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Impact of Economic Inequality on Democratization Essay

Updated August 11, 2022

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Impact of Economic Inequality on Democratization Essay essay

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Post World War II was a time when democracy was seen as the savior for struggling nations. The authoritarian regimes of the Axis and USSR was deemed abhorrent and unstable. Democracy emerged as the ideal form of governance and countries with democratic colonial ties began a process of democratization. Democratization is the shift from one form of government to a democratic political regime. Both India and Pakistan have barriers and catalysts that affect democratization outcomes. In both countries, an ethnically diverse population paired with economic inequality and religious majority all play into hindering or facilitating democracy.

An ethnically diverse population may promote or mitigate democratic outcomes depending on certain scenarios. India’s ethnically diverse population helps bolster democratic tendencies while Pakistan population serves as a barrier toward democratic progression. Citizens living within an ethnically diverse population potentially share the same view of citizenship, a corporate view. This corporate view of citizenships means that they perceive, “their rights and interests from the perspective of the group they identify with”. Political legitimacy stems from the political power their people have. If this certain group of people control some arm or section of the government members of that ethnic group typically will view the current state of government favorably. There will not be any protests or distress from these people as they believe they are represented within the country.

On the contrary, if a citizens ethnic group is omitted from the policy creating process and is unable to have any political power to dispel unfavorable decisions, there is a possibility that they will take a stance of hostility toward the state. These outcasted ethnic groups might see regular acts of revenue extraction, policing and military deployment with distrust. Those in power who impose these seemingly unjust activities are seen as “one of them” rather than “one of us.” It might increase refusal to these routine activities that are conducted by every society and could lead to revolution, assassination or a coups d’état.

In the case of India, its ethnically diverse population helps bolster democratic tendencies. As multiple ethnic groups within India rotate throughout the government, each having some form of policy creating or making, they feel contempt with the current democratic system and ensure that the system does not change. As the current system is already democratic, attempting to preserve this system is an effect on democratization. The political power must be distributed throughout society evenly and many of the ethnic groups within India have some political power.

In the case of Pakistan, the ethnic diversity does not provide growth towards a democracy. The divergent groups within the state cause tension and make compromise and consensus difficulty. This can undermine the legitimacy of the government. The ruling party feels threatened by all of the ethnic groups trying to gain power and begins to suppress any chance for a change in government. They begin to ban protests, stop any opposing parties to run and impose military rule to enforce new policies. This fear of losing power to another ethnic group shuts down any possibility for democratization to begin as the leaders only want to better themselves regardless if it is at the expense of others.

Economic inequality effects democratization as it can foster the development of democratization (Acemoglu, Robinson). Their original argument was that high economic inequality created an environment where there was a high risk of a revolution that would be costly for the elites, thus it was in the elite’s favor that engaged democracy with redistribution policy elements. However, more recently, A&R make the argument that there is a threshold in which economic inequality can become so bad that redistribution efforts would be costlier than the costs of a revolution. Therefore, a society needs to have the perfect balance of inequality. Tip too far to either side will greatly affect the outcomes of democratization. There needs to be enough economic inequality for a revolution to be a risk in the eyes of the elite, but there cannot be too much where revolution is actually the less costly option.

Impact of Economic Inequality on Democratization Essay essay

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Impact of Economic Inequality on Democratization Essay. (2022, Aug 11). Retrieved from