The apparent globalization of political values and institutions represented by the dissolution of the communist regimes in the Second World has lent credence to the view that there is an inevitable trend towards a universal form of government on which all societies will eventually converge. Such interpretations of world history since 1990 gain encouragement from the extent to which pluralist democracy has replaced military regimes or single-party states in Latin America and Africa. History appears to end with political pluralism and free market economies. The ideas about ‘good governance’ which increasingly inform Western aid policy prescribe the separation of powers, the accountability and efficiency of public bureaucracy, the development of civil society as a counterbalance to the power of the state, and the rule of law. They revive the significance attached by modernization theory to ‘organic solidarities’, structural differentiation, and specialized political structures which strengthen the extractive, regulative, distributive, symbolic and responsive capabilities of governments. In addition, they preserve the independence of different parts of the state, thus inhibiting the concentration of power in a small and personalized executive élite which is so often the hallmark of Third World politics.
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- Conclusion: Democracy and Development
B. C. Smith
- Macmillan Education UK
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