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Democracy, Markets, Governance and Development

Jun 1997
Stanford King Center on Global Development Working Paper
The trend towards democratization in politics, global integration and the market mechanism in the developing world in the last two decades of the twentieth century has revived interest in the theoretical and empirical analysis of the interrelationship between political democracy and economic development. The paper discusses selectively and critically some of the recent contributions to such an analysis and examines the role of governance and popular participation in development. It concludes that viewing democracy as a steady state equilibrium of political processes is problematic. The empirical evidence reviewed confirms that there is no necessary relationship between form of government (such as democracy and authoritarianism) and successful development. While elements of governance structures conducive to development can be identified, they are found in democracies as well as authoritarian regimes.