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Write a 6-8 page final paper, size 11 or 12 font with double spacing. Write the paper based on the attached outline. In the paper clarify what you refer to with the amendment and interim. Also, a brief background on the role of women in Iraq and the developments after US intervention might be useful, maybe as main points

The Basic Outline of a Paper
The following outline shows a basic format for most academic papers. No matter what length the paper
needs to be, it should still follow the format of having an introduction, body, and conclusion. Read over
what typically goes in each section of the paper. Use the back of this handout to outline information for
your specific paper.
I. Introduction
The introduction should have some of the following elements, depending on the type of paper:
Start with an attention grabber: a short story, example, statistic, or historical
context that introduces the paper topic
Give an overview of any issues involved with the subject
Define of any key terminology need to understand the topic
Quote or paraphrase sources revealing the controversial nature of the subject
(argumentative papers only)
Highlight background information on the topic needed to understand the direction
of the paper
Write an antithesis paragraph, presenting the primary opposing views
(argumentative paper only)
The introduction must end with a THESIS statement (a 1 to 2 sentences in length):
Tell what the overall paper will focus on
Briefly outline the main points in the paper
II. Body
Clearly present the main points of the paper as listed in the thesis
Give strong examples, details, and explanations to support each main points
If an argumentative paper, address any counterarguments and refute those arguments
If a research paper, use strong evidence from sources—paraphrases, summaries, and
quotations that support the main points
III. Conclusion
Restate your thesis from the introduction in different words
Briefly summarize each main point found in the body of the paper (avoid going over 2
sentences for each point)
Give a statement of the consequences of not embracing the position (argumentative paper
End with a strong clincher statement: an appropriate, meaningful final sentence that ties the
whole point of the paper together (may refer back to the attention grabber)
Additional Tips
Decide on the thesis and main points first
You do not need to start writing your paper with the introduction
Try writing the thesis and body first; then go back and figure out how to best introduce the body
and conclude the paper
Use transitions between main points and between examples within the main points
Always keep your thesis in the forefront of your mind while writing; everything in your paper
must point back to the thesis
Use the back of this handout to make an outline of your paper
Paper Topic:____________________________________________________ Audience:__________
I. Introduction
Possible ideas for the introduction (see front side of handout for suggestions):
Thesis Statement (Usually the last sentence(s) in the introduction):
II. Body (A paper may have a few or many main points; decide how many your paper will need)
Main Point: ___________________________________________________________________
a. ______________________________________________________________________
b. ______________________________________________________________________
c. ______________________________________________________________________
Main Point: ___________________________________________________________________
a. ______________________________________________________________________
b. ______________________________________________________________________
c. ______________________________________________________________________
Main Point: ___________________________________________________________________
a. ______________________________________________________________________
b. ______________________________________________________________________
c. ______________________________________________________________________
Main Point: ___________________________________________________________________
a. ______________________________________________________________________
b. ______________________________________________________________________
c. ______________________________________________________________________
III. Conclusion
Reworded Thesis (Usually found near the beginning of the conclusion):
Other Ideas to Conclude:
Clincher Ideas: _________________________________________________________________
Some Social Requisites of Democracy: Economic Development and Political Legitimacy
Author(s): Seymour Martin Lipset
Source: The American Political Science Review , Mar., 1959, Vol. 53, No. 1 (Mar., 1959),
pp. 69-105
Published by: American Political Science Association
Stable URL: https://www.jstor.org/stable/1951731
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University of California, Berkeley
The conditions associated with the existence and stability of democratic
society have been a leading concern of political philosophy. In this paper the
problem is attacked from a sociological and behavioral standpoint, by presenting a number of hypotheses concerning some social requisites for democracy,
and by discussing some of the data available to test these hypotheses. In its
concern with conditions-values, social institutions, historical events-external
to the political system itself which sustain different general types of political
systems, the paper moves outside the generally recognized province of political
sociology. This growing field has dealt largely with the internal analysis of organizations with political goals, or with the determinants of action within various political institutions, such as parties, government agencies, or the electoral
process.2 It has in the main left to the political philosopher the larger concern
with the relations of the total political system to society as a whole.
A sociological analysis of any pattern of behavior, whether referring to a
small or a large social system, must result in specific hypotheses, empirically
testable statements. Thus, in dealing with democracy, one must be able to
point to a set of conditions that have actually existed in a number of countries,
and say: democracy has emerged out of these conditions, and has become stabilized because of certain supporting institutions and values, as well as because of
its own internal self-maintaining processes. The conditions listed must be ones
which differentiate most democratic states from most others.
A recent discussion by a group of political theorists on the “cultural prerequisites to a successfully functioning democracy” points up the difference
between the approach of the political sociologist and the political philosopher
to a comparable problem.’ A considerable portion of this symposium is devoted
1 This paper was written as one aspect of a comparative analysis of political behavior
in western democracies which is supported by grants from the Behavioral Sciences Division of the Ford Foundation and the Committee on Comparative Politics of the Social
Science Research Council. Assistance from Robert Alford and Amitai Etzioni is gratefully
acknowledged. It was originally presented at the September 1958 meetings of the American Political Science Association in St. Louis, Missouri.
2 See my “Political Sociology, 1945-1955,” in Hans L. Zetterberg, ed., Sociology in the
USA (Paris: UNESCO, 1956), pp. 45-55, for a summary of the various areas covered by
political sociology. For a discussion of intellectual trends in political sociology and the
rationale underlying a focus on the problem of democracy, see my “Political Sociology,”
in R. K. Merton, et al., eds., Sociology Today (New York: Basic Books, 1959), ch. 3.
3Ernest S. Griffith, John Plamenatz, and J. Roland Pennock, “Cultural Prerequisites
to a Successfully Functioning Democracy: A Symposium,” this REVIEW, Vol. 50 (1956),
pp. 101-137.
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to a debate concerning the contribution of religion, particularly Christian
ethics, toward democratic attitudes. The principal author, Ernest Griffith, sees
a necessary connection between the Judeo-Christian heritage and attitudes
which sustain democratic institutions; the other participants stress the political
and economic conditions which may provide the basis for a consensus on basic
values which does not depend on religion; and they point to the depression,
poverty, and social disorganization which resulted in fascism in Italy and
Germany, in spite of strongly religious populations and traditions. What is
most striking about this discussion is its lack of a perspective which assumes
that theoretical propositions must be subject to test by a systematic comparison of all available cases, and which treats a deviant case properly as one case
out of many. In this symposium, on the contrary, deviant cases which do not
fit a given proposition are cited to demonstrate that there are no social condi-
tions which are regularly associated with a given complex political system. So
the conflicts among political philosophers about the necessary conditions underlying given political systems often lead to a triumphant demonstration that a
given situation clearly violates the thesis of one’s opponent, much as if the ex-
istence of some wealthy socialists, or poor conservatives, demonstrated that
economic factors were not an important determinant of political preference.
The advantage of an attempt such as is presented here, which seeks to dis-
sect the conditions of democracy into several interrelated variables, is that
deviant cases fall into proper perspective. The statistical preponderance of
evidence supporting the relationship of a variable such as education to democracy indicates that the existence of deviant cases (such as Germany, which suc-
cumbed to dictatorship in spite of an advanced educational system) cannot
be the sole basis for rejecting the hypothesis. A deviant case, considered within
a context which marshals the evidence on all relevant cases, often may actually
strengthen the basic hypothesis if an intensive study of it reveals the special
conditions which prevented the usual relationship from appearing.4 Thus, electoral research indicates that a large proportion of the more economically wellto-do leftists are underprivileged along other dimensions of social status, such
as ethnic or religious position.
Controversy in this area stems not only from variations in methodology,
but also from use of different definitions. Clearly in order to discuss democracy,
or any other phenomenon, it is first necessary to define it. For the purposes of
4 A detailed example of how a deviant case and analysis advances theory may be found
in S. M. Lipset, M. Trow, and J. Coleman, Union Democracy, (Glencoe: The Free Press,
1956). This book is a study of the political process inside the International Typographical
Union, which has a long-term two-party system with free elections and frequent turnover in office, and is thus the clearest exception to Robert Michels’ “iron law of oligarchy.”
The research, however, was not intended as a report on this union, but rather as the best
means available to test and amplify Michels’ “law.” The study could only have been
made through a systematic effort to establish a basic theory and derive hypotheses. The
best way to add to knowledge about the internal government of voluntary associations
seemed to be to study the most deviant case. In the process of examining the particular
historical and structural conditions sustaining the two-party system in the ITU, the gen-
eral theory was clarified.
