Identify your own intersectional identities shaped by popular culture, and utilize four academic readings (either from our class or outside of it or some combination) and any of the films screened in class that helped you understand how your personal experience is shaped by race, class, gender, ability, and sexuality. Using an intersectional lens, examine how social inequalities have been reinforced in your life by multiple institutions (for example, government, religion, family, school, healthcare, employment, etc.). How do these institutions reinforce the public/private divide across race, class, gender, ability, and sexuality? How do notions of hegemony, privilege, colonialism, and capitalism operate within these confines?
Since Lipset’s research, most studies have found the same positive correlation between democracy and economic development while a few haven’t. Whether a relationship can be established or not has often depended on several factors which have skewed a majority of empirical studies. That is to say that the correlation between democracy and economic development has often depended on the following; What countries were included in the research and when it was carried out; Whether countries were examined in one snap shot (cross sections) or over a longer period of time (time-series); What indicators were chosen for economic development (e.g. GDP, trade surplus, education) and what definition was used for democratic states (the conceptualization of democracy). Lipset’s work remained the foremost authority on the subject until Przeworski et al revisited the question of economic development and democracy by conducting a much larger study forty years later. Przeworski et al examined 135 countries and looked at their dataset from 1950 to 1990 with the view to discovering if economic development encouraged democracy (endogenous democratization) or merely maintained an already existing democracy (exogenous democratization). In other words, if a country passes a certain economic benchmark/threshold, Przeworski et al argue that their democratic institutions will be maintained and it is inconceivable that the country will revert to a non-democratic state. In other words, Przeworski et al believed that economic development maintains democracies but does not necessarily kick start them therefore exogenous democratization of economic development holds true. According to Przeworski et al, economic development makes democracies endure but not emerge. Some of the most interesting arguments made by Przeworski et al is that democratic states occur because of a configuration of random factors therefore every state or territory faces a similar chance of development regardless of how they started out. The gap in this argument is that there is no explanation as to how they arrived at this assumption. Since the seminal study by Przeworski et al, others have examined their data to challenge some of their assumptions. Welzel (2006) examined the same set of data and calculated the ratio of regime shift to democracy and regime shifts to autocracy for varying levels of GDP per capita. Welzel concluded that it would appear that economic developments do seem to make democracies appear practically contradicting the conclusions reached by Przeworski et al. Epstein et al (2006) also analysed the dataset of Przeworski et al and concluded that economic development does encourage democracies to emerge and indeed sustains them. If we are to go back to the original question, current standardized measurements make it a lot easier to address the problem; measurements that were absent when Lipset first proposed the Modernization Theory. After a plethora of studies in this field of research, it has become much easier to use statistical methods and standardized datasets to see if there is a correlation between economic development and democracies. With standardized datasets collected by non-governmental agencies, establishing the relationship is a lot more straightforward. However, explaining causality is still difficult because examples are always present that do not follow the correlation. As explained earlier, defining democracy is difficult and measuring it even more so. However, the Economist Intelligence Unit’s Democracy Index is the best measure available. The 2016 Democracy Index shows that half the countries in the world are not even considered democracies with only 19 countries out of 160 considered “full democracies”. In this essay, I compiled a list of the top 30 countries in the Democracy Index as shown in Figure 1 in the second column.>GET ANSWER