For too long a conventional wisdom has held sway, suggesting that poor people in poor countries are not supportive of democracy and that democracies will be sustained only after a certain average level of wealth has been achieved. Evidence from 24 diverse countries of Asia, Africa and Latin America examined in this volume shows how poor people do not value democracy any less than their richer counterparts. Their faith in democracy is as high as that of other citizens, and they participate in democratic activities as much as their richer counterparts. Democracy is not likely to be unstable or unwelcome simply because poverty is widespread. Political attitudes and participation levels are unaffected by relative wealth. Education, rather than income or wealth, makes for more committed and engaged democratic citizens. Investments in education will make a critical difference for stabilizing and strengthening democracy.
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(228mm x 152mm x 17mm)
Cambridge University Press
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
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Author Biography - Anirudh Krishna
Anirudh Krishna (Ph.D. in government, Cornell, 2000; master's in economics, Delhi, 1980) is Associate Professor of Public Policy and Political Science at Duke University. His research investigates how poor communities and individuals in developing countries cope with the structural and personal constraints that result in poverty and powerlessness. Previous books include Active Social Capital: Tracing the Roots of Development and Democracy (2002); Changing Policy and Practice from Below: Community Experiences in Poverty Reduction (2000); Reasons for Success: Learning from Instructive Experiences in Rural Development (1998); and Reasons for Hope: Instructive Experiences in Rural Development (1997). His articles have appeared in a variety of journals, winning the American Political Science Association's prize for best article on comparative democratization in 2002 and the Dudley Seers Memorial Prize in 2005.