Democracy Is Not a Pre-Requisite to Economic Development

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Stand: Democracy is not a pre-requisite to economic development

The relationship between democracy and economic development has long been debated. Does development come first, followed by democracy, in later stages of economic growth? Or does democracy actually pave the way for development? These questions are especially relevant today due to the on-going economic reforms in various parts of the world and growing awareness among policy-makers that problems of governance, public policy, and economic performance are interconnected. So the big question is, which comes first-democracy or economic development? Economic Development ,in general ,refers to the increase in standard of living in a nation's population with sustained growth from a simple, low-income economy to a modern, high-income economy. It can be compared to the development of money from the initial level of barter trade to the coins and banknotes or plastic money currently in use. Democracy on the other hand, is a form of political organisation which encourages the citizens’ participation in the decision-making process, either through direct involvement or through representative participation.   This paper posits that democracy as a political form of social organization is not a pre-requisite to economic development .It is not a pre-condition to development although, development may pave way for democratic regime in the future. Research reveals that economies with low levels of development do not sustain democracy. Almost all the advanced economies of the world, including the United States, Japan, Germany, Great Britain, Russia, etc., and also almost all the emerging economies in contemporary world, made their initial take-off and fastest growth under non-democracy, or at least not under the kind of democracy we have in mind today. We believe that there is a lot more to economic development than just democracy. Economic Growth is crucially dependent on a lot of other factors like geographical...
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