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8   1   7 1 Modernization Theory Economic  Human Development 17 min

8 1 7 1 Modernization Theory Economic Human Development 17 min


In previous lectures, we’ve talked about
the expansion of democracy, we’ve talked about what democracy is, we’ve looked at
legitimacy, democratic consolidation and political culture, the attitudes and
values toward democracy. the question of course arises, where does
a democratic culture come from? What shapes Attitudes and values toward
democracy that are favorable to developing and sustaining democracy.
And we saw that this can potentially arise as a result of national experience.
I suggested that Africans have been through better disappointments in terms
of autocratic and unaccountable role and this is helped to drive them toward a
firm and resilient embrace of democracy in general on the specific institutions
of democracy. But there’s a powerful theory out there
that social factors and economic factors may also shape attitudes and values
toward democracy and other conditions that help to encourage and sustain
democracy. And one of the social and economic
factors that’s most over arching and the most powerful in the theoretical
literature as a candidate for causation of democracy and for at least the
sustaining of democracy is economic development.
The original modern thesis of this in the last say several decades of comparative
social science work was articulated by Seymour Martin Lipset first in his famous
1959 article, Some Social Requisites of Democracy.
And then in Political Man which was published the following year in 1960, and
revised and republished again in I believe 1981 Lipset wrote in 1959 in that
famous article, perhaps the most common generalization linking political systems
to other aspects of society, is related to the state of economic development.
The more well-to-do a nation, the greater the chances that it will sustain
democracy. Now he derived this argument, or at least
found evidence in support of it, by looking at the distribution of political
systems. in two kind of cultural sets of
countries, first the European states of Western Europe and the English speaking
world including North America, Australia, New Zealand and then Latin America and he
decompose those two cultural zones. into two groups for European English
speaking world stable democracies and then unstable democracies and
dictatorships for Latin America a rather different grouping stable dictatorships
and then democracies and Russians are moving back and forth.
Between dictatorship and democracy and what he found in this article that was
quite striking is that within each cultural zone the more democratic group
of countries were the ones that had higher levels of economic development on
a number of dimensions. Like per capita income.
What do we learn now, about the relationship between development and
democracy from contemporary evidence? Well as I’m going to suggest we can look
at the human development index a broader measure of development than just per
capita income, and there we see that if we look at the 25 most developed
countries. Setting aside Hong Kong which is not an
independent country, of the top 25 Singapore is the only one that’s among
the 25 best in human development and that is not a democracy.
If we look at the top 40 countries in human development, as measured by the
United Nations Development Program for most recent year available, 2011, we see
that there are few other exceptions in the top 40.
Brunei, Qatar and United Arab Emirates, but the’re all oil-rich states and oil
rich states with very small populations. Moreover, among the democracies in this
group of high human development, whether you look at the top 25 or the top 40.
All of the highly developed countries that are democracies are not just
democracies, they are liberal democracies, so there does seem to be
something about development. That is promoting resiliant and liberal
democracy and makes it highly likely among the most developed countries.
Now what if we put human development aside and just looked at economic
development in dollar terms per capita income.
and will look at this for now and later on as terms of purchasing power parity
dollars, that is controlling floor fluctuations in exchange rates, trying to
look at a basket of goods and say what can a dollar buy in one country versus
another. so that we’re looking at the same real
level of dollar income across states of the 30 richest countries in per capita
income in 2011, we find six authoritarian states.
Singapore again but then now five. Persian Gulf, Arab oil rich states:
Qatar, United Arab Emirates, well one that’s not in the gulf Brunei, Kuwait and
Bahrain. So, Singapore and five small oil rich
states. About 23 countries derive more than 60%
of their export earning from oil and gas exports.
That is their oil dependent, in terms of their economic vitality.
12 of these are in the Middle East, seven are in Africa, and then you have four
others Russia, Azerbaijan, again Brunei which is a sultanate in South East Asia,
and Venezuela. What is striking about these 23 states,
as I noted in my book, The Spirit of Democracy is that none of them are an
electoral democracy, and where electoral democracy came into being or, you know
was restored and Russia and Nigeria or where that existed in Venezuela.
It was crushed in each of these countries under the weight of the perversities of
politics and governance that are induced by the massive inflow of oil rents.
I don’t have time in this lecture to go into depth on why oil and democracy don’t
mix, but I can note. Briefly some important factors that have
discussed in the, been discussed in the literature that I do think have a very
important causal influence. First of all when a country depends on
oil rents. For it’s income.
