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Lecture 14

Lecture 14

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Political Science
Melissa Levin

thJanuary 24 2011 Politics of Development Lecture FourteenPreconditions Poverty and inequalityo Can you not become a democracy if you have high levels of poverty and inequality o Aristotle raises this issue in his writing If democracy requires equal participation from all citizens they must be able to make autonomous wellinformed decisionsthey should be able to affect the political sphere in the same way o But in reality the richer have more say in how politics operates o How is participation affected when people dont have the best means to survive Let alone having time to attend these meetingso When the population has a very low income how is it possible for them to participateo As well as education not justified though just because it is published does not mean it is correct o Patron and client relationships are said to be affected by poverty and inequalityo They create the conditions for those kinds of regimes to take rootDifficult for democracy to unseat them o Many of the theories developed in democratic regimes require a minimum amount of equality for democracy to be successfulSeymor Lipset is the one to have raised and enforced this belief o In developed worlds where you have strong functioning institutions of democracy the practice is said to be weak o What is the minimum amount of equality that promises a good democracy We do not know and it is very difficult to measure o Will democracy produce equity Specific focus on equality remains unproven but is still a significant debate todayNational unity o Mentioned in the Rivera article o In order to have democracy you need to have national unity to an extento This has obviously been an issue for developing countries last term we talked about the ways in which nationstates evolvethese countries need to create a national consensusAccording to some theorists this affects the extent to if you can have democracy o Democracy opens up the space for all kinds of interest1
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