Explanations for Democracy 5


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Explanationsfor Democracy

Thedominant religion in Brazil is Roman Catholicism with 64.6% of peoplewho subscribe to Christianity. The level of economic development is$2.246 trillion. This level is classified the low middle-incomeeconomy. Countries with a Gross national income of between $1.036 and$4.085 billion are said to be in the lower middle-income category.Brazil is a democracy. According to the freedom house measure ofdemocracy, the country has an average score of 3, which is acommendable score given the country’s political past. 1 representsa highly democratic nation while a score of 7 represents anautocracy. It has an average level of civil liberties at 3, politicalrights of a score of 3, and freedoms also at a score of three. Thus,the average level of democracy amounts to a score of 3.

Therelationship between culture, economic development, and democracy

Brazil’sculture affects and influences the country’s democratic culture.The country adopted a neutral stance on issues of race by identifyingmullatto as a national culture(Lefort 2008: 61).Mullatto is the resultant racial populations and culture that arosedue to the intermarriage between Portuguese immigrants and thedescendants of former slaves. The culture of miscegenation in Brazilculminated into a generation that was less racially tense.Furthermore the Christian religion as a culture in Brazil through theRoman Catholic Church played a very pivotal role in spurring theagitation for civilian leadership in place the military rule.Religion and mulattos culture are two fundamental aspects ofBrazilian culture that have made it certain that the Braziliandemocracy is capable of maturing to full democracy. Democracy is alsolikely to improve even further as Brazilian society becomes morepluralistic. Other churches are emerging to challenge the dominanceof the Catholic Church the population becomes more conscious aboutissues of egalitarianism.

Theeconomy of Brazil has an immense on democracy. The modernizationtheory explains is quite relevant in explaining this relationship.According to the modernization theory, democracy is a consequencerather than a pre-condition for economic development. The theoryasserted that when a country undergoes economic development, classstructure emerges, a bourgeoisie emerges, and urban centers spring up(Bernstein 2011:147).The developmental changes cause a shift in democratic values andcultural orientations. The stability and growth of the economydepends on the political stability of a country. Economic and socialdevelopment mandates the state to adopt indirect democratic policiessuch as certainty in economic policy framework, the rule of law,educational equality, and intellectual property rights. Foreigndirect investment grows with these conditions available becauseinvestors develop confidence about returns on their investments.

Consideringthat Brazil’s economy is largely dependent on the exploitation ofnatural resources such as minerals, agricultural land, andmanufacturing production, the democratic regime transformation thatbegan in 1985 reinforced its position as a global investmentdestination. Investors are more confident to operate in anenvironment that fosters equality in business and the application ofthe rule of law. In the run up to the new millennium, Brazilexperiences a monumental growth in GDP as a result of politicalstability brought in by democratic regimes.

Thearguments above confirm that the modernization theory and thecultural theories on democracy. Democracy is a government system thatbolsters economic and institutional stability. Being a democracy moreinvestments in the different economic sectors exploit the untappedresources. A cultural orientation that gives space for pluralismprecipitates democracy as the case of the Brazilian Mullatto nationalculture.


Bernstein,H. (2011). Modernization theory and the sociological study ofdevelopment∗.TheJournal of Development Studies,7(2),141-160.

Lefort,C. (2008). Democracyand political theory(Vol. 225). Cambridge: Polity Press.