Demokratie kommt als Zweites

Die Demokratie verbreitet sich langsam weltweit. Vom Nahen Osten bis hin nach Lateinamerika und Asien unternehmen viele Autokratien allmähliche Schritte hin zu demokratischeren und rechenschaftspflichtigeren Herrschaftsformen, oder sie haben sich zu vollwertigen und gut funktionierenden Demokratien entwickelt. Die US-Regierung ist entschlossen, die politischen Freiheiten in vielen Entwicklungsländern innerhalb ihrer Einflusssphäre zu konsolidieren. Tatsächlich hat sich die Ausweitung der Demokratie zu einem Eckstein amerikanischer Außenpolitik entwickelt.

Es gibt viele Gründe, die gegenwärtige Demokratisierungswelle zu feiern. Die Demokratie wir mit weniger Ungerechtigkeit und Menschenrechtsverletzungen in Verbindung gebracht, mit grundlegenden bürgerlichen und politischen Freiheiten und mit einer größeren Sensibilität der Regierungen für die wahren Prioritäten ihrer Bürger. Wie wichtig jedoch ist die Demokratie für den wirtschaftlichen Erfolg?

Empirische Daten legen nahe, dass sie nicht besonders wichtig ist. Dies mag befremdlich erscheinen: Ist es nicht so, dass in praktisch allen reichen Ländern demokratische Regierungsformen herrschen, während die ärmsten Länder (vor allem in Afrika) keine Demokratien sind? Tatsächlich besteht weltweit eine deutliche Korrelation zwischen Demokratie und höheren Pro-Kopf-Einkommen.

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