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this paper, democracy (in a complex society) is defined as a political system
which supplies regular constitutional opportunities for changing the governing
officials. It is a social mechanism for the resolution of the problem of societal
decision-making among conflicting interest groups which permits the largest
possible part of the population to influence these decisions through their ability
to choose among alternative contenders for political office. In large measure
abstracted from the work of Joseph Schumpeter and Max Weber,5 this defini-
tion implies a number of specific conditions: (a) a “political formula,” a system
of beliefs, legitimizing the democratic system and specifying the institutions-
parties, a free press, and so forth-which are legitimized, i.e., accepted as
proper by all; (b) one set of political leaders in office; and (c) one or more sets
of leaders, out of office, who act as a legitimate opposition attempting to gain
The need for these conditions is clear. First, if a political system is not char-
acterized by a value system allowing the peaceful “play” of power-the adherence by the “outs” to decisions made by “ins” and the recognition by “ins” of
the rights of the “outs”-there can be no stable democracy. This has been
the problem faced by many Latin American states. Second, if the outcome of the
political game is not the periodic awarding of effective authority to one group,
a party or stable coalition, then unstable and irresponsible government rather
than democracy will result. This state of affairs existed in pre-Fascist Italy,
and for much, though not all of the history of the Third and Fourth French
Republics, which were characterized by weak coalition governments, often
formed among parties which had major interest and value conflicts with each
other. Third, if the conditions facilitating the perpetuation of an effective opposition do not exist, then the authority of officials will be maximized, and
popular influence on policy will be at a minimum. This is the situation in all
one-party states; and by general agreement, at least in the West, these are
Two principal complex characteristics of social systems will be considered
here as they bear on the problem of stable democracy: economic development
and legitimacy. These will be presented as structural characteristics of a society which sustain a democratic political system. After a discussion of the
economic development complex (comprising industrialization, wealth, urbani-
zation, and education) and its consequences for democracy, we shall move to
two aspects of the problem of legitimacy, or the degree to which institutions are
valued for themselves, and considered right and proper. The relations between
legitimacy and the effectiveness of the system (the latter primarily a function
of economic development) will be followed by a discussion of the sources of
cleavage in a society and the ways in which various resolutions of historically
crucial issues result either in disruptive forms of cleavage or in cross-cutting
affiliations which reduce conflict to a manageable level. Finally, the bearing of
these various factors upon the future of democracy will be assessed.
5 Joseph Schumpeter, Capitalism, Socialism and Democracy, (New York: Harper and
Bros., 1947), pp. 232-302, esp. 269; Max Weber, Essays in Sociology, (New York: Oxford
University Press, 1946), p. 226.
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No detailed examination of the political history of individual countries will
be undertaken in accordance with the generic definition, since the relative degree or social content of democracy in different countries is not the real problem of this paper. Certain problems of method in the handling of relationships
between complex characteristics of total societies do merit brief discussion,
An extremely high correlation between aspects of social structure, such as
income, education, religion, on the one hand, and democracy, on the other, is
not to be anticipated even on theoretical grounds, because to the extent that
the political sub-system of the society operates autonomously, a particular
political form may persist under conditions normally adverse to the emergence
of that form. Or, a political form may develop because of a syndrome of fairly
unique historical factors, even though major social characteristics favor another
form. Germany is an example of a nation in which the structural changesgrowing industralization, urbanization, wealth, and education-all favored the
establishment of a democratic system, but in which a series of adverse historical
events prevented democracy from securing legitimacy in the eyes of many
important segments of society, and thus weakened German democracy’s ability to withstand crisis.
The high correlations which appear in the data to be presented between
democracy and other institutional characteristics of societies must not be
overly stressed, since unique events may account for either the persistence or
the failure of democracy in any particular society. Max Weber argued strongly
that differences in national patterns often reflect key historical events which
set one process in motion in one country, and a second process in another. To
illustrate his point, he used the analogy of a dice game in which each time the
dice came up with a certain number they were increasingly loaded in the direc-
tion of coming up with that number again.6 To Weber, an event predisposing
a country toward democracy sets a process in motion which increases the likelihood that at the next critical point in the country’s history democracy will win
out again. This process can only have meaning if we assume that once established, a democratic political system gathers some momentum, and creates
some social supports (institutions) to ensure its continued existence. Thus a
“premature” democracy which survives will do so by (among other things)
facilitating the growth of other conditions conducive to democracy, such as
universal literacy, or autonomous private associations. This paper is primarily
concerned with explicating the social conditions which serve to support a democratic political system, such as education or legitimacy; it will not deal in detail
with the kinds of internal mechanisms which serve to maintain democratic systems such as the specific rules of the political game.’
6 Max Weber, The Methodology of the Social Sciences, (Glencoe: The Free Press, 1949),
pp. 182-185; see also S. M. Lipset, “A Sociologist Looks at History,” Pacific Sociological
Review, Vol. 1 (Spring 1958)7 pp. 13-17.
7 See Morris Janowitz and Dwaine Marvick, Competitive Pressure and Democratic
Consent, Michigan Governmental Studies, no. 32 (Bureau of Government, Institute of
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Comparative generalizations dealing with complex social systems must necessarily deal rather summarily with particular historical features of any one
society within the scope of the investigation. In order to test these generalizations bearing on the differences between countries which rank high or low in
possession of the attributes associated with democracy, it is necessary to establish some empirical measures of the type of political system. Individual devi-
ations from a particular aspect of democracy are not too important, as long as
the definitions unambiguously cover the great majority of nations which are
located as democratic or undemocratic. The precise dividing line between
“more democratic” and “less democratic” is also not a basic problem, since
presumably democracy is not a quality of a social system which either does or
does not exist, but is rather a complex of characteristics which may be ranked
in many different ways. For this reason it was decided to divide the countries
under consideration into two groups, rather than to attempt to rank them from
highest to lowest. Ranking individual countries from the most to the least
democratic is much more difficult than splitting the countries into two classes,
“more” or “less” democratic, although even here borderline cases such as
Mexico pose problems.
Efforts to classify all countries raise a number of problems. Most countries
which lack an enduring tradition of political democracy lie in the traditionally
underdeveloped sections of the world. It is possible that Max Weber was right
when he suggested that modern democracy in its clearest forms can only occur
under the unique conditions of capitalist industrialization.8 Some of the complications introduced by the sharp variations in political practices in different
parts of the earth can be reduced by dealing with differences among countries
within political culture areas. The two best areas for such internal comparison
are Latin America as one, and Europe and the English-speaking countries as
the other. More limited comparisons may be made among the Asian states, and
among the Arab countries.
The main criteria used in this paper to locate European democracies are the
uninterrupted continuation of political democracy since World War I, and the
absence over the past 25 years of a major political movement opposed to the
democratic “rules of the game.”9 The somewhat less stringent criterion employed for Latin America is whether a given country has had a history of more
Public Administration, University of Michigan, 1956), and Robert A. Dahl, A Preface to
Democratic Theory, (University of Chicago, 1956), esp. pp. 90-123, for recent systematic
efforts to specify some of the internal mechanisms of democracy. See David Easton, “An
Approach to the Analysis of Political Systems,” World Politics, Vol. 9 (1957), pp. 383400, for discussion of problems of internal analysis of political systems.
8 See Max Weber, “Zur Lage der burgerlichen Demokratie in Russland,” Archiv fur
Sozialwissenschaft und Sozialpolitik, Vol. 22 (1906), pp. 346 ff.
9 The latter requirement means that no totalitarian movement, either Fascist or Communist, received 20 per cent of the vote during this time. Actually all the European nations falling on the democratic side of the continuum had totalitarian movements which
secured less than seven per cent of the vote.
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or less free elections for most of the post-World War I period. Where in Europe
we look for stable democracies, in South America we look for countries which
have not had fairly constant dictatorial rule (See Table I). No detailed analysis
of the political history of either Europe or Latin America has been made with
an eye toward more specific criteria of differentiation; at this point in the examination of the requisites of democracy, election results are sufficient to locate
the European countries, and the judgments of experts and impressionistic
assessments based on fairly well-known facts of political history will suffice for
Latin America.’0
European and English-speaking Nations Latin American Nations
Stable Unstable Democracies Stable
Stmocables Democracies and and Unstab
Dictatorships Dictatorships
Australia Austria Argentina Bolivia
Belgium Bulgaria Brazil Cuba
Canada Czechoslovakia Chile Dominican Republic
Denmark Finland Colombia Ecuador
Ireland France Costa Rica El Salvador
Luxemburg Germany (West) Mexico Guatemala
Netherlands Greece Uruguay Haiti
New Zealand Hungary Honduras
Norway Iceland Nicaragua
Switzerland Poland Paraguay
United Kingdom Portugal Peru
United States Rumania Venezuela
10 The historian Arthur P. Whitaker, for example, has summarized the judgments of
experts on Latin America to be that “the countries which have approximated most
closely to the democratic ideal have been . . . Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa
Rica, and Uruguay.” See “The Pathology of Democracy in Latin America: A Historian’s
Point of View,” this REVIEW, Vol. 44 (1950), pp. 101-118. To this group I have added
Mexico. Mexico has allowed freedom of the press, of assembly and of organization, to
opposition parties, although there is good evidence that it does not allow them the opportunity to win elections, since ballots are counted by the incumbents. The existence of
opposition groups, contested elections, and adjustments among the various factions of the
governing Partido Revolucionario Institucional does introduce a considerable element of
popular influence in the system.
