DOI: 10.5553/RP/048647001989031004565

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Democratie en modernisatie: noodzaak of keuze?

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Liesbet Hooghe, "Democratie en modernisatie: noodzaak of keuze?", Res Publica, 4, (1989):565-591

    The classical "western" model of modernization assumes that economie development in the end will lead to a more uniform world of political democracies in free market economies. However, this western model turns out to be too deterministic for non-western countries. A selective review of the theoretical and empirical literature on the question learns that the western model runs into problems because it does not make a clear distinction between preconditions for political democratization and demands posed by modernization. Empirical studies show, contrary to the western model logic, that there is no direct positive relationship between economie growth and political democratization. Cultural and structural thresholds may inhibit democratization: an intolerant culture, absence of a free market economy, external influences, a history of constantly wavering political regimes. As concerns the demands posed by modernization, modern political regimes tend to develop common characteristics, one of them being the design ofmore participatory structures and procedures. But there is no theoretical evidence whatsoever of the western model being the final destination for all modernizing societies.

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