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What are the favorable/unfavorable conditions for a country to be a democracy according to Huntington Do you agree with his assessment of Turkey Unlike Huntington, Reuschemeyer examines social classes to understand conditions favorable for - Essay Example

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Huntington, there are various conditions that serve as a prerequisite for a country to become and stay democratic. In his article, “Will More Countries Be Democratic,” he discussed these conditions in details, which may act as a favorable or…
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What are the favorable/unfavorable conditions for a country to be a democracy according to Huntington Do you agree with his assessment of Turkey Unlike Huntington, Reuschemeyer examines social classes to understand conditions favorable for
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Running Head: Establishment Of Democracy Establishment of Democracy Favorable & Unfavorable Factors [Pick the Question Favorable & Unfavorable Conditions for Democracy
According to Samuel P. Huntington, there are various conditions that serve as a prerequisite for a country to become and stay democratic. In his article, “Will More Countries Be Democratic,” he discussed these conditions in details, which may act as a favorable or unfavorable factor for a country to operate as a democratic entity. The first condition which can have a conducive impact on democracy’s establishment and its stability is economic wealth and equality. According to Huntington, wealth induces acquisition of literacy and education along with mass media exposure, which supports the establishment of democracy.
Another important factor is social structure, i.e. better stratification in social classes induces development of democracy. The third precondition is external environment. As Huntington writes, “In large measure, the rise and decline on a global scale is a function of the rise and decline of the most powerful democratic states” (1984, p. 206). The statement explains that it is the influence of external forces such powerful global states, which force or influence the countries to have a democratic model. Most of Asian countries have democracy under the influence of United States and United Kingdom.
Cultural context has an equally important value as other factors since the political culture which acts as a detrimental element for democracy, stems out of the basic cultural context. All these factors cumulatively act as a pre-requisite for development of establishment and may act as a favorable and unfavorable element for this purpose.
Question 2: Assessment of Turkey by Huntington
His assessment of Turkey appears to be reasonably valid with relation to other historical evidence. Turkey had been under Sultanate rule for centuries. The political structure was mainly based on the native form of the Ottoman Empire which was later on abolished by Mustafa Kamal Pasha after World War I. Though Turkey did show inclination to the democratic model during this time period and try to opt for western democratic practices, however, due to centuries long political history, it kept on showing adherence to democratic as well as non-democratic political systems which, according to Huntington, are usual for “praetorian societies.”
He further explained how the presence of the independent and autonomous bourgeoisie class had an impact on the overall democracy development process in Italy. Huntington used the theoretical models of Marx and Moore to explain how the emergence of bourgeoisie, i.e. independent businessmen, acted as a cornerstone for democracy in Turkey (1984, p. 204). He also urged that Islam as a religion is not conducive to democracy, which is the reason why Turkey was able to embrace democracy only when Mustafa Kamal Pasha rejected the Islamic traditions and accepted secularity. Considering the prevailing examples of Muslim countries such as Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Iraq and Pakistan, this argument appears to be valid.
Question 3: Reuschemeyer’s Assessment of Democracy
According to Reuschemeyer, democracy and capitalism go hand in hand. He gave examples of various theories such as Marx’s to support his version of democracy and its relation to social classes. As per Reuschemeyer, the historical patterns have explained that emergence and development of democracy are mainly dependent on the social class structure which is a product of industrialization. This is precisely the reason why agrarian societies do not show complete democracy. According to the findings of his research, it is the middle class which supports the development of democracy whereas the upper and lower class oppose it for various reasons.
The middle class in the industrialist society had minimum exposure to hegemony and had a substantial interest in the development of democracy. Charismatic leaders acted as the main driving force for the working class in the era of industrialization. On the contrary, the upper class was an opponent of the democratization mainly because of the threats of cheap labor’s loss. Where bourgeoisie supported representative government and establishment of constitution, involvement of lower class was highly opposed. For the landed classes as well as the bourgeoisie, threat perception was important both at the time of the initial installation of democratic rule and for its later consolidation.
As far as lower class is concerned, this segment showed a varied behavior in terms of support for democratization. In small economies where independent farmer families were present, pro-democracy was visible; however, lower class in countries with large landholdings governed by feudal landlords, showed resistance to it mainly because of its inability to mobilize. Cumulative analysis would reveal that it was mainly the middle-class which supported the establishment of democracy during industrialization.
References
Huntington, S. P. (1984). Will more countries become democratic? Political Science Quarterly, 99(2), 193–218.
Rueschemeyer, D., Stephens, E. H., & Stephens, J. D. (1992). Capitalist development and democracy. University of Chicago Press. Read More
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