The interesting effort of Russell Fitzgibbon to secure a “statistical evaluation of Latin
American democracy” based on the opinion of various experts is not useful for the purposes
of this paper. The judges were asked not only to rank countries as democratic on the basis
of purely political criteria, but also to consider the “standard of living” and “educational
level.” These latter factors may be conditions for democracy, but they are not an aspect
of democracy as such. See Russell H. Fitzgibbon, “A Statistical Evaluation of Latin American Democracy,” Western Political Quarterly, Vol. 9 (1956), pp. 607-619.
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Perhaps the most widespread generalization linking political systems to
other aspects of society has been that democracy is related to the state of economic development. Concretely, this means that the more well-to-do a nation,
the greater the chances that it will sustain democracy. From Aristotle down to
the present, men have argued that only in a wealthy society in which relatively
few citizens lived in real poverty could a situation exist in which the mass of
the population could intelligently participate in politics and could develop the
self-restraint necessary to avoid succumbing to the appeals of irresponsible
demagogues. A society divided between a large impoverished mass and a small
favored elite would result either in oligarchy (dictatorial rule of the small upper
stratum) or in tyranny (popularly based dictatorship). And these two political
forms can be given modern labels: tyranny’s modern face is Communism or
Peronism; oligarchy appears today in the form of traditionalist dictatorships
such as we find in parts of Latin America, Thailand, Spain or Portugal.
As a means of concretely testing this hypothesis, various indices of economic
development-wealth, industrialization, urbanization and education-have
been defined, and averages (means) have been computed for the countries
which have been classified as more or less democratic in the Anglo-Saxon world
and Europe and Latin America.
In each case, the average wealth, degree of industrialization and urbaniza-
tion, and level of education is much higher for the more democratic countries,
as the data presented in Table II indicate. If we had combined Latin America
and Europe in one table, the differences would have been greater.”
The main indices of wealth used here are per capita income, number of persons per motor vehicle and per physician, and the number of radios, telephones,
and newspapers per thousand persons. The differences are striking on every
score, as Table II indicates in detail. In the more democratic European countries, there are 17 persons per motor vehicle compared to 143 for the less demo11 Lyle WV. Shannon has correlated indices of economic development with whether a
country is self-governing or not, and his conclusions are substantially the same. Since
Shannon does not give details on the countries categorized as self-governing and non-selfgoverning, there is no direct measure of the relation between “democratic” and “selfgoverning” countries. All the countries examined in this paper, however, were chosen on
the assumption that a characterization as “democratic” is meaningless for a non-selfgoverning country, and therefore, presumably, all of them, whether democratic or dictatorial, would fall within Shannon’s “self-governing” category. Shannon shows that underdevelopment is related to lack of self-government; my data indicate that once self-government is attained, development is still related to the character of the political system. See
Shannon (ed.), Underdeveloped Areas (New York: Harper, 1957), and also his article,
“Is Level of Government Related to Capacity for Self-Government?” American Journal
of Economics and Sociology, Vol. 17 (1958) pp. 367-382. In the latter paper, Shannon constructs a composite index of development, using some of the same indices, such as inhabitants per physician, and derived from the same United Nations sources, as appear in the
tables to follow. Shannon’s work did not come to my attention until after this paper was
prepared, so that the two papers can be considered as separate tests of comparable hypotheses.
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A. Indices of Wealth
Per Capita Thousands Persons Telephones Radios Newspaper
Means Income2 of Persons Per Motor Per 1,000 Per 1,000 Copies Per
in $ Per Doctor3 Vehicle4 Persons5 Persons6 1,000 Persons7
European and English-speaking
Stable Democracies 695 .86 17 205 350 341
European and English-speaking
Unstable Democracies and
Latin American Democracies
and Unstable Dictatorships 171 2.1 99 25 85 102
Latin American Stable Dictator-
European Stable Democracies 420-1,453 .7- 1.2 3-62 43-400 160-995 242-570
European Dictatorships 128- 482 .6- 4 10-538 7-196 42-307 46-390
Latin American Democracies 112- 346 .8- 3.3 31-174 12- 58 38-148 51-233
Latin American Stable Dictator-
ships 40- 331 1.0-10.8 38-428 1- 24 4-154 4-111
B. Indices of Industrialization
Percentage of Males Per Capita Energy
Means in Agricultures Consumed9
European Stable Democracies 21 3.6
European Dictatorships 41 1.4
Latin American Democracies 52 .6
Latin American Stable Dictatorships 67 .25
European Stable Democracies 6-46 1.4 -7.8
European Dictatorships 16-60 .27-3 .2
Latin American Democracies 30-63 .30-0.9
Latin American Stable Dictatorships 46-87 .02-1.27
C. Indices of Education
Primary Education Post-Primary Higher Education
Means LPteratge’ Enrollment
Per Enrollment
Literate’0 1,000
1,000 Persons’2
1,000 Persons13
European Stable Democracies 96 134 44
European Dictatorships 85 121 22
Latin American Democracies 74 101 13
Latin American Dictatorships 46 72 8
European Stable Democracies 95-100 96-179 19-83 1.7-17.83
European Dictatorships 55- 98 61-165 8-37 1.6- 6.1
Latin American Democracies 48- 87 75-137 7-27 .7- 4.6
Latin American Dictatorships 11- 76 11-149 3-24 .2- 3.1
(Continued on facing page)
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D. Indices of Urbanization
Per Cent in Per Cent in Per Cent in
Means Cities over Cities over Metropolitan
20,00014 100,000’5 Areas16
European Stable Democracies 43 28 38
European Dictatorships 24 16 23
Latin American Democracies 28 22 26
Latin American Stable Dictatorships 17 12 15
European Stable Democracies 28-54 17-51 22-56
European Dictatorships 12-44 6-33 7-49
Latin American Democracies 11-48 13-37 17-44
Latin American Stable Dictatorships 5-36 4-22 7-26
1 A large part of this table has been compiled from data furnished
of California, Berkeley, California.
2 United Nations, Statistical Office, National and Per Capita Income in Seventy Countries, 1949, Statistic
Papers, Series E, No. 1, New York, 1950, pp. 14-16.
8 United Nations, A Preliminary Report on the World Social Situation, 1952, Table 11, pp. 46-8.
4 United Nations, Statistical Yearbook, 1956, Table 139, pp. 333-338.
6 Ibid., Table 149, p. 387.
6 Ibid., Table 189, p. 641. The population bases for these figures are for different years than those used in reporting the numbers of telephones and radios, but for purposes of group comparisons, the differences are not important.
7 United Nations, A Preliminary Report .. ., op. cit., Appendix B, pp. 86-89.
8 United Nations, Demographic Yearbook, 1956, Table 12, pp. 350-370.
9 United Nations, Statistical Yearbook, 1956, op. cit., Table 127, pp. 308-310. Figures refer to commercially
produced energy, in equivalent numbers of metric tons of coal.
10 United Nations, A Preliminary Report… , op. cit., Appendix A, pp. 79-86. A number of countries are listed
as more than 95 per cent literate.
11 Ibid., pp. 86-100. Figures refer to persons enrolled at the earlier year of the primary range, per 1,000 tot
population, for years ranging from 1946 to 1950. The first primary year varies from five to eight in various countries.
The less developed countries have more persons in that age range per 1,000 population than the more develop
countries, but this biases the figures presented in the direction of increasing the percentage of the total populatio
in school for the less developed countries, although fewer of the children in that age group attend school. The bi
from this source thus reinforces the positive relationship between education and democracy.
12 Ibid., pp. 86-100.
Is UNESCO, World Survey of Education, Paris, 1955. Figures are the enrollment in higher education pe
population. The years to which the figures apply vary between 1949 and 1952, and the definition of higher
varies for different countries.
14 Obtained from International Urban Research, University of California, Berkeley, California.
1 Ibid.
16 Ibid.
cratic countries. In the less dictatorial Latin American countries there are
persons per motor vehicle, as against 274 for the more dictatorial ones.’2 In
differences for the groups are also sharp, dropping from an average per
income of $695 for the more democratic countries of Europe to $308 fo
less democratic ones; the corresponding difference for Latin America is f
$171 to $119. The ranges are equally consistent, with the lowest per cap
income in each group falling in the “less democratic” category, and the
est in the “more democratic” one.
12 It must be remembered that these figures are means, compiled from census figures
for the various countries. The data vary widely in accuracy, and there is no way of meas
uring the validity of compound calculated figures such as those presented here. The consistent direction of all these differences, and their large magnitude, is the main indication
of validity.
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Industrialization-indices of wealth are clearly related to this, of courseis measured by the percentage of employed males in agriculture, and the per
capita commercially produced “energy” being used in the country, measured
in terms of tons of coal per person per year. Both of these indices show equally
consistent results. The average percentage of employed males working in agriculture and related occupations was 21 in the “more democratic” European
countries, and 41 in the “less democratic,” 52 in the “less dictatorial” Latin
American countries, and 67 in the “more dictatorial.” The differences in per
capita energy employed in the country are equally large.
