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As an experienced scholar, I would define democracy as a set of principles or practices that aim at institutionalizing freedom. A democratic government is characterized by a rule of the majority, value for fundamental human rights, free and fair elections, and safeguarding the minority’s rights. In short, a democratic government assumes equity before the law as it stands for political pluralism and equal rights in elections. This work debates the impacts of underdevelopment and economic inequality on attempts to democratize a nation.
Perhaps Aristotle was the first scholar to identify the connection involving economic inequality and democracy. His work establishes that the poor have more sovereign power than the rich and prosperous a society (Oyelere, 2007, P. 3). To be specific, the poor have the numbers that command democracy in any given nation. In fact, history defines democracy as a rule that abolished any breed of advantages based on hereditary or class. This implies that the majority but not the well-to-do minority own absolute power of any given democracy. Democratic regimes are based on the majority rule, which is presumed to be the main source of power in society. Consequently, income allocation plays a critical role in terms of democracy levels of any nation.
Some authors expansively reviewed early empirical research that was done in the ’60s and the ’70s. To be specific, they focused on the relationship involving inequality and democracy. After reviewing twelve articles, these authors established that democracy fails to aggravate inequality. Nonetheless, Oyelere established a different outcome from their study. The study by Oyelere revealed the latest evidence asserts that the relationship involving democracy and inequality is inversely related (Oyelere, 2007, P. 7). To give further elucidation, nations with high levels of democracy have lower levels of inequality and vice versa.
Nonetheless, there are some exceptions to this converse relationship. For instance, Oyelere’s study in 126 nations came up with a contrasting outcome. They revealed that increased levels of democracy lessen the levels of inequality in Judeo-Christian communities. On the contrary, they established that democracy has a minor effect in Confucian and Muslim communities (Oyelere, 2007, P. 7).
Early insights of the relationship involving development and democracy saw democracy not as a vital element for development but rather as the expected final phase of development. These hypotheses argued that progress should be prioritized and that democracy was the ultimate step in growth (Oyelere, 2007, P. 21). To add insult to injury, they claimed that dictatorship, not a very popular rule, was a prerequisite for development. In fact, some authors have argued that democratic governments have a tendency of diverting resources from investment to expenditure (Oyelere, 2007, P. 14).
For instance, the countries with the highest rates of growth as from the 1960s did so in an atmosphere missing almost all the key that characterizes democracy. These countries include South Korea, Taiwan, Indonesia, Thailand, and Brazil. Some of these nations have shifted to democratic governance. However, they attained high levels of progress at a time when their nations were considered undemocratic.
In conclusion, this work has clearly discussed the impacts of economic inequality and underdevelopment on the attempts to democratize a nation. This work clearly argues that economic inequality leads to a poor democracy. It also reveals that democracy lessens development and that dictatorship or any other form of government advances development.
Oyelere, R. O. (2007). Within and Between Gender Disparities in Income and Education Benefits from Democracy. Web.