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Demokratie, Armut und Entwicklung: Ein Überblick

Jürgen H. Wolff
Verfassung und Recht in Übersee / Law and Politics in Africa, Asia and Latin America
Vol. 24, No. 4 (1991), pp. 393-405
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/43110861
Page Count: 13
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
Demokratie, Armut und Entwicklung: Ein Überblick
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Abstract

The article centers on two main themes: 1. A review of the old question of poverty of a developing country and its political system are systematically related; 2. whether economic development in the developing world rests necessarily on authoritarian forms of government. As to the first question, simply correlating indicators of wealth and of democracy, a strong correlation results. However, should a cause-and-effeet-relation exist, it is unclear what is the cause and what the effect: Are developing countries authoritarian because they are poor or are they poor because they are authoritarian? The strong correlation disappears if replaced by a time-series-analysis (following Arat): No clear relation between development of economic and development of democracy indicators could be found. As to the second question, it can at least be shown that democratic forms of government in the Third World do not result in worse economic performance than authoritarian ones. Given the many advantages of democratic forms of government, e.g. in the human rights sphere, developing countries ought to introduce or reinforce democratic systems also if they wish to accelerate their economic development. Furthermore, Western foreign and development policy should insist on such a procedure: the objection that economic development is possible only with authoritarian government simply is not valid!

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