The degree of urbanization is also related to the existence of democracy.’3
Three different indices of urbanization are available from data compiled by
International Urban Research (Berkeley, California), the percentage of the
population in places of 20,000 and over, the percentage in communities of
100,000 and over, and also the percentage residing in standard metropolitan
areas. On all three of these indices of urbanization, the more democratic countries score higher than the less democratic, for both of the political culture areas
under investigation.
Many have suggested that the better educated the population of a country,
the better the chances for democracy, and the comparative data available support this proposition. The “more democratic” countries of Europe are almost
entirely literate: the lowest has a rate of 96 per cent, while the “less democratic”
nations have an average literacy rate of 85 per cent. In Latin America, the difference is between an average rate of 74 per cent for the “less dictatorial”
countries and 46 per cent for the “more dictatorial.”’14 The educational enroll1′ Urbanization has often been linked to democracy by political theorists. Harold J.
Laski asserted that “organized democracy is the product of urban life,” and that it was
natural therefore that it should have “made its first effective appearance” in the Greek
city states, limited as was their definition of “citizen.” See his article “Democracy” in the
Encyclopedia of the Social Sciences (New York: Macmillan, 1937), Vol. V, pp. 76-85. Max
Weber held that the city, as a certain type of political community, is a peculiarly Western
phenomenon, and traced the emergence of the notion of “citizenship” from social developments closely related to urbanization. For a partial statement of his point of view, see the
chapter on “Citizenship,” in General Economic History (Glencoe: The Free Press, 1950),
pp. 315-338. It is significant to note that before 1933 the Nazi electoral strength was greatest in small communities and rural areas. Berlin, the only German city of over two million,
never gave the Nazis over 25 per cent of the vote in a free election. The modal Nazi, like
the modal French Poujadist or Italian neo-Fascist today, was a self-employed resident of
a small town or rural district. Though the communists, as a workers’ party, are strongest
in the working-class neighborhoods of large cities within countries, they have great electoral strength only in the less urbanized European nations, e.g., Greece, Finland, France,
14 The pattern indicated by a comparison of the averages for each group of countries
is sustained by the ranges (the high and low extremes) for each index. Most of the ranges
overlap, that is, some countries which are in the low category with regard to politics are
higher on any given index than some which are high on the scale of democracy. It is note-
worthy that in both Europe and Latin America, the nations which are lowest on any of the
indices presented in the table are also in the “less democratic” category. Conversely, al-
most all countries which rank at the top of any of the indices are in the “more democratic” class.
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ment per thousand total population at three different levels, primary, post-
primary, and higher educational, is equally consistently related to the degree
of democracy. The tremendous disparity is shown by the extreme cases of Haiti
and the United States. Haiti has fewer children (11 per thousand) attending
school in the primary grades than the United States has attending colleges
(almost 18 per thousand).
The relationship between education and democracy is worth more extensive
treatment since an entire philosophy of democratic government has seen in
increased education the spread of the basic requirement of democracy.’6 As
Bryce wrote with special reference to Latin America, “education, if it does not
make men good citizens, makes it at least easier for them to become so.”‘6
Education presumably broadens men’s outlooks, enables them to understand
the need for norms of tolerance, restrains them from adhering to extremist and
monistic doctrines, and increases their capacity to make rational electoral
The evidence bearing on the contribution of education to democracy is even
more direct and strong in connection with individual behavior within countries,
than it is in cross-national correlations. Data gathered by public opinion research agencies which have questioned people in different countries with regard
to their belief in various democratic norms of tolerance for opposition, to their
attitudes toward ethnic or racial minorities, and with regard to their belief in
multi-party as against one-party systems have found that the most important
single factor differentiating those giving democratic responses from others has been
education. The higher one’s education, the more likely one is to believe in demo-
cratic values and support democratic practices.’7 All the relevant studies indicate that education is far more significant than income or occupation.
These findings should lead us to anticipate a far higher correlation between
national levels of education and political practice than in fact we do find.
Germany and France have been among the best educated nations of Europe,
but this by itself clearly did not stabilize their democracies. It may be, however, that education has served to inhibit other anti-democratic forces. PostNazi data from Germany indicate clearly that higher education is linked to
rejection of strong-man and one-party government.’8
16 See John Dewey, Democracy and Education (New York, 1916).
16 Quoted in Arthur P. Whitaker, op. cit., p. 112; see also Karl Mannheim, Freedom,
Power and Democratic Planning (New York, 1950).
17 See C. H. Smith, “Liberalism and Level of Information,” Journal of Educational
Psychology, Vol. 39 (1948), pp. 65-82; Martin A. Trow, Right Wing Radicalism and Politi-
cal Intolerance, Ph.D. dissertation, Columbia University, 1957, p. 17; Samuel Stouffer,
Communism, Conformity and Civil Liberties (New York, 1955), pp. 138-9; K. Kido and
M. Suyi, “Report on Social Stratification and Mobility in Tokyo, . . . Mobility in Tokyo,
III: The Structure of Social Consciousness,” Japanese Sociological Review (January
1954), pp. 74-100.
18 Dewey has suggested that the character of the educational system will influence its
effect on democracy, and this may shed some light on the sources of instability in Germany. The purpose of German education, according to Dewey, writing in 1916, was
“disciplinary training rather than . . . personal development.” The main aim was to pro-
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If we cannot say that a “high” level of education is a sufficient condition for
democracy, the available evidence does suggest that it comes close to being a
necessary condition in the modern world. Thus if we turn to Latin America,
where widespread illiteracy still exists in many countries, we find that of all the
nations in which more than half the population is illiterate, only one, Brazil,
can be included in the “more democratic” group.
There is some evidence from other economically impoverished culture areas
that literacy is related to democracy. The one member of the Arab League
which has maintained democratic institutions since World War II, Lebanon, is
by far the best educated (over 80 per cent literacy) of the Arab countries. In
the rest of Asia east of the Arab world, only two states, the Philippines and
Japan, have maintained democratic regimes without the presence of large antidemocratic parties since 1945. And these two countries, although lower than
any European state in per capita income, are among the world’s leaders in educational attainment. The Philippines actually ranks second to the United
States in its proportion of people attending high school and university, while
Japan has a higher level of educational attainment than any European state.”9
Although the various indices have been presented separately, it seems clear
that the factors of industrialization, urbanization, wealth, and education, are
so closely interrelated as to form one common factor.20 And the factors sub-
sumed under economic development carry with it the political correlate of
Before moving to a discussion of the inner connections between the development complex and democracy, mention may be made of a study of the Middle
East, which, in its essential conclusions, substantiates these empirical relation-
ships for another culture area. A survey of six Middle Eastern countries
duce “absorption of the aims and meaning of existing institutions,” and “thoroughgoing
subordination” to them. This point raises issues which cannot be entered into here, but
indicates the complex character of the relationship between democracy and closely related
factors, such as education. See Dewey, Democracy and Education, op. cit., pp. 108-110. It
suggests caution, too, in drawing optimistic inferences about the prospects of democratic
developments in Russia, based on the great expansion of education now taking place there.
1′ Ceylon, which shares with the Philippines and Japan the distinction of being the
only democratic countries in South and Far Asia in which the Communists are unimportant electorally, also shares with them the distinction of being the only countries in
this area in which a majority of the population is literate. It should be noted, however,
that Ceylon does have a fairly large Trotskyist party, now the official opposition; and while
its educational level is high for Asia, it is much lower than either Japan or the Philippines.
20 A factor analysis carried out by Leo Schnore, based on data from 75 countries, demonstrates this. (To be published).
21 This statement is a “statistical” statement, which necessarily means that there will
be many exceptions to the correlation. Thus we know that poorer people are more likely
to vote for the Democratic or Labor parties in the U. S. and England. The fact that a large
minority of the lower strata vote for the more conservative party in these countries does
not challenge the proposition that stratification position is the main determinant of party
choice, given the multivariate causal process involved in the behavior of people or nations. Clearly social science will never be able to account for (predict) all behavior.
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(Turkey, Lebanon, Egypt, Syria, Jordan, and Iran), conducted by the Colum-
bia University Bureau of Applied Social Research in 1950-51, found high associations between urbanization, literacy, voting rates, media consumption and
production, and education.22 Simple and multiple correlations between the four
basic variables were computed for all countries for which United Nations
statistics were available, in this case 54. The multiple correlations, regarding
each as the dependent variable in turn, are as follows:23
Multiple correlation
Dependent Variable Coefficient
In the middle East, Turkey and Lebanon score higher on most of these indices
than do the other four countries analyzed, and Lerner points out that the
“great post-war events in Egypt, Syria, Jordan and Iran have been the violent
struggles for the control of power-struggles notably absent in Turkey and
Lebanon, where the control of power has been decided by elections.”24
One of Lerner’s contributions is to point to the consequences, for overall
stability, of disproportionate development in one direction or another, and the
need for coordinated changes in all of these variables. Thus, he compares urbanization and literacy in Egypt and Turkey, and concludes that although
Egypt is far more urbanized than Turkey, it is not really “modernized,” and
does not even have an adequate base for modernization, because literacy has
not kept abreast. In Turkey, all of the several indices of modernization have
kept pace with each other, with rising voting participation (36 per cent in 1950),
rising literacy, urbanization, etc. In Egypt, by contrast, the cities are full of
“homeless illiterates,” who provide a ready audience for political mobilization
in support of extremist ideologies. On Lerner’s scale, following the assumption
of the functional interdependence of “modernization” factors, Egypt should
be twice as literate as Turkey, since it is twice as urbanized. The fact that it is
only half as literate explains, for Lerner, the “imbalances” which “tend to
22 The study is reported in Daniel Lerner, The Passing of Traditional Society, (Glencoe:
The Free Press, 1958). These correlations are derived from census data; the main sections
of the survey dealt with reactions to and opinions about the mass media, with inferences
as to the personality types appropriate to modern and to traditional society.
