Can the Chinese as a country democratize?
Can the Chinese as a country democratize?
Theoretically and in simple terms, democracy is the form of government that allows people to choose their leaders as well as participating in the decision making the process of significant decisions that can have substantial impacts on the trajectory of their nation and as a society. Nevertheless, this simple definition of democracy is not actually what happens in many societies that describe themselves to be. This is what has led many scholars to argue about the fact that democracy should have a much broader definition to help capture all the different varieties of the term. China, as the country, cannot be described as a democracy led country. The country is led by an authoritarian regime that has been in office for many decades. The citizen of the country is not allowed to participate in the election to elect their leaders (Dickovic & Eastwood, 2013). Despite being ruled by one of the most authoritarian regimes in the world today, the country has been making significant strides both economically and socially. Many nations are adopting this type of leadership across the globe, and one can state that china, as a society will find it very hard to democratize itself and allow its citizens to choose their leaders and participate in making the critical decision of their nation.
Theories of Democracy and How They Relate to China
The modernization theory
This democratization theory assumes that changes in society can lead them to transits from other forms of leadership and become a well-functioning democratic society. These changes should be social and economic changes that can result in infrastructural development and the social, economic improvement of the people within the community. This theory seems to suggest that as China as a country develops, and the Chinese people start having better lives and become richer. The community is bound to become a democratic society.
This theory is based on the assumption that a society’s cultural believes are bound to determine if the country will be a democracy or adopt other leadership styles. Societies that have cultural believes that require people to be submissive and respect and fear of leaders are bound to have authoritarian leadership as opposed to societies where people are encouraged to speak up about societal issues (Dickovic & Eastwood, 2013). This theory tends to show that Chinese culture is conservative, and people are bound to be docile. This means that Chinese society is not going to be a democracy anytime soon.
The systematic and structural theory
This theory states that as societies become more advanced, and they start to engage themselves in international matters, then they are bound to be democratic. Backward societies that are localized in their actions tend to be more authoritarian in nature. Chinese society has been developing and becoming more developed in nature. The country has been playing significant roles in international matters as it can be considered as one of the greatest superpowers today (Dickovic & Eastwood, 2013). China is the second powerful nation after the united states in terms of its economy, and this makes it a major international player in the world today. It has a significant influence in Africa, Asia, and Europe, and this is what makes China the most country with the most significant interests in the world today. This theory tends to assume that this power and influence will eventually transform China into a democracy.
Domestic institutional Theories
This theory states that a countries democratization process is based on the strengths of different institutions within the country. For example, a country with influential media, political parties, pressure groups, as well as conscious citizens is bound to be democratic, while a country with weak institutions is bound to be more autocratic (Dickovic & Eastwood, 2013). Chinese society has powerful institutions, but the government controls all of these institutions. There are no political parties other than the ruling party, the ruling party tightly controls the media, and this makes it very hard for the country to become democratic.
Agency based theories
This theory argues that small groups or even individual actors can play a significant role in transforming society from an authoritarian society into a democratic society where all people, irrespective of their class in the community, can participate in the decision-making process of their country (Dickovic & Eastwood, 2013). This theory seems to be well exemplified by the roles played by Nelson Mandela in driving his nation from one Apartheid regime into a democratic society where all people, irrespective of their race, can participate in electing their leaders. In China, there are no dissidents or revolutionaries, and this tends to show that it will take so long before this nation is democratized.
Show as to why some societies tend to be more autocratic as opposed to democratic. Authoritarian form of government can be defined as the government where the people making rules and determining the direction of the country are very few, and these leaders hold on to their power with all means possible even if it means killing their citizens (Dickovic & Eastwood, 2013). This type of leadership rules in China. One theory of authoritarian rule is that they use military power and police to hold on to power. This is what has been happening in the country. All the people that criticize the ruling party are arrested and persecuted for their beliefs.
The media in the country is also ganged. There are no independent media houses in the country with the government only controlled television and radio stations airing government-friendly content to the people it is also important to mention that the Chinese people are not allowed to use social media websites such as Facebook and Twitter, and this makes it impossible for them to have access to independent news that can help them know what is happening in the country and the world in general.
The fact that the country is ruled by a small minority who has control of all essential institutions in the country makes it hard for this society ever to transform. The best thing about the Chinese government is that they work for the people of China and come up with policies that can help them transform their lives as well as their countries (Dickovic & Eastwood, 2013). This is not the case with many authoritarian governments across the world that do not have policies that can help change the lives of their people positively.
From the above discussion, it was evident that Chinese society is bound to continue being ruled under the authoritarian regime. All the factors indicate that the country will not change to democracy any time soon because the current government has been very successful in transforming different facets of the country positively. The fact that the country has been developing at a swift pace as well as improving the quality of life of the people has made the Chinese people comfortable with their government.
Dickovic, T., & Eastwood, J. (2013). Comparative politics: third edition. London, UK: