Democracy and Development

Political Institutions and Well-Being in the World, 1950–1990

Democracy and Development

Is economic development conducive to political democracy? Does democracy foster or hinder material welfare? These two questions are examined by looking at the experiences of 135 countries between 1950 and 1990. Descriptive information, statistical analyses, and historical narratives are interwoven to gain an understanding of the dynamic of political regimes and their impact on economic development. The often surprising findings dispel any notion of a tradeoff between democracy and development. Economic development does not generate democracies, but democracies are much more likely to survive in wealthy societies.


 Reviews:

"[Democracy and Development] is "must reading" for any scholar serious about political economy. I predict that the book will be a milestone in our inquiries into political systems and economic performance." Journal of Democracy

"Democracy and Development is a great book. . . [It] is based on a rich data set covering most of the countries in the world from 1950 to 1990 and including dozens of variables. With its quantitative skills it combines sophisticated analysis of the data." Latin American Politics and Society

"This is the best defence of democracy of its generation. On almost every count, economic and humanitarian, it shows that democracy outperforms authoritarianism. Western governments which justify their support for dictatorships on the ground that this is ultimately beneficial for development are simply mistaken. Unlike most treatments of the subject, the conclusions are based not on theoretical supposition or normative preference, but on rigorous and sophisticated empirical analysis." - Francis Castles, Australian National University

"This book is a tour de force, a model of how research should be done, on a question that matters. Przeworski and his colleagues take great care in their measurement of difficult concepts like "democracy" and "growth", and in their specification of the causal processes that are involved. The result is a set of findings that are often surprising, but in which we can invest full confidence." - W. Phillips Shively, University of Minnesota

"There are few questions in the social sciences more fundamental than the relationship between political regimes and economic prosperity. This book sets a new standard for the field. Unabashedly empirical, yet grounded in theory, it produces a torrent of statistical evidence with which all future work will have to contend." - Dani Rodrik Professor of International Political Economy, Harvard University

"[Democracy and Development] is "must reading" for any scholar serious about political economy. I predict that the book will be a milestone in our inquiries into political systems and economic performance. Its arguments will be quoted and requoted. The answers the authors have provided will be visited and revisited. Their findings will be tested and retested. There will be no end to this research enterprise, only beginning after beginning. In this respect, it resembles the democratic process itself, which constantly reinvents and reinvigorates itself." Journal of Democracy

"...an excellent book based on a long-term, nearly comprehensive analysis." Journal of Politics


 Prizes:

Woodrow Wilson Award--APSA (7/01)

No references available.