23 Ibid., p. 63. The index of political participation was the per cent voting in the last
five elections. These results cannot be considered as independent verification of the relationships presented in this paper, since the data and variables are basically the same (as
they are also in the work by Lyle Shannon, op. cit.), but the identical results using three
entirely different methods, the phi coefficient, multiple correlations, and means and ranges,
show decisively that the relationships cannot be attributed to artifacts of the computations. It should also be noted that the three analyses were made without knowledge of
each other.
24 Ibid., pp. 84-85.
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become circular and to accelerate social disorganization,” political as well as
Lerner introduces one important theoretical addition, the suggestion that
these key variables in the modernization process may be viewed as historical
phases, with democracy a part of later developments, the “crowning institution
of the participant society,” one of his terms for a modern industrial society.
His view on the relations between these variables, seen as stages, is worth
quoting at some length:
The secular evolution of a participant society appears to involve a regular sequence of
three phases. Urbanization comes first, for cities alone have developed the complex of
skills and resources which characterize the modern industrial economy. Within this urban
matrix develop both of the attributes which distinguish the next two phases-literacy
and media growth. There is a close reciprocal relationship between these, for the literate
develop the media which in turn spread literacy. But, literacy performs the key function
in the second phase. The capacity to read, at first acquired by relatively few people, equips
them to perform the varied tasks required in the modernizing society. Not until the third
phase, when the elaborate technology of industrial development is fairly well advanced,
does a society begin to produce newspapers, radio networks, and motion pictures on a
massive scale. This in turn, accelerates the spread of literacy. Out of this interaction develop those institutions of participation (e.g., voting) which we find in all advanced modern
Lerner’s thesis concerning the functional interdependence of these elements
of modernization is by no means established by his data, but the material presented in this paper offers an opportunity for research along these lines. Devi26 Ibid., pp. 87-89. Other theories of underdeveloped areas have also stressed the circular character of the forces sustaining a given level of economic and social development;
and in a sense this paper may be regarded as an effort to extend the analysis of the complex of institutions constituting a “modernized” society to the political sphere. Leo
Schnore’s unpublished monograph, Economic Development and Urbanization, An Ecological
Approach, relates technological, demographic and organizational (including literacy and
per capita income) variables as an interdependent complex. Harvey Leibenstein’s recent
volume, Economic Backwardness and Economic Growth (New York, 1957), views “underdevelopment” within the framework of a “quasi-equilibrium” economic theory, as a
complex of associated and mutually supportive aspects of a society, and includes cultural
and political characteristics-illiteracy, the lack of a middle class, a crude communications
system-as part of the complex. (See pp. 39-41).
26 Ibid., p. 60. Lerner also focuses upon certain personality requirements of a “modern”
society which may also be related to the personality requirements of democracy. According
to him, the physical and social mobility of modern society requires a mobile personality,
capable of adaptation to rapid change. Development of a “mobile sensibility so adaptive
to change that rearrangement of the self-system is its distinctive mode” has been the work
of the 20th century. Its main feature is empathy, denoting the “general capacity to see
oneself in the other fellow’s situation, whether favorably or unfavorably.” (p. 49 ff.)
Whether this psychological characteristic results in a predisposition toward democracy
(implying a willingness to accept the viewpoint of others) or is rather associated with the
anti-democratic tendencies of a “mass society” type of personality (implying the lack of
any solid personal values rooted in rewarding participation) is an open question. Possibly
empathy, a more or less “cosmopolitan” outlook, is a general personality characteristic
of modern societies, with other special conditions determining whether or not it has the
social consequence of tolerance and democratic attitudes, or rootlessness and anomie.
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ant cases, such as Egypt, where “lagging” literacy is associated with serious
strains and potential upheaval, may also be found in Europe and in Latin
America, and their analysis, a task not attempted here, will clarify further the
basic dynamics of modernization, and the problem of social stability in the
midst of institutional change.
A number of processes underlie these correlations, observed in many areas
of the world, in addition to the effect, already discussed, of a high level of
education and literacy in creating or sustaining belief in democratic norms.
Perhaps most important is the relationship between modernization and the
form of the “class struggle.” For the lower strata, economic development,
which means increased income, greater economic security, and higher education, permit those in this status to develop longer time perspectives and more
complex and gradualist views of politics. A belief in secular reformist gradual-
ism can only be the ideology of a relatively well-to-do lower class.27 Increased
wealth and education also serve democracy by increasing the extent to which
the lower strata are exposed to cross pressures which will reduce the intensity
of their commitment to given ideologies and make them less receptive to supporting extremist ones. The operation of this process will be discussed in more
detail in the second part of the paper, but essentially it functions through enlarging their involvement in an integrated national culture as distinct from an
isolated lower class one, and hence increasing their exposure to middle-class
values. Marx argued that the proletariat were a revolutionary force because
they have nothing to lose but their chains and can win the whole world. But
Tocqueville in analyzing the reasons why the lower strata in America supported the system paraphrased and transposed Marx before Marx ever made
this analysis, by pointing out that “only those who have nothing to lose ever
Increased wealth is not only related causally to the development of democracy by changing the social conditions of the workers, but it also affects the political role of the middle class through changing the shape of the stratification
structure so that it shifts from an elongated pyramid, with a large lower-class
base, to a diamond with a growing middle-class. A large middle class plays a
mitigating role in moderating conflict since it is able to reward moderate and
democratic parties and penalize extremist groups.
National income is also related to the political values and style of the upper
class. The poorer a country, and the lower the absolute standard of living of
the lower classes, the greater the pressure on the upper strata to treat the lower
classes as beyond the pale of human society, as vulgar, as innately inferior, as
a lower caste. The sharp difference in the style of living between those at the
top and those at the bottom makes this psychologically necessary. Consequently, the upper strata also tend to regard political rights for the lower strata, par27 See S. M. Lipset, “Socialism-East and West-Left and Right,” Confluence, Vol. 7
(Summer 1958), pp. 173-192.
28 Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy in America, Vol. I (New York: Alfred A. Knopf,
Vintage edition, 1945), p. 258,
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ticularly the right to share in power, as essentially absurd and immoral. The
upper strata not only resist democracy themselves, but their often arrogant
political behavior serves to intensify extremist reactions on the part of the
lower classes.
The general income level of a nation will also affect its receptivity to demo-
cratic political tolerance norms. The values which imply that it does not matter
greatly which side rules, that error can be tolerated even in the governing party
can best develop where (a) the government has little power to affect the crucial
life chances of most powerful groups, or (b) there is enough wealth in the country so that it actually does not make too much difference if some redistribution
does take place. If loss of office is seen as meaning serious loss for major power
groups, then they will be readier to resort to more drastic measures in seeking
to retain or secure office. The wealth level will also affect the extent to which
given countries can develop “universalistic” norms among its civil servants and
politicians (selection based on competence; performance without favoritism).
The poorer the country, the greater the emphasis which is placed on nepotism,
i.e., support of kin and friends. The weakness of the universalistic norms re-
duces the opportunity to develop efficient bureaucracy, a condition for a modern democratic state.29
Less directly linked but seemingly still associated with greater wealth is the
presence of intermediary organizations and institutions which can act as sources
of countervailing power, and recruiters of participants in the political process
in the manner discussed by Tocqueville and other exponents of what has come
to be known as the theory of the “mass society.”30 They have argued that a
society without a multitude of organizations relatively independent of the
central state power has a high dictatorial as well as a revolutionary potential.
Such organizations serve a number of functions necessary to democracy: they
are a source of countervailing power, inhibiting the state or any single major
source of private power from dominating all political resources; they are a
source of new opinions; they can be the means of communicating ideas, par-
ticularly opposition ideas, to a large section of the citizenry; they serve to train
men in the skills of politics; and they help increase the level of interest and participation in politics. Although there are no reliable data which bear on the
relationship between national patterns of voluntary organizations and national
political systems, evidence from studies of individual behavior within a number
of different countries demonstrates that, independently of other factors, men
who belong to associations are more likely to hold democratic opinions on ques-
tions concerning tolerance and party systems, and are more likely to participate
29 For a discussion of this problem in a new state, see David Apter, The Gold Coast in
Transition (Princeton University Press, 1955), esp. chapters 9 and 13. Apter shows the
importance of efficient bureaucracy, and the acceptance of bureaucratic values and behavior patterns, for the existence of a democratic political order.
