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In about half of these cases, democratic institutions lasted; in the others, they did not. One simplistic way to do so is to divide the 19 cases into two groups: (1) those where intervention was truncated or incomplete and (2) those where the United States stayed for a reasonably long period of time and made a concerted attempt to restructure the country’s political and social systems.
The process of forming local governments can start now, before any national system is fully constituted.
In any political transition, the first few electoral contests are crucial to democratic success.
For all 186 countries we then gathered measurements of the factors that political scientists have traditionally associated with democracy: literacy; per capita income; socioeconomic inequality; ethnic, linguistic, and religious divisions; past experience with democratic government; history as a British colony; size and geography; whether a country is an energy exporter; whether a country has been involved in a recent war; the percentage of the population that is Muslim; and the region of the world in which a country is located.
In general, richer, more literate, more egalitarian, and more homogenous societies do better at establishing and sustaining democratic governance, as do small island states with a history of British or American rule.
Even if Iraq is unlikely to sustain fully democratic institutions, the degree to which future governments are more or less repressive could vary tremendously.
Essays On Democracy In Iraq
The degree of political openness found in Jordan or Kuwait, for instance, is well worth striving for, even though neither country is a democracy.
By contrast, petro-states, countries with mainly Muslim populations, and nations with little cultural affinity for the West all tend to be less democratic.
When we consider all the factors discussed above, we find that a country with Iraq’s profile ought to fall somewhere between a zero and a two on the democracy scale. The next logical question, then, is how occupation might affect Iraq’s political prospects.
America encouraged the defeated Axis powers to adopt parliamentary systems; it should do the same in Iraq today.
Although unitary (non-federal) systems may offer certain advantages in administrative efficiency and policy efficacy, in countries with deep, geographically based divisions, some degree of federalism can help democracy succeed.