The concept of the modernization theory has evolved overtime. Modernization can be regarded as the progress of change that stems from economic development and industrialization. Economic development will eventually lead to democratization, which then results in changes in culture, society, and politics. According to Inglehart and Welzel’s “How Development Leads to Democracy,” “modernization brings social and cultural changes that lead to the emergence and flourishing of democratic institutions” (6). The modernization theory highlights the process of change, and the cultural, political, societal responses to those changes. Inglehart and Welzel also suggested that modernization is where “economic and technological developments bring a coherent set of social and political changes” (6). These economic and technological developments are important factors in improving and developing a sustainable democratic system. I agree with the modernization theory in the sense that development in society can influence the stability of an economy. In the long run, modernization would develop to democracy due to significant social and cultural changes.
An example of how economic development influences a democratic institution is China’s new regulation on greenhouse gas emissions. China announced their cap-to-trade program to reduce emissions. China is one of the world’s largest polluter and is making efforts to reduce its use of fossil fuels. The Chinese government has placed a limit on the amount of carbon pollution in order to decrease the amount of industrial emissions. The cap-to-trade system will hopefully reduce China’s greenhouse gas emission, which can have an important impact on efficient production in the long run. New regulations towards cleaner energy will restrict Chinese citizens’ freedom to use certain resources, but will also motivate them to act more environmentally friendly. These cultural and societal responses will benefit China’s economy in the long run because by reducing carbon emission, the country can better use its resources. This can also affect other economies because the amount of resources available is finite. In order to maintain production, emissions therefore need to be reduced, which will benefit the environment as a whole.
Davis, Julie, and Coral Davenport. “China to Announce Cap-and-Trade Program to Limit Emissions.” The New York Times. Sept 24. 2015.
Inglehart, Ronald and Welzel, Christian. “How Development Leads to Democracy.” Foreign Affairs 88 (2).