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An inductive study on why some countries are more democratic than others


Colonial legacy has been of major significance on the democracy of a country. This essay will consider an

inductive study on why some countries are more democratic than others. The coonial lgacy began wit the

colonization of Morocco b the Portuguesses in 1415. This was the fisrt Europen colony. Over the

centuries, the Europenas were able to take control of a large part of the planet, espeily countries in Africa

Only a few countries had power over the colonies. In this regard, the colonial experience greatly affected

te the modern era in many ways.

Existing literature on the effect of colonial legacy on democracy

The colonial practices and policies have directly affected the democracy of the countries that they

colonized. Colonialism has been a reason for the improvement of social, political and economic

development in many countries. Afric provides a stunning examole on the imact of colonization on

democracy Conventionally the prospets within the African continent have been negatively affected b

colonial interference. Some contraries wihin the African contient are more dmocatic than others.

Even thugh many scholars have argued that colonialism negatively affected democracy, there is no proof

that the legaces of specific coloniaisms had unique imact on the democratic potential of their colonies. A

large part of the discusisos have made a comparison ebwteen the Britih colonialists and other colonial

powers. Esentilly, the scholars hav ecoe to a conlsuion that cntries which are former British colonies have

a higher chance of beign democrati in comarion to countries that were not former British colonies. In this

rgrd, some large n-studis ave come to a consluion that former British coloneis are more democratic. Since

the secnd world war, the post-colonial democaries wer often previosu Britihs colonie, espeiclaly in Africa.

The French colonial legacy does not have a profound positive effect on the former colonies. N the other

hand, former British coloneis in Africa an dthe Midde East can be categoried within th genrlaisasitons as

countries that have seen an mporvent in democracy due to democraisation.

There are various rasons that have been advanced as to why former British colonies are often

characterized as democracies.. Many scholars have noted that the parliamaenraty democracy has often

been seen as better than presidential demoracy in the post-colonial era. Adidoanly, the emrge of

parliametarilsm has been a result of British influence. In specific areas, such as Africa, many former

British colonies have not followed this traition,a nd have instead chosen presidentialism.

Some schlars have followed the opinion that the British often made better arranegemnts to prepare their

former colonies as democracies. This was achieved b encouraging democratic elections in the colonies.

These elctiosn were carried out for self-governing bodies sich as parliament. Morver, this was done

during the final years of colonization, and the locals were enourgaed to carry out elections as a way to

establish home rule. It encouraged the rise of democracies in the African continent.

The Brtish also lost a large part of the North American empire. Moreover, their response to this losss

differed greatly I comparison to other colonial powers. Esently, the British were characterized with a

greater urge to compromise with colonial subjects and persue reforms. This was the same acse with the

French. Some scholars believe that the French also gve its colonies greater power and opportunities to

express themselves thought voting before they attained their idneendence. However, some scholars dubt

that it promoted democracy. In this regard, many former French colonies were often chacateried with one

party reignes. It is a setbck to democracy as t leads to a regie that often ignores the demands of the people.

The Birtihs also ensured that they had established a superior infrastructure that encouraged democracy.

Specificlal, it entailed an adcnaved system in terms of cmmunciation, transportation and education. The

British aso encouraged the rule of law which is a major element for democratization. Additionaly, the

British also established a well trained and extensive bereucracy that rekies heavily on the local personnel.

Democratisation also rlis on the aptterns f colonialism. It aries form the colonical adnistarction, where

some colonialaitss used indirect rule suh as the Birtish. This led to democary in comaorios to the French

who used direct rle. On the other hand, the Beligans appied a pattern of paternalism approach. This was a
significant factor that menat man former beligian coloneis such as Congo are less democratic. On the

other hand, the Portuges used an assimilationaisy atiacj. This was a factor that hindered the mergce of

dmecacy after idneonce. The Birtish coloncialssys provided a better environment for multiparty polcitis

to soar after idneoennce.

Questions and hypothesis

There are many facotrs that would influence how demcaric a country is. This paper will seek to provide

an inductive study oon why some countries are more democratic than others throught he use of reaserch


1. How did the past colonial power affect the democratic preferences of a country?

2. Does the specific colonial legacy affect the democratic development of a country?

There is a link between the colonial legacy and democacy. The relatosnhip is ascertained by

looking at the theoretical frameworks. . This is through the consolidation and genesis hypothesis.

Specifically, it will watch the probability that a country can follow a democratic political system, and this

would not depend on whether the state was initially democratic or authoritarian. It is essential to establish

the emergence and consolidation of a country, espeicaly based on the colonial legacy. Furthermore, the

variable of colonization is also important as it plays a role in the transition towards stability, and


The second hypothesis will look at how the colonial legacy affects the existing democracy. Based

on the consolidation hypothesis, democracy can exist in a previous colonized country based on the

colonial power. The empirical analysis for this research will consider the chance that a state will follow

democracy. There is no distinction between colonial legacy and emergence of democracies. However, the

consolidation hypothesis looks at how the democracy can be stabilized to be beneficial for the country. A

question arising within this hypothesizes whether colonial legacy will determine the democratic

development of a state.
Research design

The research design will entail the construction of a dataset based on the colonial legacy and

democracy dataset. It will involve more than 50 countries. The data will consist of a vast number of

African countries. Many previous studies have often considered the Western World and avoided using

data from African countries. It means it easier to come up with conducive evince on the relationship

between the two variables without considering the African continent.