30 See Emil Lederer, The State of the Masses (New York, 1940); Hannah Arendt,
Origins of Totalitarianism (New York, 1950); Max Horkheimer, Eclipse of Reason (New
York, 1947); Karl Mannheim, Man and Society in an Age of Reconstruction (New York,
1940); Philip Selznick, The Organizational Weapon (New York, 1952); Jose Ortega y
Gasset, The Revolt of the Masses (New York, 1932).
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in the political process-to be active or to vote. Since we also know that, within
countries, the more well-to-do and the better educated one is, the more likely he
is to belong to voluntary organizations, it seems likely that the propensity to
form such groups is a function of level of income and opportunities for leisure
within given nations.”
It is obvious that democracy and the conditions related to stable democracy
discussed here are essentially located in the countries of northwest Europe and
their English-speaking offspring in America and Australasia. It has been argued by Max Weber among others that the factors making for democracy in
this area are a historically unique concatenation of elements, part of the complex which also produced capitalism in this area. The basic argument runs that
capitalist economic development (facilitated and most developed in Protestant
areas) created the burgher class whose existence was both a catalyst and a
necessary condition for democracy. The emphasis within Protestantism on indi-
vidual responsibility furthered the emergence of democratic values. The greater initial strength of the middle classes in these countries resulted in an alignment between burghers and throne, an alignment which preserved the mon-
archy, and thus facilitated the legitimation of democracy among the conservative strata. Thus we have an interrelated cluster of economic development,
Protestantism, monarchy, gradual political change, legitimacy and democracy.32 Men may argue as to whether any aspect of this cluster is primary, but
the cluster of factors and forces hangs together.
al See Edward Banfield, The Moral Basis of a Backward Society (Glencoe: The Free
Press, 1958), for an excellent description of the way in which abysmal poverty serves to
reduce community organization in southern Italy. The data whicL do exist from polling
surveys conducted in the United States, Germany, France, Great Britain, and Sweden
show that somewhere between 40 and 50 per cent of the adults in these countries belong
to voluntary associations, without lower rates of membership for the less stable democracies, France and Germany, than among the more stable ones, the United States, Great
Britain, and Sweden. These results seemingly challenge the general proposition, although
no definite conclusion can be made, since most of the studies employed non-comparable
categories. This point bears further research in many countries. For the data on these
countries see the following studies: for France, Arnold Rose, Theory and Method in the
Social Sciences (Minneapolis, University of Minnesota Press, 1954), p. 74; and 0. R.
Gallagher, “Voluntary Associations in France,” Social Forces, Vol. 36 (Dec. 1957), pp.
154-156; for Germany, Erich Reigrotski, Soziale Verflechtungen in der Bundesrepublik
(Tubingen: J. C. B. Mohr, 1956), p. 164; for the U. S., Charles R. Wright and Herbert H.
Hyman, “Voluntary Association Memberships of American Adults: Evidence from National Sample Surveys,” American Sociological Review, Vol. 23 (June 1958), p. 287, and
J. C. Scott, Jr., “Membership and Participation in Voluntary Associations,” id., Vol. 22
(1957), pp. 315-326; Herbert Macroby, “The Differential Political Activity of Participants in a Voluntary Association,’ id., Vol. 23 (1958), pp. 524-533; for Great Britain see
Mass Observation, Puzzled People (London: Victor Gollanz, 1947), p. 119; and Thomas
Bottomore, “Social Stratification in Voluntary Organizations,” in David Glass, ed., Social
Mobility in Britain (Glencoe: The Free Press, 1954), p. 354; for Sweden see Gunnar
Heckscher, “Pluralist Democracy: The Swedish Experience,” Social Research, Vol. 15
(December 1948), pp. 417-461.
32 In introducing historical events as part of the analysis of factors external to the
political system, which are part of the causal nexus in which democracy is involved, I
am following in good sociological and even functionalist tradition. As Radcliffe-Brown
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In this section I turn to an examination of some of the requisites of democracy which are derived from specifically historical elements in this complex,
particularly those which relate to the need of a democratic political system for
legitimacy, and for mechanisms which reduce the intensity of political cleavage.
These requisites are correlated with economic development, but are also distinct from it since they are elements in the political system itself.
Legitimacy and Effectiveness. In the modern world, as the previous section
has attempted to document, economic development involving industrialization, urbanization, high educational standards, and a steady increase in the
overall wealth of the society, is a basic condition sustaining democracy; it is a
mark of the efficiency of the total system.
But the stability of a given democratic system depends not only on the system’s efficiency in modernization, but also upon the effectiveness and legitimacy
of the political system. By effectiveness is meant the actual performance of a
political system, the extent to which it satisfies the basic functions of government as defined by the expectations of most members of a society, and the expectations of powerful groups within it which might threaten the system, such
as the armed forces. The effectiveness of a democratic political system, marked
by an efficient bureaucracy and decision-making system, which is able to resolve
political problems, can be distinguished from the efficiency of the total system,
although breakdown in the functioning of the society as a whole will, of course,
affect the political sub-system. Legitimacy involves the capacity of a political
system to engender and maintain the belief that existing political institutions
are the most appropriate or proper ones for the society. The extent to which
contemporary democratic political systems are legitimate depends in large
measure upon the ways in which the key issues which have historically divided
the society have been resolved. It is the task of these sections of the paper to
show first, how the degree of legitimacy of a democratic system may affect its
capacity to survive the crises of effectiveness, such as depressions or lost wars
and second, to indicate the ways in which the different resolutions of basic historical cleavages-which determine the legitimacy of various systems-also
strengthen or weaken democracy through their effect on contemporary party
While effectiveness is primarily an instrumental dimension, legitimacy is
more affective and evaluative. Groups will regard a political system as legitihas well put it, ” . . one ‘explanation’ of a social system will be its history, where we
know it-the detailed account of how it came to be, what it is and where it is. Another
‘explanation’ of the same system is obtained by showing . . . that it is a special exemplification of laws of social psychology or social functioning. The two kinds of explanation do not
conflict but supplement one another.” A. R. Radcliffe-Brown, “On the Concept of Function in Social Science,” American Anthropologist, New Series, Vol. 37 (1935), p. 401; see
also Max Weber, The Methodology of the Social Sciences (Glencoe: The Free Press, 1949),
pp. 164-188, for a detailed discussion of the role of historical analysis in sociological research.
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mate or illegitimate according to the way in which its values fit in with their
primary values. Important segments of the German army, civil service, and
aristocratic classes rejected the Weimar Republic not because it was ineffective,
but because its symbolism and basic values negated their own. Legitimacy, in
and of itself, may be associated with many forms of political organization, including oppressive ones. Feudal societies, before the advent of industrialism,
undoubtedly enjoyed the basic loyalty of most of their members. Crises of
legitimacy are primarily a recent historical phenomenon, following the rise of
sharp cleavages among groups which have been able, because of mass communication resources, to organize around different values than those previously considered to be the only legitimate ones for the total society.
A crisis of legitimacy is a crisis of change, and therefore its roots, as a factor
affecting the stability of democratic systems, must be sought in the character of
change in modern society. It may be hypothesized that crises of legitimacy
occur during a transition to a new social structure, if (a) all major groups do
not secure access to the political system early in the transitional period, or at
least as soon as they develop political demands; or, if (b) the status of major
conservative institutions is threatened during the period of structural change.
After a new social structure is established, if the new system is unable to sustain
the expectations of major groups (on the grounds of “effectiveness”) for a long
enough period to develop legitimacy upon the new basis, a new crisis may develop.
Tocqueville gave a graphic description of the first general type of loss of
legitimacy, referring mainly to countries which had moved from aristocratic
monarchies to democratic republics: ” . . epochs sometimes occur in the life
of a nation when the old customs of a people are changed, public morality is
destroyed, religious belief shaken, and the spell of tradition broken …. . The
citizens then have “neither the instinctive patriotism of a monarchy nor the
reflecting patriotism of a republic; . . . they have stopped between the two in
the midst of confusion and distress.”33
If, however, the status of major conservative groups and symbols is not
threatened during this transitional period even though they lose most of their
power, democracy seems to be much more secure. Striking evidence of the link
between the preserved legitimacy of conservative institutions and democracy is
the relationship between monarchy and democracy. Given the role of the
American and French republican revolutions as the initiators of modern democratic political movements, the fact that ten out of 12 of the stable European
and English-speaking democracies are monarchies seems -a rather ludicrous correlation. Great Britain, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, the Netherlands, Belgium,
Luxemburg, Australia, Canada, and New Zealand are kingdoms; while the
only republics which meet the twin conditions, of stable democratic procedures
since democracy was instituted, and the absence of a major totalitarian movement in the past 25 years, are the United States, Switzerland and Uruguay.
