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International Relations

Comparing development patterns in two regions often present a dilemma. For instance, Asia and Latin America vary greatly due to the complexities that characterize economic and political development. Asia has registered significant sustained economic growth rates over the post war period while Latin America not matched the same rates (Amsden, 2004). However, in political aspects, the Latin American region has registered considerable improvements in regards to expanding the democratic space. However, these differences seemed to converge especially after the Asian economic crisis that took place in the 1990's. after this time, Asia became increasingly democratic although it stumbled in economic terms as Latin America registered significant growth in the economy.

While countries like Japan, China and Singapore were among the leading nations from Asia, Argentina, Brazil and Uruguay led in Latin America. The purchasing power remains higher in Asia when compared to Latin America (Jaggers and Gurr, 2005). Although statistics are scarce regarding democratic change, democracy came to Asia later than it did in Latin America (Amsden, 2004). To illustrate the point, at the beginning of the postwar era, only the Philippines and Japan could be classified as democracies. In the two cases, pressure from the United States played a significant role in the democratization process. On the contrary, in Latin America, many countries gained independence as democracies. For instance, such countries as Costa Rica, Venezuela and Colombia were democracies at independence.

The idea that politics heavily influences development emerges again. It is necessary to note that politics affects economic policies that States pursue. Consequently, political systems significantly influence the development process. In Latin America democracy was introduced earlier, an aspect that in my view contributed towards the lagging behind of economic development. In a democracy, the need for inclusion paves way for wrangling, an aspect that slows down economic development as various actors present different views.

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