Subject: Economic development

October 2019, Volume 30, Issue 4

Modi Consolidates Power: Leveraging Welfare Politics

To a degree that is still not widely appreciated, the BJP has replaced Congress as India’s party of welfarism. The carefully crafted political persona of Prime Minister Narendra Modi as the “leader of the poor” has been crucial to this shift.

July 2018, Volume 29, Issue 3

Modernization and Authoritarianism

Embracing a new model of capitalist authoritarianism, a number of nondemocratic regimes have made startling gains in state capacity, posing a new challenge to the appeal and advance of liberal democracy.

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July 2017, Volume 28, Issue 3

India’s Democracy at 70: Growth, Inequality, and Nationalism

Of late, Indian democracy has been confronted with a new political economy. Strong economic growth over the last three decades has generated the world’s fourth-largest collection of dollar billionaires and the third-largest middle class, both for the first time in Indian history, while still leaving the single largest concentration of the poor behind. In a…

April 2017, Volume 28, Issue 2

The Modernization Trap

Populist nationalism is emerging as the main competitor to liberal democracy. But despite its current resurgence, in the long run, like other illiberal paths to modernity, it is likely to prove a dead end.

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April 2016, Volume 27, Issue 2

The Puzzle of the Chinese Middle Class

Seymour Martin Lipset argued that economic development would enlarge the middle class, and that the middle class would support democracy. To what extent will this general proposition prove true of China?

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October 2015, Volume 26, Issue 4

The Rise of the World’s Poorest Countries

Widely believed to be hopelessly mired in poverty, stagnation, and dictatorship, the developing world has in fact been making steady progress for over two decades in health, education, income, and conflict reduction, along with democracy.

October 2014, Volume 25, Issue 4

Growth, Security, and Democracy in Africa

Democracy’s fortunes rose in Africa in the 1990s, but more recently have been in retreat. The forces of democratic resurgence remain in play, however, as a look at the key case of Nigeria suggests.

July 2011, Volume 22, Issue 3

Poverty, Inequality, and Democracy: Growth and Hunger in India

Despite India’s impressive achievements in democracy, economic development, and the rule of law, it remains home to a third of the world’s poor. Although it has successfully averted famine since independence, it still struggles to prevent chronic hunger.

January 2010, Volume 21, Issue 1

The Crash of ’08

The short-term political impact of the economic crisis has been less dramatic than initially expected, but it may have lasting effects on the “quality” of democracy, including the legitimacy of prevailing financial institutions.

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January 2010, Volume 21, Issue 1

Why Are There No Arab Democracies?

Democracy has held its own or gained ground in just about every part of the world except for the Arab Middle East. Why has this crucial region remained such infertile soil for democracy?

July 2009, Volume 20, Issue 3

China Since Tiananmen: The Labor Movement

The twenty years since 1989 have brought two major developments in worker activism. First, whereas workers were part of the mass uprising in the Tiananmen Movement, there is today hardly any sign of mobilization that transcends class or regional lines. Second, a long-term decline in worker power at the point of production is going on…

July 2009, Volume 20, Issue 3

China Since Tiananmen: Middle-Class Mobilization

Some of the many China stories to attract attention recently have involved NIMBY (Not in My Backyard) protests by largely middle class crowds gathering to demand a greater say in urban development plans. This article argues that such protests a) are a significant addition to the already complex landscape of Chinese collective action (and signal…

July 2009, Volume 20, Issue 3

The Turnover in El Salvador

In March 2009, El Salvador saw its first peaceful alternation of power since independence, as the FMLN, a former guerilla movement that laid down its arms in 1992, finally won the presidency.

April 2009, Volume 20, Issue 2

Reading Russia: The Dying Mutant

The corporatist kleptocracy being erected by Russian President Vladimir Putin is profoundly misunderstood in the West. This model dooms Russia to economic degradation and margin-alization. The current global crisis has made this truth painfully clear. The artificially created image of a threatening West (and U.S. in particular) is now becoming the sole ideological justification for…

April 2009, Volume 20, Issue 2

Reading Russia: The Return of Personalized Power

In contrast to authoritarian power structures, which rest on a form of bureaucratic corporatism that makes the leader its hostage, the regime in Moscow rests on personalized power, something that signals a return to the traditional Russian political matrix. The regime has fused power and property in a manner that makes the oligarchs utterly dependent…

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April 2009, Volume 20, Issue 2

Reading Russia: The Rules of Survival

The image of Putin’s Russia as an authoritarian oil state attracts many Western analysts because it seems to carry a promise that falling oil prices will bring regime change. Thus, many were convinced that a major economic crisis would force the Kremlin either to open up the system and allow more pluralism and competition, or…

April 2009, Volume 20, Issue 2

The Consequences of Democratization

For the past few decades, scholars have been focusing on the causes of democratization. It is now time to devote systematic attention to analyzing the costs and benefits that democracy brings.

April 2008, Volume 19, Issue 2

Politics, Markets, and Society in Lula’s Brazil

Brazil under Lula offers a test case of how politicians and societal interests in developing countries react when economic growth and new possibilities change the name of the game from shock and scarcity to boom and prosperity.

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July 2007, Volume 18, Issue 3

How Will China Democratize?

No one should underrate the will and skill that the ruling Chinese Communist Party will put into keeping its grip on power.

