What connection is there between economics and democracy? The first step in answering this question is to define what the terms economics and democracy means. Roskin and Berry (34) define democracy as a political system in which the citizen-run the affairs of the country. A democracy has elected representatives who vote on governmental issues on behalf of the citizens. In other democracies, the citizens vote on matters of national interest directly through a referendum. As a form of governance, democracy goes back to Ancient times of Greece civilization(Roskin and Berry, 36). It is imperative to underscore that democracies are not universal and new continues to be created the world over. One of the world best-known democracy is the United States of America.
There various definition of the term economics that has been developed by economist throughout history. However, the theme of the welfare of the society cuts across all of them. For this paper, the definition of economics that denotes political economy as highlighted by Roskin and Berry (25) will be adopted. Since economics in the context of democracy can be described as political economy, the relationship between the two terms will also be through political dimension.
Democracy is concerned with how citizens are governed and the decision that the government makes on their behalf, while the political economy is concerned with creation and transfer of wealth at the national level. The effect of democracy in the creation and distribution of national wealth has been examined through different opinions depending on one's stand. The pro-democracy has maintained that civil liberties enhance economic growth while the opponents argue that it hinders economic it. The critics argue that the government's abilities to make tough and necessary decisions is limited in a democratic system and this could hamper economic growth. However, evidence has shown otherwise. Democratic countries that allow their citizens to decide what is best for them have experienced tremendous economic growth as compared to others(Roskin, " Berry, 29). In summary, democracy and economics are related in that the former determines the kind of policies that are implanted that affect the latter. Economic growth can only be achieved where there is sound democratic space for the citizens to participate in the economic affairs of their nations.
Why the Global South tends toward socialism and statism?
The term global south is used to mean nations that are less developed or the third world countries (Roskin, "Berry, 14). In comparison to the United States, these nations are poor, and their governments are not democratic. Most of these nations have embraced socialism which is a political and economic system that advocates for communal control and regulation of means of production distribution. This kind of system gives the government the power to control the economic activities of the nation without the direct participation of the citizens. The system is popular in the global south because of the continuing influence of China that practices the same system of governance. While the United States was pre-occupied with the Afghan and Iraq wars, China was busy exerting its communist influence in the third world countries (Roskin, " Berry, 17). The failure by the United States to engage with these nations have allowed them to drift towards socialism. The other reason that has encouraged the development of socialism is the failure by the so-called big democracy to live by the standards that they preach. After the 9/11 terror attack in the United States, the rules of engagement for enemy combatants was changed. Many nations saw the shift as the move from democratic principles that these democratic societies advocated.
Roskin, Michael G., and Nicholas O. Berry. IR: the new world of international relations. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall, 1999.