When comparing emerging democracies around the world, what factors help to account for stability and instability?
Using the nations of Russia, China, USA, Britain, India, South Africa, and Germany as examples in analyzing their cultures, economies, and political policy.
I think that the question is fairly wide open. I am going to take a classically French political theorist position on why democracies are different in terms of their stability throughout the world. There is not one reason for it. A variety of conditions and circumstances have to be integrated into understanding how the organic progression of democracy is evident throughout the world. In terms of the list featured, I woud not focus on China as I don't think one gets far in evaluating it as a democracy. Little presents itself as a democracy.
One distinct element that binds all of these nations in terms of their ability to foster democratic rule is the presence of economic stability. Nations like Russia are enduring difficult times economically, which makes the ability for democracy to flourish quite difficult. The needs to substantiate a vital democracy such as civic activism, transparency in government, and a sense of republicanism in making decisions are threatened in areas where economic challenge are so vitally evident. Russia being a nation enduring a great deal of economic challenge make democratic rule difficult to facilitate and development. In a nation such as South African, where there is so much of a disparity between the haves and the have nots, democratic self rule is similarly difficult. In this configuration, the reality becomes that there seems to be two different nations evident, and seeking to articulate one vision of democracy that speaks to both is difficult.
This leaves the other four nations. The common links in all of them is that a constitutional democracy is buttressed by a stable economic platform where some level of equality of opportunity is evident for all. This helps to make the aims of democracy that can be realized for all citizens. Certainly, there are some areas in all of these nations that can undermine the effectiveness for democratic self rule. The presence of an underclass in all of these nations, individuals who are estranged from the economic and political process helps to negate the abilty of a democracy to flourish.
In the end, I think that economic stability of a nation and its abilty to foster and nurture its democracy go very well together. It seems that the promises and possibilities of democratic self rule matches well with the ability to live these ideals out with economic prosperity. A strong link between economics and democratic self- rule does exist.