W7DQs Response - Assignment Example

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There have been arguments that African states, for instance, are not ready for democracy. Take for instance in Kenya, violence erupted after the disputed elections. This brings back the old…
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Running head: HISTORY AND POLITICAL SCIENCE W7DQs Response Insert Insert Grade Insert Building versusDemocratization
Democratization should not be avoided out of fear that it will cause state weakening. There have been arguments that African states, for instance, are not ready for democracy. Take for instance in Kenya, violence erupted after the disputed elections. This brings back the old argument that Africa is divided along tribal lines and democracy does not suit it at all. Those who support this thought believe that democratization has no role in state building (Carothers, n.d). It is my considered opinion that state building should go hand in hand with democratization, marketization , the rule of law and protection of human rights.
State Building versus Democratization
State building can be divided into two major phases. In the first phase, the state establishes control over a given territory; it monopolizes the force, and sets up vital institutions like those responsible for revenue and security. In the second phase the state continues to strengthen itself with the main objective of self support in provision of a wide range of services. In the first phase there is no need for democratization or introduction of pluralism. This is because it is when the state is establishing itself. However, in the next phase promotion of democracy will be compatible with and vital in the process of state building. Democratization help build institutions that can link the citizens to the state (Bratton, 2004). State building on the other hand improves the social welfare of the citizens. The misconception that authoritarian governments with stable states are better than the democratic states with less stable states should be avoided at all. In such countries the state may provide most of the needs of the people but the human rights are not respected. The wealth of such states is not equally shared. The political elites own most of the wealth while the majority of the masses are left poor. The people are oppressed and they do not live freely. The regimes saw the seed of their own destruction. They deny the citizens the political goods and their stability is short lived. The aggrieved or neglected sections of the society will rise up against the government to demand recognition and this might lead to overthrow of existing governments.
It is also important to note that there can be no democracy without state building. A state with weak institutions cannot promise its citizens free and fair elections. These states lack both democracy and state building capacity. They are failed states. But I would not prefer to live in an authoritarian stable state as opposed to weak failed states because in both cases there is suffering both home and abroad. Take for instance foreign aid; both sides may not access it.
In conclusion, it is important to note that state building and democracy should go hand in hand. A country should establish its territory, gain control over it, and establish the necessary institutions. The following period involves strengthening the state by ensuring the state can be self supporting. This should be done with promotion of democracy. Lack of democracy invites protests and revolutions in countries and should be avoided at all costs. A citizen should not breathe a sigh of relief for being in an authoritarian stable state because some citizens in the same country may be suffering as those in failed states.
Reference List
Bratton, M. (2004). State Building and Democratization In Sub-Saharan Africa: Forwards, Backwards, Or Together? Working Paper No. 43. AfroBarometer
Carothers, T. (n.d). Democracy Promotion and State Failure. Retrieved January 26, 2013 from Read More
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