One of my most fascinating, frustrating, and futile classes I take is Comparitive Politics with Erik Bleich. We’ve spent the last three weeks diving into the specifics of regime-types (authoritarian, totalitarian, post-totalitarian, sultanistic, democratic) and how to transition from non-democratic regimes to democratic regimes.
Today my professor brought up a really interesting observation. Somehow a classroom of twenty Americans could not conclude with any certainty that democracy was the best regime for the world. Sure, there were a few students that staunchly defended democracy but many students took pragmatic positions of matching the best regime for the people of a country. Bleich pointed out that in years past, it was a given that the class would agree that democracy was the best form of government. Is this indicative of a weakening of the idea of democracy even in the most well-known democracy in the world?
I am a firm believer in democracy as a solid type of regime but I do not think it is right for every country. China, for instance, should not be a democracy right now because they have far too many reforms they must complete and in many ways it could be more difficult to pass those reforms in a country that size should the country be democratic. Right now, when an issue comes to the forefront in China, the leaders can snap their fingers and changes are forced to happen. That efficiency is an amazing advantage but it does take leaders that are willing to make the changes.
That said, I do think democracy is somewhat inevitable for all countries in the future simply because it is the most stable regime type. After all, no two democracies have ever fought a war against each other.