Globalization and the Strengthening of Democracy in the Developing World by -
•The strengthening of democracy in this analysis refers to increases in political
•Ultimately, I suggest that under conditions of globalization, if governments
expand the size of the welfare state, important advancements in human freedoms
are likely to occur. (The author’s thesis); lack of elite cohesiveness prompts
radical political change.
•But why, then, do some countries become more po-litically repressive after
oFirst, with globalization and rising demands for efficiency and fiscal
discipline, elites may face strong incentives to decrease social spending in
or-der to promote investor confidence and encourage com-petitive exports.
This is particularly true of LDCs facing adjustment pressures from
international financial insti-tutions.
oSecond, increasing the level of social spending as openness occurs is a
contentious elite decision because of the stress it can place on elite assets.
Countries that are high spenders preglobalization are especially vulner-
able to this possibility. Elites in these nations may pre-fer to engage in
repression without making any signifi-cant changes to the social budget.
This helps explain why some more democratic countries that generally
maintain higher levels of social spending experienced setbacks in
democratization after globalizing.
•repression may be more attractive in low-spending LDCs faced with demands for
undesirably large compensation packages
•Globalization tends to create greater economic risks and uncertainty,
diminishing elite control over the economy and affecting both private sector
loyalty and large sectors of society. The result is social instability alongside
waning elite legitimacy.
•If the state is imperfectly democratic, governing elites will fear that the
"losers" would use greater democracy to take away their privileges. These
elites oppose in-creasing democratic quality (hard-liners), putting them at
loggerheads with elites that prefer democratization (the soft-liners).
• However, if the state provides social spending to compensate (buy off) the
injured majority, the masses will be less likely to attack the elite via politics
•Therefore, in such states, (hard-liner) elites will be more likely to agree to
•Globalization ultimately moves business groups towards preferring a more liberal
political system that would better allow them to pursue their interests at will.;