Democracy and Trade Policy in Developing Countries

Democracy and Trade Policy in Developing Countries

Bumba Mukherjee

Print publication date: 2017

ISBN: 9780226358789

Publisher: University of Chicago Press

Abstract

Does the emergence of democracy in the developing world promote economic globalization? Which societal actors favour and which actors oppose economic globalization and thus trade reforms in developing countries? How do electoral rules influence governments in developing country democracies to be responsive to societal demands for trade reforms? Democracy and Trade Policy in Developing Countries addresses these questions that lie at the forefront of understanding the link between democracy and economic globalization. This book first develops a comprehensive theoretical framework that explores how, why and when labor market conditions affects the balance of political power between labor and capital in newly democratized regimes across the developing world. It then explains how changes in the balance of political power between labor and capital affect political competition between parties, international trade policies, and eventually the prospects for democratic consolidation in new democracies. The book further extends this theoretical framework to understand how certain electoral rules in consolidated developing country democracies affects domestic political contestation over economic globalization. The key insight from extended theoretical analysis is the prediction that developing countries with “weak” political parties are more receptive to economic globalization while countries with “strong” political parties are more susceptible to anti-globalization pressure stemming from protectionist industries. The theoretical claims are evaluated by analyzing the relevant data and conducting a detailed case-study examination of trade politics in three “BRICS” countries: Brazil, India and South Africa. The book’s main claims and results have implications for understanding the prospects of international economic co-operation.