accomplish the tasks normally takes place. Authoritarian leaders tend to stick to power no matter what failures befall them (Carmani, 2011). Angola, a country rich in diamonds and oil, has yet to enjoy the full benefits of these natural resources due to poor management by the authoritarian regime. This directly affects the citizen’s quality of life. Freedom of speech, a very powerful tool in any regime that practices democracy, can be used positively in warning leaders of any serious problems or threats to the government. The governments can then make changes or take effective measures in advance to avoid any failures. It is a mean of citizens to express their views and if the government takes precautionary measures, major problems such as famine that affect authoritarian regimes are easily avoided (“Marching towards riches and democracy in Angola”, 2008). Freedom of speech is suppressed in authoritarian regimes and the regime in power ensures that it instills fear among the population to avoid any uprising. The free nature associated with democratic regimes allows for a more dynamic economy. Governments struggle to meet demands of citizens without politicizing the process or raising the taxes. Stability of a nation and economic growth are things that go hand in hand. Angola has suffered slow economic growth if any due to its instability when it comes to leadership. Good professional governance can ensure redistribution of wealth to the poor without compromising the life the rich were accustomed to. The leaders we have seen in power under authoritarian regimes such as Angola will enrich themselves and the elite at the expense of the poor struggling citizens (Hague & ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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