“Globalization Promotes Democracy Both Directly and Indirectly”

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“Globalization Promotes Democracy Both Directly and Indirectly” Bhagwati, Jagdish Globalization, 2007
Globalization Promotes Democracy Both Directly and Indirectly Globalization promotes democracy both directly and indirectly. The direct link comes from the fact that rural farmers are now able to bypass the dominant classes and castes by taking their produce directly to the market thanks to modern information technology, thereby loosening the control of these traditionally hegemonic groups. In turn, this can start them on the way to becoming more-independent actors, with democratic aspirations, in the political arena. Globalization is at the source of this phenomenon in two ways: the computers themselves are available because of trade, and the markets accessed are foreign in many cases, not just domestic. Thus, a recent report from Kamalpur village in India by the Wall Street Journal reporter Cris Prystay documents how the villagers are now selling their crops by computer, cutting out the middlemen. Soybean farmer Mohammed Arif, 24 years old, says the computer allows farmers greater control over their own goods. Farmers often get cheated at markets, or get stuck with whatever price is offered that day. With the computer, he says, they can make a considered decision at home, holding crops until prices improve. The Link Between Prosperity and Democracy

The indirect link, on the other hand, comes from a proposition vigorously advanced by the American political scientist and intellectual Seymour Martin Lipset in his 1959 classic Some Social Requisites of Democracy. The thesis popularly attributed to Lipset has been that economic prosperity produces a middle class. This emerging middle class creates, however haltingly, an effective demand for democratization of politics: the new bourgeoisie, with wallets a little fatter, seeks a political voice, not just one in the marketplace. So, as with the thesis successfully linking globalization with reduced poverty, we now...
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