The dependent variable in the research is a democracy. It is hard to provide a measure of democracy since

it lacks appropriate indicators1. The first dataset will be an indicator of the regime's in place. Specifically,

it will consider how democratic of autocratic a regime is, and this will score on a scale with 10 meaning

the country is a complete democratic while -10 would mean that the country is completely autocratic. The

democracy scores with relying on several variables. The first is whether institutions exist in a state that

controls these of power by the executives. The second score will look at whether citizens have the

opportunity to express their wishes and demands of the democracy. There should be applicable

procedures and instituting that low the citizens to have more power in the running of the country 2. The

final fact will consider if the citizens are guaranteed of their civil liberties based in how democratic the

country is. It is na important variable that ascertains the extent at which a country adopted democracy

based on colonial legacy.

The independent variable in the research is colonial legacy. Colonial legacy is still a controversial

issue as it is difficult to establish the extent of colonial legacy in a country. In this regard, this research

will use the Gini coefficient and a measure of colonial legacy. It will comprise of data from former

colonies powers such as Frnch, British and Portugeuese.

colonial legacy determines democracy

1 Baldwin, K., & Huber, J. D. (2010). Economic versus Cultural Differences: Forms of Ethnic Diversity and Public
Goods Provision. American Political Science Review, 104(4), 644662.
2 Wooldridge, J. M. (2009). Introductory Econometrics: A Modern Approach. Mason, Ohio: South-Western Cengage
Results and finding

The results collected detail beneficial information about the connection between democracy and

colonial legacy. The result shows that democracy depends on th former colonil power. The democracy

score will also increase with a decrease in the height gain. It concurs with the thesis where a large number

of egalitarian societies are also democratic. There is a high chance of democracy in the case of British

coloniation. Many revous British colonies have the advanace of better institutosn that encourage

democracy. Morrver, prio to independence previosu British colonies were allowed the previdlege to vote

and mke democratic decisisons. On the oter hand, colonies from other conlonila masters lacked this

portutnties. Speicifly, countrii that were former portugense colones are less democratic as they lacked the

istuosn to esiurge the ememrgence of a demoaric state.

The results show that British colonies that are moving towards democracy have a higher chance

of enduring in coakriosn to previous Dutch and French colonies. Morver, former british coonis wre not

significantly drrenefer than the U.S. or Portuguese colonies. Despite ths, the former Brtish colonies were

oftn more likely to be hcarcatred with a breakdown in democracy when coamred to the saonsh colonis.

Preios French colonie shave the lest chance of big democmatic. This ws limited ti the civil or state cosity

relautonsp. Hweerm this egegct is not significiant to conetrarct the negative effects that arose form

French colonicalisaiton. Te legacy of coloncial powers still has n imact n amny countries todat. Man

countries have strong ties to ther former coloncial woers. These cuntres dietly fcnleun the dmecayc in

these countries, and they would often follow democratic policies if this is dmenaded by former coloial

powers. It is a oath deoendent function, which eas he ris a linki betewenn developmental legacies and

culture. Decisison makers often make chces based on the dmand sof the previosu clonial powers esently,

deciso makers in post-colocnia dmeoctais are often in a psiton where they find that their countries are in a

uniqe cnfiicuaon in term sof dveloemnt. S[ecificlaly, th civil socity and social fragmentasio will limi theur

The research shows that previous colonial masters and local institutions are variable that affect

democracy. An analysis of the data set will look at information that covers a period from the 1950s to

2000. The data shows that the level of institutional development directly affect the democracy of a

country. A country will fewer democratic isnsitosn like the lectroate or a constituons that faovura

democarcy will mean that the regime will not be inlcided to eb deocatic, and this undermines the

legitimacy of the regime3. The research also looks at the link between democracy and ruling sytele of

clonizer. It arises from the fact that many countries that inform the research have deferring colonial

masters. The data shows that many European colonialists promote democracy. Democracy aslo deoends

on the length of time a country ws under a colonial power. In this rgead, countries that were colonsied for

onger thend to be more democratic. Esntlly, it menas tht the colonial legacy was chracteried with an

increased integration of democratic structures it menat that the countries could easly adopt to thse

structures, and this eant hat such countries have a higer chance f being democratic. For isance, South

Africa is more democatir due to the lefht of time it was udner coloniel pwers. Ssely, the social, economic

and polciticla ystsme saare charactired wth more integraton of the deocatic isntuis withi the scieity Fr shc

coutnris, it was easier to adpt to democracy after idnernec. On the oetehr hand, countiriies atht wer

closneid for a hsorter eirod of tie de not aily adopr to the dmeotati stiructes. It is attribetd t the lck of the

necesayl kwndleg n how to aply demcay wihtint e sintion, or simly reisitance to a foreight mehtid

ofleadrship na dower. For iance, countiris like gabon are less emdctaic as they wr eudner a colonial woer

for a shirt er epirod of tie in coanros to siuth Africa.


In consluion, the colonial legacy direcly affects how democratic a country is. Many former colonies,
espeiclly Britihs cloneis, are characetrid with an increased chance of beign demcrati than other
countries. T s attibuetd to the cnage sthe colonial powers made prior to idneoence. Specicilfy, formeder
Brtish colonies had the advanatage of better insittutiions that encurgared democratization. The Britih
often enciurgaed the eel to participate in the plicty, and thi s menat htat a alrge number for former brith
cloneis are more democratic on the other hand former French colonies are often less democrati. Esetly,

3 Houle, C. (2009). Inequality and Democracy: Why Inequality Harms Consolidation but Does Not Affect
Democratization. World Politics, 61(4), 589-623.
it arose from one oarty satets tat emerged as former French colneis. This as amajor setack to
democratsation, and most previosus frecnh cocloei lacked the isstuisn to ensiurgae demcratisation.