By G. Bingham Powell Jr.

Why perform a little democracies prevail whereas others fail? In looking a solution to this vintage challenge, G. Bingham Powell, Jr. examines the list of voter participation, govt balance, and violence in 29 democracies in the course of the Nineteen Sixties and Nineteen Seventies. The center of the booklet and its so much distinguishing characteristic is the therapy of the function of political events in mobilizing voters and containing violence.

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Additional info for Contemporary Democracies: Participation, Stability, and Violence (Menil Foundation)

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In an economically primitive nation the majority of the population is made up of peasants or agricultural workers, engaged in subsistence farming in a few crops. 2 Economic development in democratic regimes. S. K. S. dollars. 1972 GNP per capita from World Bank Atlas, 1974. Yearly growth from World Bank Atlas, 1975. Literacy, agricultural employees, and export concentration from Taylor and Hudson, World Handbook. a. Agricultural employees measure is the percentage of adult males employed in agriculture; dubious data shown in parentheses.

S. 7 Sources: Population data from Taylor and Hudson, World Handbook; performance data from Chapter 2. unified party systems and of mobilizing large numbers of citizens at election time in very large countries. 6 In this version, it is not so much the perception of citizens that they can have little influence in national politics, but the difficulty encountered by political leaders in building organizations to involve citizens that gives an advantage to the smaller nations in getting their citizens to the polls.

In this chapter I shall set forth, briefly, some of the most widely accepted hypotheses about the effects of environmental conditions on democratic performance, and see how they fare in explaining the events of the two decades under consideration. My first objective is simple description: is it the case, for example, as often assumed, that small countries have higher levels of voting participation and less violence than larger ones? As the evidence has usually not been examined for the full set of democracies, it is useful to try to get our bearings by finding out if the general descriptive ideas are correct.

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