Democracy and Development Allies or Adversaries?
Published in 1998. The question of whether democracy and development are allies or adversaries has long been debated and with the triumph of the democratic spirit worldwide the relationship between democracy and development has once again come to attract much attention globally. The collapse of the Soviet Union and the developments in Eastern Europe led to considerable rethinking in political circles on the efficacy of the economic policies pursued in those countries and the long-term viability of political systems prevalent there. Elsewhere, several newly industrialized countries are striving to consolidate their gains, though there are differing perceptions of whether their politics conform to the classical framework of democracy or not. In a remarkable turn-around, some other countries have initiated measures for economic reforms and structural adjustment, setting aside their earlier approaches towards economic management. In short, the last decades of this millennium have witnessed meaningful efforts worldwide on forging a new partnership between democracy and development. In February 1996, the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association jointly organized a conference entitled 'Parliamentary Democracy and Development': Allies or Adversaries?’ with the Wilton Park, an international agency of the British Commonwealth and Foreign Office in Wilton House, West Sussex, United Kingdom. The week-long conference brought together parliamentarians, diplomats, administrators, political scientists, economists and specialists from all over the world. The participants shared their views and experiences on diverse aspects of the main theme. This publication presents an essentially parliamentary perspective on the correlation between democracy and development based on the discussions at the Wilton Park conference and in the light of current thinking on the subject matter.