Is democracy a prerequisite for sustained economic development?


Is democracy a prerequisite for sustained economic development

Some scholars believe that democracy and sustainable development go hand in hand and have a reciprocal effect on each other. These scholars believe that democratic political rights will strengthen economic rights and therefore lead to economic development.  Additionally, democratic societies assure a free-trade economy and individual economic freedom. Most developing countries are not in a position to achieve economic development because of development because of government interference. Governments under authoritarian rule like those in the Middle East continue to achieve economic growth despite the government control on oil reserves but theirs is not sustainable economic growth. Therefore, democracy is a prior requirement for the occurrence of sustainable economic development.

Sustainable development is development that will last in the long run. Most undemocratic nations lack gender equality as women are marginalized. However, in the long run, gender equality is vital for improving the capabilities of the next generation (Beneria et al. 26). The petroleum industry in most oil rich countries is heavily controlled by the government and only serves to strengthen the government (Handelman 47). Additionally, private entrepreneurs in the petroleum business also depend on the government to acquire credit and licenses. Under democracy, and within the right policy framework, economic development in the Arab Spring and developing nations could experience major growth before energy sources change in the longterm (Forest and Matthew 234).

Democracy is a prerequisite of sustainable economic development. A democratic government would ensure that there was free trade and that economic development was not under government interference. In the Arab Spring, democracy would guarantee economic empowerment of citizens and in turn empower the middle class to foster democracy. In the presence of democracy, more individuals would join the middle class and bridge the gap between the poor and the rich in developing countries.  Therefore, it is safe to say that government interference and authoritarian rule stands in the way of Sustainable economic development.



Work cited

Beneria, Lourdes, Berik, Gunsel, and Floro, Maria. Gender, Development and Globalization:        Economics as If All People Mattered. Routledge, 2015. Print

Forest, James J. F, and Matthew V. Sousa. Oil and Terrorism in the New Gulf: Framing U.s.        Energy and Security Policies for the Gulf of Guinea. Lanham: Lexington Books, 2006.

Handelman, Howard. The Challenge of Third World Development. Upper Saddle River, N.J.:       Longman, 2011. Print.