33 Op. cit., pp. 251-252.
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Nations which have moved from absolutism and ol
church) to a democratic welfare state, while retaini
more frequently seem able to make changes while
thread of legitimacy for their political institutions.A4
The preservation of the monarchy has apparently
the loyalty of the aristocratic, traditionalist, and c
lation which resented increased democratization an
more graciously accepting the lower strata, by not
revolution might be necessary, the conservative or
loyalty of the new “citizens.” Where monarchy was
and orderly succession was broken, those forces al
sometimes continued to refuse legitimacy to republ
fifth generation or more.
The one constitutional monarchy which became a
was, like the French Republic, relatively new and
groups in the society. The House of Savoy alienated
ing the temporal power of the Popes, and was also n
the old Kingdom of the Two Sicilies. Catholics, in f
church to participate in Italian politics until close
church rescinded its original ban only because of i
similar attitude was taken by French Catholics to t
the same period. Both Italian and French democrac
much of their histories without loyal support from
society, both on the left and on the right. Thus, on
lies in the continuity of primary conservative and
ing a transitional period in which new social institu
The second general type of loss of legitimacy is,
to the way in which societies handle the “entry in
determination of when new social groups shall obt
process affects the legitimacy of the political system
for emerging groups. In the 19th century these new
dustrial workers; the “entry into politics” crisis of
involves colonial elites, and peasant peoples. Whene
litically active (e.g., when the workers first seek acc
power through economic organization and the suff
demanded access to and participation in governmen
mand control over their own system), comparative
mate political institutions tends to win the loyalty o
tem, and they in turn can permit the old dominatin
own status integrity. In nations such as Germany,
34 Walter Lippmann, referring to the seemingly greater
monarchies than the republics of Europe to “preserve orde
this may be because “in a republic the governing power,
much of its prestige; it is stripped, if one prefers, of all th
See his The Public Philosophy (New York: Mentor Books, 1
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for prolonged periods, first to the bourgeoisie and later to the workers, and
where force was used to restrict access, the lower strata were alienated from
the system, and were led to adopt extremist ideologies which, in turn, alienated
the more established groups from an acceptance of the workers’ political movement as a legitimate alternative.
Political systems which denied new strata access to power except through
revolutionary means also inhibited the growth of legitimacy by introducing
millenial hopes into the political arena. Groups which feel obliged to push their
way into the body politic through forceful means tend to overexaggerate the
possibilities which political participation afford. Their hopes are for far more
than the inherent limitations of political stability permit. Consequently, democratic regimes born under such stress will not only face the difficulty of being
regarded as illegitimate by those groups loyal to the ancien regime, but may be
also rejected by those whose millenial hopes were not fulfilled by the change.
France seems to offer an example of such a phenomenon. Right-wing clericalists
have viewed the Republic as illegitimate, while sections of the lower strata still
impatiently await millenial fulfillment. Many of the newly independent nations
of Asia and Africa face the problem of winning the loyalties of the masses to
democratic states which can do little to fulfill the utopian objectives set by nationalist movements during the period of colonialism, and the transitional
struggle to independence.
We have discussed several conditions bearing upon the maintenance, or the
initial securing of legitimacy by a political system. Assuming reasonable effec-
tiveness, if the status of major conservative groups is threatened, or if access
to the political system is denied at crucial periods, the legitimacy of the system
will remain in question. Even in legitimate systems, a breakdown of effectiveness, repeatedly or for a long period, will endanger its stability.
A major test of legitimacy is the extent to which given nations have developed a common “secular political culture,” national rituals and holidays which
serve to maintain the legitimacy of various democratic practices.3″ The United
States has developed a common homogeneous secular political culture as reflected in the veneration and consensus surrounding the Founding Fathers,
Jefferson, Lincoln, Theodore Roosevelt and their principles. These common
elements to which all American politicians appeal are not present in all democratic societies. In some European countries, the Left and the Right have a
different set of symbols, and different historical political heroes. France offers
the clearest example of a nation which has not developed such a common heritage. Thus many of the battles involving use of different symbols between the
left and the right from 1789 down through much of the 19th century are “still
in progress, and the issue is still open; everyone of these dates [of major political
controversy] still divides left and right, clerical and anti-clerical, progressive
and reactionary, in all their historically determined constellations.”36
1′ See Gabriel Almond, “Comparative Political Systems,” Journal of Politics, Vol. 18
(1956), pp. 391-409.
31 Herbert Luethy, The State of France (London: Secker and Warburg, 1955), p. 29.
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As we have seen, nations may vary in the extent to which their political
institutions are viewed as legitimate by different strata. And knowledge concerning the relative degree of legitimacy of a nation’s political institutions is of
key importance in any effort to analyze the stability of these institutions when
faced with a crisis of effectiveness. The relationship between different degrees
of legitimacy and effectiveness in specific political systems may be more graphically presented in the form of a four-fold table, with examples of countries
characterized by the various possible combinations.

citizens, have efficient bureaucracies and political decision-making systems,
possess traditional legitimacy through long-term continuity of the key symbols
of sovereignty, the monarchy or constitution, and do not contain any important
minorities whose basic values run counter to those of the system.37 Ineffective
and illegitimate regimes, those which would be found in box D, must, of course,
by definition be unstable and break down, unless they are dictatorships maintaining themselves by force such as the governments of Hungary and eastern
Germany today. The political experiences of different countries in the early
1930’s illustrate the effect of varying combinations of legitimacy and effectiveness. In the late 1920’s, neither the German nor the Austrian republics were
held legitimate by large and powerful segments of their populations, but nevertheless remained reasonably effective.38 In the four-fold table, they fell in box C.
When the effectiveness of the governments of the various countries broke
down in the 1930’s, those societies which were high on the scale of legitimacy
remained democratic, while countries which were low such as Germany,
Austria, and Spain, lost their freedom, and France narrowly escaped a similar
fate. Or to put the changes in terms of location in the four-fold table, countries
37 The race problem in the American South does constitute one basic challenge to the
legitimacy of the system, and at one time did cause a breakdown of the national order.
The conflict reduces the commitment of many white Southerners to the democratic rules
down to the present. Great Britain had a comparable problem as long as Catholic Ireland
remained part of the United Kingdom. Effective government could not satisfy Ireland.
Political practices by both sides in Northern Ireland, Ulster, also illustrate the problem
of a regime which is not legitimate to a large segment of its population.
38 For an excellent analysis of the permanent crisis of the Austrian republic which
flowed from the fact that it was viewed as an illegitimate regime by the Catholics and con-
servatives, see Charles Gulick, Austria From Hapsburg to Hitler (Berkeley: University of
California Press, 1948).
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which shifted from A to B remained democratic, while the political systems of
those which shifted from C to D broke down. It remained for the military defeat in 1940 to prove conclusively the low position of French democracy on the
scale of legitimacy. It was the sole defeated democracy which furnished largescale support for a Quisling regime.39
Situations such as those discussed above in which either legitimacy or effectiveness is high while the other is low demonstrate the utility of this type of
analysis. From a short-range point of view, a highly effective but illegitimate
system, such as a well governed colony, is more unstable than regimes which
are relatively low in effectiveness and high in legitimacy. The social stability
of a nation such as Thailand-even with its occasional coups d’etats-stands
out in sharp contrast to the situation in the neighboring former colonial nations
of Southeast Asia. The link between the analysis of legitimacy and the earlier
discussion of the contribution of economic development to democracy is evident
in the processes through which regimes low in legitimacy may gain it, and conversely in those which are related to the collapse of a legitimate system. Prolonged effectiveness which lasts over a number of generations may give legitimacy to a political system; in the modern world, such effectiveness mainly
means constant economic development. Thus those nations which adapted
most successfully to the requirements of an industrial system had the fewest
internal political strains, and either preserved their traditional legitimacy, the
monarchy, or developed new strong symbols of legitimacy.
The social and economic structure which Latin America inherited from the
Iberian peninsula prevented it from following the lead of the former English
colonies, and its republics never developed the symbols and aura of legitimacy.
In large measure, the survival of the new political democracies of Asia and Africa is related to their ability to sustain a prolonged period of effectiveness, of
being able to meet the defined instrumental needs of their populations.
Legitimacy and Cleavage. Prolonged effectiveness of the system as a whole
may, as in the cases of the United States and Switzerland, eventually legitimate
the democratic political system. Inherent, however, in all democratic systems is
the constant threat that the conflicts among different groups which are the lifeblood of the system may crystallize to the point where societal disintegration is
threatened. Hence, conditions which serve to moderate the intensity of partisan
battle, in addition to effectiveness, are among the key requisites for a democratic political system.
89 The French legitimacy problem is well described by Katherine Munro: “The Right
wing parties never quite forgot the possibility of a counter revolution while the Left wing
parties revived the Revolution militant in their Marxism or Communism; each side
suspected the other of using the Republic to achieve its own ends and of being loyal only so
far as it suited it. This suspicion threatened time and time again to make the Republic
unworkable, since it led to obstruction in both the political and the economic sphere, and
difficulties of government in turn undermined confidence in the regime and its rulers.”
