Library Header Image
LSE Theses Online London School of Economics web site

Democracy and human development: A critical empirical investigation using data from 123 countries, 1970-1990.

Vourkoutiotis, Velis (2002) Democracy and human development: A critical empirical investigation using data from 123 countries, 1970-1990. PhD thesis, London School of Economics and Political Science.

Download (38MB) | Preview


Although much has been written about the general relationship between democracy and development since the end of the Second World War, a common consensus has not emerged to explain the various facets of this relationship. Originally defined in purely economic terms, only recently has the concept of development been broadened to include the most vital non-economic components under the umbrella of 'human development'. Indeed, the UNDP's first Human Development Report (1990) proposed that human development should serve as the yardstick with which to measure the progress of nations. Influenced by the post-Cold War euphoria, the accompanying political argument, propagated by many international bodies (including the World Bank and the UNDP), Western policy-makers and development planners, held that democracy and human development are mutually complementary phenomena. To date, however, the empirical basis for this view has not been established. Using data from 123 countries for the 1970-90 period, this thesis represents an extensive cross-national, time-series investigation into the nature of the relationship between democracy and human development. It will be argued that there are in fact two relationships to be established, one between democracy and levels of human development and one between democracy and human development performance. This leads to the fundamental question: Is democracy typically the by-product of development, the catalyst for development, or neither. To answer this, the records of democratic and non-democratic states will be evaluated and compared using many different analytical techniques, sample groups and controlling variables. This thesis will also examine other important related concerns, including the triangular relationship between democracy, human development and economic growth, and the political basis of the best-performing case studies, or 'developmental states'. Several new empirical measures have been constructed specifically for the purposes of this research, including a new measure of democracy, the Level of Democracy index (LoD), and a new and more comprehensive measure of human development, the Integrated Human Development Index (I-HDI).

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Uncontrolled Keywords: Political Science, General
Sets: Collections > ProQuest Etheses

Actions (login required)

Record administration - authorised staff only Record administration - authorised staff only


Downloads per month over past year

View more statistics