Economist Dani Rodrik argues that democracy as we know it is a product of industrialization.
Most rich countries followed the same historical path to economic development: a period of industrialization, followed by rising productivity and a shift away from manufacturing to a service economy. But economist Dani Rodrik argues that today’s developing countries seem to be de-industrializing at an earlier, and poorer, stage — a process which could threaten the development of democracy.
In the United States, employment in manufacturing peaked at about 27 percent of the workforce, followed by a transition to a service-oriented economy which today employs less than 10 percent of its workforce in industry. Other Western countries followed similar trajectories: Germany, for example, peaked at about 40 percent before steadily declining.
But, Rodrik points out, today’s emerging economies seem to be shifting away from manufacturing at a much earlier stage. Even industrial powerhouse China seems to have never employed more than about 15 percent of its population in manufacturing — and that share is already declining, even as China’s economy continues to grow.
The idea of “democratic transitions” is a relatively recent one. As formerly authoritarian countries like Portugal, Spain, Greece, the Philippines, South Korea, Taiwan, and many in Latin America shifted to democratic forms of government in the 1980s — followed by many formerly Communist nations after the fall of the Berlin Wall and the collapse of the Soviet Union — a new vocabulary was needed to explain what was happening and why.
Political scientist Samuel Huntington divided these transitions into “waves”: the first occurring in the 19th century, the second after World War II, and the third beginning with Portugal’s “Carnation Revolution” in 1974 and arguably continuing through today — with most countries in the world now under some form of democracy.
September 15 is the International Day of Democracy, celebrating the universal principle that all people should have the right to freely choose how they are governed.
This year, the official theme for Democracy Day is Strengthening Voices for Democracy — something CIPE and its partners work towards every day by building the capacity of the private sector to advocate on behalf of small businesses and entrepreneurs.
Stay tuned to the CIPE Development Blog all this week for stories of how we can help strengthen voices democracy around the world!
In honor of International Youth Day, CIPE organized the second annual #YouthChange Twitter chat to engage young people around the world in a discussion of how youth can contribute to sustainable political and economic reform in their countries.
Later, the chat continued in Pakistan, where #YouthChange became the #2 trending topic on Twitter! Thanks to the more than 300 people who contributed over 1,000 tweets to the discussion!
Around the world, young people are at the forefront of movements for political change and economic reform, speaking up to hold their leaders accountable and working hard to create the opportunities their generation needs to thrive.
CIPE supports these young leaders and entrepreneurs with training, support, and capacity building for youth-focused programs, exchanges and mentorship from U.S. organization, and entrepreneurship and democracy curricula in schools and universities.
This year, for International Youth Day, the CIPE Development Blog will be focusing on these projects and the youth who make them happen. Starting with a #YouthChange Twitter chat on Monday, August 12, at 10:00 AM EDT, check back all next week on the blogs for stories from youth who are helping build democracies that deliver.
In the meantime, please enjoy the video above from CIPE’s youngest employees here in Washington, DC — our hardworking interns!
Over the past few years, young people have shown that they have a powerful voice and the will to demand democratic change. But lasting reform requires long-term engagement, and youth must take the lead in creating the economic and political opportunities on which their generation’s future will be built.
This year for International Youth Day CIPE and Atlas Corps are organizing the second annual #YouthChange Twitter chat to discuss how young people can get involved in democratic change and economic reform and how they can sustain their participation over the longer term. We will be joined by winners of CIPE’s 2012 Youth Essay Competition, ThinkTankLINKS alumni, and other youth voices from around the world.
Please join us this Thursday, July 11, from 9:30-11:30 AM EST for a free webinar on Public-Private Dialogue with Elias M. Dewah, former Executive Director of the Botswana Confederation of Commerce, Industry, and Manpower (BOCCIM).
Dewah will present key lessons and impact examples based on his experiences using public-private dialogue as an advocacy tool.
We’ll also hear about PPD programs in other countries from CIPE staff experts and partners. Register below to learn techniques in framing private sector priorities and establishing credibility with policymakers.
The CIPE Development Blog provides coverage of the Center for International Private Enterprise and its partner network at work -- highlighting successes, drawing out lessons from failure, and exploring the broader issues of political and economic development. For more information visit CIPE.org.