While there can be tensions between democratization and development, these are so often overestimated that development practitioners compromise on democracy when in fact they should be insisting on it.
Democracy’s Development Dividend
The belief that democracy hinders development remains deeply entrenched among much of the development community. This belief persists due to a failure to update “received wisdom” as new evidence has come to light and an overreliance on a small number of authoritarian “success stories” that rarely receive the scrutiny they deserve. In addition, the contributions that democratic institutions make to development tend to be “quiet successes,” and so are easily overlooked. This makes it important for democracy-support practitioners to highlight the developmental dividends of their work, encouraging development practitioners to work with, rather than around, democratic institutions.
This article was published in Journal of Democracy, vol. 32 no. 1, 2021, p. 126-138
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