Economic Development and Democracy – Qualitative Research Papers
Economic development and democracy are often associated, but what exactly is the relationship between these two? There is no simple answer to the question, but empirical evidence does exist to support the claim that they are related. Researchers such as Helliwell, Burkhart, and Lewis-Beck claim that there is a positive causal relationship between economic development and democracy.
To understand how democratic transitions affect the development of a country, we must first understand the process in which democratic processes are introduced. This process is fundamental enough to change a country’s political dynamics, and as such, it deserves its own explanation. Then, we can consider democratic transitions in their own right, combining qualitative and quantitative forms of analysis.
In a democratic regime, citizens make their decisions under uncertainty about political leaders. The extent to which citizens have faith in state institutions is therefore an important determinant of their trust in government. Therefore, trust in institutions should be positively related to the level of democracy. In some European countries, however, trust in institutions seems to be inversely related with the quality of democracy.