Quoted in Charles A. Micaud, “French Political Parties: Ideological Myths and Social
Realities,” in Sigmund Neumann, ed., Modern Political Parties (Chicago: University of
Chicago Press, 1956), p. 108.
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Since the existence of a moderate state of conflict is an inherent aspect of a
legitimate democratic system, and is in fact another way of defining it, we
should not be surprised that the principal factors determining such an optimum
state are closely linked to those which produce legitimacy viewed in terms of
continuities of symbols and status. Essentially the character and content of
the major cleavages affecting the political stability of a society are largely de-
termined by historical factors which have affected the way in which maj or issues
dividing society have been solved or left unresolved over time.
In modern times, three major issues have emerged in western states. The
first was the religious issue: the place of the church and/or various religions
within the nation. The second has been the problem of the admission of the
lower strata, particularly the workers, to “citizenship,” the establishment of
access to power through universal suffrage, and the legitimate right to bargain
collectively in the economic sphere. The third has been the continual struggle
over the distribution of the national income.
The significant general question here is this: were these major issues dealt
with one by one, and each one more or less solved before the next arose, or did
the problems accumulate, so that historical issues and sources of cleavage mixed
with newer ones? Resolving tensions one at a time contributes toward a stable
political system; carrying over issues from one historical period to another
makes for a political atmosphere characterized by bitterness and frustration
rather than by tolerance and compromise. Men and parties come to differ with
each other, not simply on ways of settling current problems, but rather by fundamental and opposed weltanschauungen. They come to see the political victory
of their opponents as a major moral threat; and the total system, as a result,
lacks effective value-integration.
The religious issue, the place of the church in the society, was fought through
and solved in most of the Protestant nations in the 18th and 19th centuries,
and ceased to be a matter for serious political controversy. In some states, such
as the United States, the church was disestablished and it accepted this result.
In others, such as Britain, Scandinavia, and Switzerland, religion remains state-
supported, but the state churches, like constitutional monarchs, have only
nominal sway and have ceased to be major sources of controversy. It remains
for the Catholic countries of Europe to provide us with examples of situations
in which the historic controversy between clerical and anti-clerical forces,
sparked by the French Revolution, has continued to divide men politically
down to the present day. Thus in countries such as France, Italy, Spain, and
Austria, being Catholic has meant being allied with rightist or conservative
groups in politics; while being anti-clerical (or a member of a minority religion)
has most often meant alliance with the left. In a number of these countries,
newer issues, when they emerged, became superimposed on the religious question; and for conservative Catholics, the fight against Socialists was not simply
an economic struggle, or a controversy over social institutions, but a deeprooted conflict between God and Satan, between good and evil.40 For many
40 The linkage between democratic instability and Catholicism may also be accounted
for by elements inherent in Catholicism as a religious system. Democracy requires a
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secular intellectuals in contemporary Italy, opposition to the church legitimates
alliance with the Communists. As long as religious ties reinforce secular politi-
cal alignments, the chances for democratic give-and-take, and compromise, are
The “citizenship” or “political equality” issue has also been resolved in
various ways. Thus the United States and Britain gave citizenship to the workers in the early or mid-nineteenth century. Sweden and a number of European
nations resisted through the beginning of the 20th century, and the struggle for
citizenship became combined in these countries with socialism as a political
movement, thereby producing a revolutionary socialism. Or to put this in other
terms, where the workers were denied economic and political citizenship rights,
their struggle for redistribution of income and status was superimposed on a
revolutionary ideology. Where the economic and status struggle developed out-
side this context, the ideology with which it was linked tended to be that of
gradualist reformism. In Hohenzollern Germany, for example, the workers
were denied a free and equal suffrage in Prussia until the revolution of 1918.
This denial of “citizenship” facilitated the retention of revolutionary Marxism
in those parts of Germany where equal suffrage did not exist. In Southern
Germany, where full citizenship rights were granted in the late 19th century,
reformist, democratic, and non-revolutionary socialism was dominant. The
perpetuation of revolutionary dogmas in much of the Social Democratic party
served to give ultra-leftists a voice in party leadership, enabled the Communists
to win strength after the military defeat, and perhaps even more important
historically, served to frighten large sections of the German middle classes. The
latter feared that a socialist victory would really mean an end to all their
privileges and status.
In France, the workers won the suffrage but were refused basic economic
rights until after World War II. Major groups of French employers denied
legitimacy to the French trade-unions, and sought to weaken or destroy them
following every trade-union victory. The instability of the French unions, their
constant need to preserve worker militancy to survive, gave access to the
workers to the more revolutionary and extremist political groups. Communist
universalistic political belief system in the sense that it legitimates different ideologies.
And it might be assumed that religious value systems which are more universalistic in the
sense of placing less stress on being the only true church will be more compatible with
democracy than those which assume that they have the only truth. The latter belief,
held much more strongly by the Catholic than by most other Christian churches, makes
it difficult for the religious value system to help legitimate a political system which requires, as part of its basic value system, the belief that “good” is served best through conflict among opposing beliefs.
Kingsley Davis has argued that a Catholic state church tends to be irreconcilable with
democracy since “Catholicism attempts to control so many aspects of life, to encourage
so much fixity of status and submission to authority, and to remain so independent of
secular authority that it invariably clashes with the liberalism, individualism, freedom,
mobility and sovereignty of the democratic nation.” See his “Political Ambivalence in
Latin America,” Journal of Legal and Political Sociology, Vol. 1 (1943), reprinted in
Christensen, The Evolution of Latin American Government (New York, 1951), p. 240.
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domination of the French labor movement can in large part be traced to the
tactics of the French business classes.
The examples presented above do not explain why different countries varied
in the way they handled basic national cleavages. They should suffice, however,
to illustrate the worth of a hypothesis relating the conditions for stable democratic government to the bases of diversity. Where a number of historic cleavages intermix and create the basis for weltanschauung politics, the democracy
will be unstable and weak, for by definition such political views do not include
the concept of tolerance.
Weltanschauung politics have also weakened the possibilities for a stable
democracy, since parties characterized by such total ideologies have often
attempted to create what Sigmund Neumann has called an “integrated” environment, one in which as much as possible of the lives of their members is encapsulated within ideologically linked activities. These actions are based on the
assumption that it is important to isolate their followers from contact with
“falsehood” expressed by non-believers. Neumann has suggested the need for a
basic analytic distinction between parties of representation, which strengthen
democracy, and parties of integration which weaken it.4′ The former are typified
by most parties in the English-speaking democracies and in Scandinavia, and
by most centrist and conservative parties other than the religious ones. They
view the party function as primarily one of securing votes around election time.
The parties of integration, on the other hand, are concerned with making the
world conform to their basic philosophy or weltanschauung. They do not see
themselves as contestants in a give-and-take game of pressure politics, in which
all parties accept the rules of the game. Rather they view the political or religious struggle as a contest between divine or historic truth on one side and fundamental error on the other. Given this conception of the world, it becomes
necessary to prevent their followers from being exposed to the cross-pressures
flowing from contact with falsehood, which will reduce their faith.
The two major non-totalitarian groupings which have followed such procedures have been the Catholics and the Socialists. In general, in much of Europe before 1939, the Catholics and Socialists attempted to increase intrareligious or intra-class communications by creating a network of church- and
party-linked social and economic organizations within which their followers
could live their entire lives. Austria offers perhaps the best example of a situation in which two groups, the Social Catholics and the Social Democrats, divided over all three historic issues and separated the country into two hostile
41 See Sigmund Neumann, Die Deutschen Parteien: Wesen und Wandel nach dem Kriege
(2nd ed., Berlin, 1932), for exposition of the distinction between parties of integration and
parties of representation. Neumann has further distinguished between parties of “demo-
cratic integration” (the Catholic, and Social Democratic parties) and those of “total
integration” (Fascists and Communist parties) in his more recent chapter, “Toward a
Comparative Study of Political Parties,” in the volume which he edited: Modern Political
Parties (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1956), pp. 403-405.
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camps, which carried out much of their social activities in party or churchlinked organizations.42
The totalitarian organizations, Fascist and Communist, expanded the integrationist character of political life to the furthest limit possible. They outdo
all other groups in defining the world in struggle terms, and in seeing the corrupting influences either of Judaism or capitalism as requiring the insulation of
the true believers.
Efforts by democratic parties of integration to isolate their social base from
cross-pressures are clearly disruptive of the requirements for a stable democracy
in which there is shifting from one election to another, and in which issues between parties are allowed to be resolved over time. Isolation may intensify
loyalty to the party or church, but it may also serve to prevent a party from
reaching new strata. The Austrian situation also illustrates the frustration of
the electoral process which results when most of the electorate is encapsulated
within parties of integration. The necessary rules of democratic politics assume
that conversion both ways, into and out of a party, is possible and accepted as
proper. Parties which hope to gain a majority by democratic methods must ultimately give up their integrationist tendencies. The only justification for isolation from the rest of the culture is a strong commitment to the idea that the
party possesses the only truth, that there are certain b…
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