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Introduction

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  28 September 2019

Brian Wampler
Affiliation:
Boise State University, Idaho
Natasha Borges Sugiyama
Affiliation:
University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee
Michael Touchton
Affiliation:
University of Miami
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Summary

One of the greatest challenges in the twenty-first century is to address large, deep, and historic deficits in human development. A crucial question we explore in this book is how democracy – with all of its messy, contested, and time-consuming features – works to advance well-being and improve citizens’ lives. Broad evidence demonstrates that democracies provide more public goods and higher standards of living, on average, for citizens than authoritarian countries (Przeworski et al. 1999: 264–265; Lake and Baum 2001; Besley and Kudamatsu 2006; Brown and Mobarak 2009; Acemoglu et al. 2013; Harding and Stasavage 2014; Hodgson 2017; Gerring et al. 2015). We move beyond the conventional explanations – elections, political competition, and partisanship – to develop theory connecting core dimensions of democracy – participation, citizenship, and an inclusive state – to improvements in well-being. In doing so, we illuminate how these dimensions form “pathways” that help citizens and governments achieve better human development outcomes.

Type
Chapter
Information
Democracy at Work
Pathways to Well-Being in Brazil
, pp. 1 - 21
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2019

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