January 2007, Volume 18, Issue 1

Political Engineering in the Asia-Pacific

The 1997 financial crisis undermined the argument for a putative “Asian-style democracy” that prioritized economic development over political liberalization. Yet recent electoral and other reforms have set the stage for the emergence of a genuine “Asian model” of democracy.

October 2006, Volume 17, Issue 4

Governance and Development

Embedding a vibrant market economy into strong democratic political institutions is the best way to ensure that political and economic empowerment play complementary roles improving the lives of citizens around the world.

July 2006, Volume 17, Issue 3

The Palestinian Elections: Beyond Hamas and Fatah

January’s remarkably free and fair parliamentary elections broke the PLO’s longstanding monopoly over Palestinian politics. Given Fatah’s disarray and the difficulties facing Hamas, there is now a window of opportunity for a third and avowedly liberal-democratic option to emerge.

July 2005, Volume 16, Issue 3

Promoting Transparency in Angola

Natural-resource wealth has been at the root of Angola's corruption and authoritarianism. By giving leverage to those pushing for reform, however, it has also become a key factor in teh struggle for accountability.

January 2005, Volume 16, Issue 1

The IMF and Democratic Governance

Like many other world-government bodies, the International Monetary Fund is a necessarily nondemocratic organitzation that cannot help but have an impact on democracy’s prospects in poorer countries.

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July 2004, Volume 15, Issue 3

South Africa After Apartheid: The First Decade

Over the ten years since its first nonracial elections in 1994, South Africa has seen its democratic order become more firmly institutionalized, even as the electoral dominance of the ANC has continued to grow.

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January 2004, Volume 15, Issue 1

Iraq: Setbacks, Advances, Prospects

The stakes are enormous and the challenges are difficult, but a look at Iraq months after the toppling of Saddam Hussein reveals that, despite all the frustrating setbacks, grounds for cautious optimism remain.

July 2003, Volume 14, Issue 3

A Model for Post-Saddam Iraq

If Iraq is successfully to democratize and an inclusive democratic culture is to emerge, the Iraqi state must be reconstituted as a federal and strongly liberal system and thoroughly demilitarized.

July 2003, Volume 14, Issue 3

Nigeria: Elections in a Fragile Regime

The election cycle concluding in the spring of 2003 was a guarded success. High hurdles to better governance and democratic consolidation remain, but Nigerians can now face them with greater hope.

July 2003, Volume 14, Issue 3

Africa: States in Crisis

Democratic and ecnomic development will become sustainable in sub-Saharan Africa only with the emergence of coherent, legitimate and effective states.

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January 2002, Volume 13, Issue 1

The End of the Transition Paradigm

Must countries where authoritarian regimes have fallen therefore be "in transition" to democracy? Many democracy promoters seem to think so. Yet trends on the ground in country after country are raising doubts about whether it is true or useful to think of democracy's prospects in this way. 

January 2002, Volume 13, Issue 1

South Africa: Democracy Without the People?

A decade after the end of apartheid, South African democracy may be headed for trouble because the country has yet to fulfill the three requirements of democratic consolidation: inequality-reducing economic growth, stable institutions, and a supportive political culture.

January 2002, Volume 13, Issue 1

What Democracy Can Do for East Asia

The implicit social bargain that carried many East Asian countries through the Cold War has lost its currency. If the peoples of this region are to secure the blessings of peace, liberty, and prosperity in the century ahead, they will need to have a new and explicitly democratic bargain working for them.

July 2001, Volume 12, Issue 3

History and Memory: The Revolutions of 1989-91

There has been surprisingly little celebration of the tenth anniversary of the revolutions that brought down communism. The exaggerated hopes of the time have given way to disillusionment, but the real achievements of many of the postcommunist countries should not be discounted.

July 2001, Volume 12, Issue 3

Serbia’s Prudent Revolution

A bloodless revolution toppled the corruption-ridden 13-year-old regime of Slobodan Milosevic and brought to power a team led by committed democrats. Although strains exist within the new 18-party ruling coalition, there are strong reasons for it to hold together during the current period of transition.

April 2001, Volume 12, Issue 2

Pressing for Openness in Singapore

Although friendly to business, Singapore’s government represses dissent and is far from transparent in its management of public funds. A leading dissident chronicles his struggle for greater openness.

January 2001, Volume 12, Issue 1

Books in Review: Politics and Development

A review of "Democracy and Development: Political Institutions and Well-being in the World 1950-1990." By Adam Przeworski, Michael E. Alvarez, Jose Antonio Cheibub, and Fernando Limongi.

July 2000, Volume 11, Issue 3

Arabs and Democracy: A Record of Failure

Democracy is spreading everywhere except in the Arab world. Arab elections are an immense masquerade. Corrupt dictatorships seek to stifle freedom of thought and to control the flow of information.

April 2000, Volume 11, Issue 2

Latin America at the Century’s Turn

Recent disappointments have led to excessive pessimism about Latin America’s economic and democratic prospects. International recognition of the region’s diversity and a sense of perspective about its setbacks will improve its chances for further success.

April 2000, Volume 11, Issue 2

The Politics of the Asian Financial Crisis

The political dimensions of the 1997-99 Asian financial crisis have been largely ignored. Yet political factors are crucial to understanding the crisis and the differing ways in which the democracies and authoritarian regimes in the region responded to it.