And when a government depends on the, this windfall of oil income, it severs or
profoundly distorts relations of citizenship of citizens feeling like they
are the boss and the government is accountable to them.
The government is taking their tax revenue, and has to account for how it
spends it. Well, in an oil rich country the
government isn’t taking much in the way of tax revenue, from the citizens.
And so the attitude is it’s the money of those who rule, they’ll spend it as they
want. Citizens are alienated and detached,
because it’s not their money in a way that the government is spending, if this
windfall that’s gushing off from the ground.
As oil revenue and this creates dates that float above the society without deep
roots of accountability, without that bond of citizenship, consciousness and
expectation. and with generally massive corruption.
so this is one of several distortions there are economic distortions as well in
terms of the structure of the economy, and the a proneness to inflation, and to
variations in income over time. But I think the political distortion of
swollen states that lack accountability is perhaps the most decisive for
democracy. Let’s turn now to the United Nations
Human Development Index, and try to understand what it is and how it varies
from other measures of development. it’s a component of three measures.
The first one is life expectancy at birth.
That gives us some sense of public health conditions in the country.
so how long can the average person expect to live given prevailing health
conditions at the moment of birth. the second measure is a measure of
education. and this is an average of two different
items. One is the mean years of schooling of all
of the adults who are over 25 years of age, so if you count how many years of
schooling every person over 25 has had and take the mean of that.
The second measure is given the prevailing rate of school attainment how
long, can children of school age expect to be in school?
How many years of schooling, looking forward can we predict that they’ll have
on average? So, we average those two to get years of
schooling on average for the country. And the third measure is gross national
income, in terms of purchasing power parity dollars.
With the human development index does is, is a standardized each of these three
measures on range from zero to 100 with zero being the lowest country and 100
being the highest country. So you capture the variation of all the
others and then average all three of of these scales to get an overall score to
get zero to one for every country in the world.
And we find here, that oil countries do not rank as highly in the human
development index as they do in money income, per capita, GDP or per capita
Gross National Income. There’s a gap there and it’s very
powerful and it suggests that maybe gross national income or any measure of per
capital income in dollar terms is exaggerating the real level of
development. We can look at the evidence from the
2011. Human development index to get some
substantive documentation of what I’ve just said.
If you look here at the top four countries in human development, three
long standing advanced industry of democracies.
Norway, the US and Germany won more recent entrant to the ranks of advanced
industrial countries but now in terms of the human development index Korea ranks
fifteenth in the world and its level of human development.
And you can see for each of these four advanced industrial democracies, they’re
rank on dollar income, gross national income per capita is lower by six to 12
ranking points then they rank on the human development index .
By contrast if we look at Singapore it ranks 26th in human development index if
you eliminate Hong Kong which is not a country its rank would be 25.
But in terms of all the rankings it’s 26. But in gross national income per capita
it ranks fourth. That’s a gap favoring its per capita
income ranking of 22 points. And that’s what you find with all of the
oil rich countries. They rank much better per capita income.
Than they do on the human development index and look to the right-hand column,
at that negative gap in terms of human development of 27 ranking points for the
United Arab Emirates, 25 for Brunei, 36 for Qatar.
It ranks first in the world in per capita income but 37th on the human development
index. Kuwait ranks sixth in the world in per
capita income. 63rd on the human development index and
take one of the most perverse oil rich countries in the world.
one of the most corrupt and decadent badly governed countries in the world,
Equatorial Guinea. It’s 45th in per capita income and the
richest African country in per capita income but, ranks a 136th in the world in
the bottom half in terms of human development.
A gap of 91 ranks between the two scales. What’s this telling us?
What’s it telling, telling us is that the oil income is not being distributed well
among the population. It’s not being spent effectively to
generate the public goods. That would give the level of health and
education one would expect from a country that has so much income in per capita
terms. So, very substantial inequality.
A concentration of wealth at the top and very considerable perversity in the
generation of public goods in adequacy in education, health and related spending
because of corruption and inequality. So, this helps us to understand why.
Oil-rich countries are not yet democracies.
First of all you have the problem of severed citizenship relationships that I
talked about before, but second of all you have the problem of inequality and
the lack of spending on public goods generating not the same extent and type
of middle class that we find in the advanced industrial countries of the
world. Whose income derives from many different
sectors of industry and services and not oil or mineral mining.

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