Category Archives: Second Panel Session: Political Economy

The Impact of Democracy and Capitalism in the Third World: An Inherent Contradiction?

This paper discusses the global issues of developing world dictatorships, looking into whether the attempts of the developed world to press capitalism into the mind set helps or hinders development and if these developing countries would be better off left alone or having a less market driven style of development promoted towards them. Global politics and the link to the developing world is both interesting and important. One hundred years ago this would have been of relatively little significance. However, given the globalist society we now live in it bears huge significance for politics and economics amongst other things. As such, we need to highlight the best way forwards in the interests of all in the world, particularly the people of the developing world who should be at the centre of concerns.

This presentation, in light of this, reflects upon the contemporary issues surrounding politics of the ‘third world’ and globalisation. Can democracy work in these countries? What should the West be doing? What role does debt and international lending play? These are just some of the just some of the potential questions I will be looking into and making judgements on in my presentation that, ultimately seeks to gauge whether the messages the West are sending to the developing world are contradictory.

James Hughes

Political Science BA





Capitalism, Globalisation and Democracy

Democracy and capitalism are often thought of as congruently developing phenomena. We argue that this has indeed been the case on the nation-state level but that the 21st century capitalist world economy requires policy responses that are not compatible with traditional, nationally-oriented conceptions of democracy, sovereignty and legitimacy. As such, we propose that it is necessary for policy makers to redefine and distinguish between local, national and global competences in governance if they are to rule in an efficient and democratic manner.

The EU’s democratic deficit and the relative weakness of the European parliament testify to the impossibility of exporting democratic governance to the international arena. National identity, or another identity that homogenizes the demos, is a requisite for democracy. In contrast to the nation-state, the emerging world economy does not homogenize political identity. Rather, we suggest that it is more likely that globalization reinforces identity so that it remains fixed on the level of the territorially-bounded state.

The global capitalist economy, in contrast, creates global actors – primarily in the form of multinational corporations – which might best be thought of as nomadic. To them, and the factors of production they possess, territory matters very little. This creates a problem for the nation-state as it allows these actors to exploit the limitations of state power imposed on it by its territoriality.

Rather than politicize global issues, policy-makers need to promote public awareness of the limitations of state power and reify popular conceptions of democracy, sovereignty and legitimacy if they are to ever be successfully applied to the reality of the global capitalist economy. We believe that clearly distinguishing on socio-economic grounds between the local, national and global levels of governance would be a good start.

Joren Bailliere & Kuba Neneman

European Politics, Society and Economics, BSc.