This chapter addresses the relationship between economic factors and democracy. It begins with a discussion of modernization theory and highlights the disagreement about whether wealth causes democracy or simply makes it more likely to endure. Despite this dispute, most scholars agree that development is good for democracy. The chapter then examines the pathways through which economic development affects democracy, including via education levels, the middle class, organized labour, and values and beliefs. In addition to levels of development, research also shows that changes in economic growth influence democracy. Economic crises can be destabilizing, especially for young democracies. Finally, the chapter considers research on economic inequality and democracy, which is inconclusive in its findings about whether a relationship between the two exists. It also studies how clientelism constitutes significant barriers to democratic consolidation.
10. Economic Drivers of Democracy
7. Poverty and Education
This chapter addresses the relationship between education and poverty. Education has become a central development plank for the World Bank and other multilateral organizations, partly because of the connection between education, development, and the reduction of poverty. Such organizations continue to sponsor and spearhead different programmes geared towards enhanced educational access and engagement (particular at primary school levels). Owing to such programmes, greater numbers of children have access to schooling across the globe, impacting on poverty levels. However, the benefits and opportunities purportedly associated with education are not accessible to those groups which are governed by their structural positions within systems of social and economic inequality. The promised education-related returns are not always forthcoming, particularly for those lacking important forms of social capital.
This chapter examines development policy objectives and their explicit focus on poverty reduction. It first considers different definitions of development policy objectives before discussing the roles that the market mechanism and the state should play in allocating society’s productive resources. In particular, it looks at the economic role of the state as one of the central issues dividing opinion on development strategy and explains how rising inequality led to a backlash against economic liberalization. The chapter proceeds by exploring the relationship between economic growth and poverty reduction, along with the political difficulties that arise from economic reform. It also analyses the importance of transforming the structure of economies and the new global development landscape, including changes in development finance.
19. Globalization, Development, and Security
Nana K. Poku and Jacqueline Therkelsen
This chapter proposes that globalization is a neoliberal ideology for development, consolidated and promoted by key international financial institutions (the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund), which deepens inequality between and within nations on a global scale, resulting in increased global insecurity through a growing sense of injustice and grievance that may lead to rebellion and radicalization. It is argued that, ultimately, the globalization ideology for development services the interest of its advocates, the elites of the core capitalist economies that dominate the international financial institutions, at the expense and immiseration of the majority of people in developing economies and the weaker segments of their own societies. The chapter is set out in three stages: first, it presents the case for conceptualizing globalization as a neoliberal ideology for development; second, it provides evidence to demonstrate the harmful effects of the ideology on societies, particularly across the developing world; and third, it explores the connection between uneven globalization and global insecurity through two case studies: the uprising in Egypt in 2011, and the collapse of the Greek economy in 2010.
4. Globalization and neoliberalism
This chapter evaluates the contested concepts of globalization and neoliberalism, and looks at their role in Global Political Economy (GPE). There are significant debates about the political salience of globalization, with hyperglobalists, sceptics, and transformationalists disagreeing on its implications for the power of the state. Scholars also disagree about when the era of globalization began. Meanwhile, neoliberalism is a set of economic ideas and policies built upon a belief in the ‘free market’ as an unquestionable value in political and economic life. Neoliberal globalization has increased living standards in many parts of the world while also intensifying inequality along the lines of class, race, and gender. At the heart of debates about neoliberalism and globalization are three core puzzles: whether they are primarily depoliticizing or repoliticizing strategies; whether they are best understood by looking at global-level processes or at changes in everyday life; and whether their power is primarily material or ideational.
6. Equality and social justice
This chapter addresses equality and social justice. In the 1980s and 1990s, the goal of social justice was challenged both on political and philosophical grounds and was largely supplanted by an emphasis on economic growth and individual responsibility. Although still given little emphasis in the United States, considerations of social justice came back onto the political agenda in the United Kingdom following the election of the new Labour government in 1997. To rehabilitate social justice, it was necessary to decouple it from traditional socialist ideas of common ownership of the means of production. Key debates on social justice concern theories of equality, priority, and sufficiency, and how inequality should be defined and measured. Of particular concern has been the place of personal responsibility for disadvantages causing inequalities. The chapter then considers equality of opportunity and social relations.
This chapter studies multiculturalism. The term ‘multiculturalism’ can refer to the fact of cultural diversity and may also describe the coexistence of different kinds of cultural group within a country. Multiculturalism emphasizes status, as well as economic inequalities. Thin multiculturalism views all cultural differences as disagreements between groups that agree on liberal values. This view may underestimate the extent of conflict between cultures. Meanwhile, thick multiculturalism appreciates that some cultural differences occur between liberals and non-liberals. While the solution to cultural conflicts in thick multiculturalism is often a modus vivendi, the question is whether this solution treats non-liberal minority cultures fairly. Defenders of cultural rights hold that governments should recognize that all citizens deserve equal opportunities for developing self-respect and autonomy. However, by respecting cultural rights, a government risks supporting injustice against individuals within groups.
13. The Rise of Populism and Its Impact on Democracy
This chapter studies the rise of populism and its impact on democracy. Populism is an ideology that separates society into two homogeneous and antagonistic groups: ‘the pure people’ and ‘the corrupt elite’. Moreover, populism makes moral distinction between these groups; it seeks to valorise and legitimize the people while denigrating the elite. The chapter then describes the key attributes of populist leaders and their supporters. Although not inherently anti-democratic, populism does run counter to the liberal democratic ideal that emphasizes the protection of rights. Populists look to place the needs of the majority or native group ahead of individual liberties and needs. Finally, the chapter considers the underlying drivers of the rise of contemporary populism. These drivers fall into three broad categories: economic, including globalization and the economic stasis and inequality that has occurred along with it; the declining importance of political parties; and a cultural backlash against progressive values.
This chapter introduces the rationale for everyday international political economy (IPE). IPE is primarily concerned with the interrelationship of wealth and power across state borders. Whether through the sites of routine behaviour, the role of popular culture, or the stuff of mass consumption, everyday IPE has sought to show that the economy is continually remade in, and through, our daily lives. The chapter then identifies the lineages of everyday IPE which draw from the influences of theoretical traditions such as liberal, economic nationalist, Marxist, feminist, black, and post-structural theories. It also describes the I-PEEL approach and its implications for learning about and doing IPE. The I-PEEL approach looks at interrelated daily life experiences and explores how social relations of class, gender, race, nationality, and others sustain and subvert global inequalities.
This chapter examines the key conceptual debates on inequality that were common until the end of World War II and the birth of the field of ‘development’. Two inequality-related questions have dominated development debates for decades. Firstly, does growth inevitably lead to inequality? And if so, does it matter, as long as poverty declines? The debates around these questions began in the 1950s with Simon Kuznets’ introduction of the ‘inverted-U hypothesis’, which posited that relative inequality increases, but only temporarily, in the early stages of economic growth, improving once countries reach middle-income levels. The chapter considers the politics and economics of inequality in the developing world as well as inequalities in the age of globalization. It concludes with an assessment of the World Bank’s incorporation of the goal of ‘shared prosperity’ in its discourse alongside its ongoing concern to reduce poverty.