Industrialized Democracies “Democracy is the worst form of government except for all the others.” Winston Churchill “When the people fear the government there is tyranny. When the government fears the people there is liberty.” Thomas Jefferson
Presentation Outline • Evolution of Democracy (Review) • 6 features of Industrialized Democracies • Quantitative Measures of Industrialized Democracies • Post-materialism
1) The Evolution of Democracy • Democracy which means ‘rule by the people’ can be traced back to ancient Greece (over 3000 years ago) • Democracy in the modern state emerges in the Seventeenth century in England • The liberal democracies we have today have taken over 300 years to evolve, through the industrial revolution, revolutions, civil wars, and world wars
2) Key Features of Industrialized Democracies • Political freedoms • The rule of law • Transparency • Competitive, fair, and free elections • Strong civil society • Capitalist, wealthy
Political freedoms • Basic freedoms such as freedom of the press, religion, association, and speech are normally guaranteed in a state’s constitution such as in the United States, France, and Germany • The U.K. which has a long political culture of democracy is the one exception of a state without a written guarantee of freedoms in a constitution
Rule of Law • Both elites (those in government) and the public accept the laws of the state • No one is above the law and this establishes rational-legal legitimacy in the regime • Many democracies such as the United States and Canada have judicial review, which means that the courts have the power to overturn laws if they violate the constitution.
Transparency • Democracies have high levels of transparency meaning that they are accountable to citizens through elections, the courts, petitions, protests etc. • Higher transparency generally means lower corruption
Competitive, fair, and free elections • No democracy can call itself one unless all its adult citizens have the right and access to vote for leaders of the government • Competitive means that citizens have more than one option regarding the choice of political parties • There are few if any restrictions on who can run for office, and which parties can compete • It’s a competition of ideas- with the people deciding
Civil Society • Democracies have vibrant civil societies, that is political and social organizations outside the government • This includes joining environmental organizations such as Greenpeace, Chambers of Commerce, and organizing petitions, protests, and demonstrations
Strong Interest Groups • Interests groups are formed by citizens to influence the public policies of the government– this is called interest articulation • Interest groups include: religious organizations, industry, labor, women’s groups etc. • Interest groups in Industrialized democracies are generally pluralist which means multiple groups compete to influence gov’t policy
Capitalist and wealthy • Industrialized Democracies tend to have higher GDP per capita, living standards, and economic growth • Most industrialized democracies have a market economy which allows for private ownership, and encourages investment • Economic decisions are generally made on a supply and demand basis (free market)
Quantitative Measures of Industrialized Democracies • GDP per capita comparison table (2011)- Source: www.cia-factbook.gov
Human Development Index (HDI): a measure of a country’s standard of living, including factors such as health and education. United States .939 United Kingdom .936 Mexico .802 Russia .795 China .745 Iran .732 Nigeria .466 source: www. cia-factbook.gov
Industrialized Democracies generally have higher income equality than authoritarian states Gini index: a mathematical formula that measure the amount of economic inequality in a society; its scale ranges from 0 to 100, where 0 corresponds to perfect equality and 100 to perfect inequality. (welfare state)- United Kingdom .360 United States .408 Iran .430 China .447 Russia .456 Mexico .546 Nigeria .506 Source: www. cia-factbook.gov
In industrialized democracies most citizens are educated and work in the tertiary sector (services): education, banking, business, law, research, etc. In developing states, the majority of citizens are employed in the primary sector, mostly agriculture (see Nepal below)
Post-materialist societies • Industrialized democracies have recently evolved into post-materialistsocieties which means that citizens are increasingly more concerned with non-material wealth and happiness such as a clean environment, more public parks, good public schools etc. (called public goods) • In contrast, societies which are in the midst of industrializing such as Russia, Mexico, and China are materialist societies, are said to be concerned primarily with economic growth and consumerism: buying cars, homes etc.