Transitions to Democracy and Democratic Consolidation

2291 WordsJun 22, 201810 Pages
Transitions to democracy have been explained in various ways. Modernization for instance, is one theoretical approach to explain why countries democratize. Additionally, social and cultural factors have also explained democratization, as well as, international factors. It becomes deductive to attribute democratization to any one single theory as modernization works with social and cultural factors that are also impacted by international factors. It appears as if they all contribute in one way or another. Wezel and Inglehart (2008) examine the effects of crucial social and cultural elements like self-expression that work with modernization in tandem to aid in democratization. Ross (2001) further illustrates this claim in his finding that…show more content…
Nevertheless, instead of that wealth creating conditions that promote democracy, they lack the social and cultural conditions. Thus the government uses oil money for quelling the need for self-expression. Ross (2001) illustrates Inglehart’s argument that modernization’s effects on economic development can bring higher education levels and occupational specialization that aid in democratization. However, if economic development does not produce the cultural and social changes mentioned by Ingelhart, it will not result in democratization (Ross 2001). This is an interesting caveat to the claim of modernization assisting democratization. It appears that economic growth is a necessary but not sufficient cause for democratization. It seems as if there also needs to be an element of social and cultural change as well to create values consistent with democratization. Therefore oil wealth alone does not satisfy the social and cultural conditions that facilitate democratization. Contrary to the notion that economics alone benefit democratization, Ross’ (2001) results suggest that the antidemocratic properties of oil and mineral wealth are substantial. Furthermore, his finding indicate that oil harms democracy more in oil-poor countries than in oil-rich ones and oil and mineral wealth cause greater damage to democracy in poor countries than in rich ones. Additionally, all of the variables measuring occupational specialization are highly
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