Are democratic regimes antithetical to globalization?

Sudhanshu K. MISHRA


Abstract. In this study we have made an attempt to investigate into the relationship between political regime type (that ranges from authoritarian to democratic) and the extent of globalization which of late has been considered as a path to development. We have made use of the Democracy index (and its constituent indicators) provided by the Economist Intelligence Unit and the globalization index (and its constituent indicators) of the KOF. Applying canonical correlation analysis on the data we have made an attempt to look into the response of globalization to the quantitative measures of democratic (versus authoritarian) practices of the governments in 116 countries distributed over Asia, Africa, Australia, Europe and the Americas. We have also tested the Lee thesis in the context of globalization as a path to development.  Our findings indicate that the empirical support to Lee’s thesis if extended to globalization as a path to development is superficial and does not withstand critical analysis. Contrary to Lee’s thesis, democracy promotes globalization. In African countries political discordance (at the national as well as international level) is not much favourable while in the Asian countries, political will, irrespective of regime type,  is in concordance with globalization. Therefore, it appears that democracies thwart development and by implication, globalization as a means to development.

Keywords. Globalization, Democracy, Authoritarian regime, Lee thesis, Canonical correlation, Asia, Africa, Europe, the Americas, Australia.

JEL. F63, O54, O55, O56, O57.


Globalization; Democracy; Authoritarian regime; Lee thesis; Canonical correlation; Asia; Africa; Europe; the Americas; Australia.

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