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MIDDLE CLASS AND DEMOCRACY: STRUCTURAL LINKAGE Author(s): CHUNLONG LU Source: International Review of Modern Sociology, Vol. 31, No. 2 (Autumn 2005), pp. 157-178 Published by: International Journals Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/41421642 . Accessed: 27/10/2013 03:23
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2005 International Review Vol.31,No. 2 (Autumn) ofModemSociology,

MIDDLE

CLASS STRUCTURAL

AND

DEMOCRACY: LINKAGE

LU CHUNLONG Old Dominion University a potent classhas been considered middle In thedemocracy literature, agent the cornerstone and towarddemocracy transition of of thesociopolitical on the a structuralperspective rule. This article offers democratic This articleuses the middleclass and democracy. between relationship relation to test the structural method equationmodeling of structural The size of middleclass and its levelof democracy. a country's between there and classis numerous strong where themiddle that indicate , findings whilewhere tobea stabledemocracy; are more possibilities forthecountry And the to be democratic. arefew possibilities themiddleis weak , there does not exertdirect development findingsalso indicatethateconomic class toexert middle itworks status on democratic , rather through impacts havesignificant These indirect fortheroleof implications findings impacts. class in thedemocratization. middle Introduction This articleserves several purposes. First,it makes contributionsto the extant democratization literatureby exploring the role of middle class in democratic change. Second, this article focuses on the structurallevel analysis of the role of middle class in democracy. The structurallevel analysis emphasizes the impact of the size (or the number) of middle class in a society on democracy. The method of structural equation modeling1 is employed to test the validity of the relations between a country's size (or number) of middle class and its level of democracy. Like Charles Kurzman and Erin Leahey's (2004) article, this research bridges the methodological gap by combining qualitativehistorical and quantitative approaches in studying the role of middle

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class in democratic transitionsand consolidations. However, it makes differencesfromKurzman and Leahey's article; this research is based on individual-level survey data fromthe World Values Survey. Thus, in this research I am able to measure a country's middle class in a much more substantive and theoretical way. While Kurzman and Leahey's research measures a country's middle class by adding the second and the third highest quintiles of income distribution (Kurzman and Leahey, 2004: 963), this article discusses the measurement of middle class substantively and employs the qualitative branch of objective measurement to identifymiddle class across countries in contemporary world. This article operationalizes middle class by combining three occupational groups: private entrepreneurs of small-size business, managerial personnel, and professionals (including white-collar officeworkers). Class, Middle Class, and Democratization The relationship between class and politics is a salient topic in the field of political sociology (Lipset, 1981; Zipp, 1986; Alford, 1963). The conventional wisdom of political sociologists holds that the class makeup in a society has impacts on the polity. The earliest argument on the relations between class and polity can be found in Aristotle's writings. In this section, we will answer the critical question: what is the relationshipbetween class and a democratic system? According to some, the bourgeoisie class may be a democratic force (Moore, 1966). Marx emphasized that this class was the leading actor in establishing capitalist democracy; in contrast to the reactionary landed aristocracy. Moore (1966: 418) echoed Marx's argument in noting that "we may simply registerstrong agreement with the Marxist thesis that a vigorous and independent class of town dwellers has been an indispensable element in the growth of parliamentary democracy. No bourgeois, no democracy." As owners of large-size business, bourgeoisie has the interest in protecting their properties and a less state intervention in their market behaviors. They need the institutions of property and contract,minimal government by law, a just and predictable judicial system, a well-functioning and independent market for business (Glassman, 1991; 1995; Moore, 1966; Rueschemeyer et. al., 1992). They believe that the rule of law will subject the state power to the limits set by constitutional law, and they can use the legal weapons stipulated by constitutional law to protect their private properties politically.

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On the other hand, we cannot overestimate the democratic impulse of bourgeoisie, moreover, empirical studies have revealed that bourgeoisie is a much less consistently driving force for democracy (e.g., Rueschemeyer et. al., 1992; O'Donnell, 1973; Collier, 1999; Huber and Stephens, 1999). Bourgeoisie as a class has more economic resources, wider social networks and more importantly informalestablished clientelistties with the state power to secure the protection of its private properties (Rueschemeyer et. al., 1992; O'Donnell, 1973; Collier, 1999) and thus it does not necessitate democracy. Working class may work as a democratic force (e.g., Rueschemeyer et. al., 1992; Collier, 1999; Huber et al., 1997; Huber and Stephens, 1999; Therborn,1977). Collier (1999) and Rueschemeyer et. al. (1992) documented the importance of working class in the process of democratization. They suggested that, "[it] is a crucial hypothesis that the relative size and the density of organization of the working - are of class- of employed manual labor outside of agriculture criticalimportance for the advance of democracy" (Rueschemeyer et. al., 1992: 59). However, working class cannot work as a leading force for democracy, since it is in lack of material and organizational resources and attitudinalself-motivations. As suggested by Rueschemeyer et. al. : "the class was (1992 59), working contraryto socialist expectations - far too weak to achieve democratic rights for the itself by subordinate classes. If this was true of the countries of early capitalist development, it is an even more significant consideration in the analysis of the late developing countries of the Third World." Furthermore, working class is a much less consistentlydriving force for democracy. Most of working class demands are focused on immediate economic interestrather than long-termpolitical interest on (e.g., Lipset, 1981). The working class may be "more liberal or leftist economic issues," and it may "favor more welfare state measure, higher wages, graduated income taxed, support of trade-unions,and so forth." However, "when liberalism is defined in non-economic - the correlation is reversed" - as terms support of civil liberties, ... (Lipset, 1981: 92). Moreover, working class may work as an antidemocratic force. As Lipset (1981) suggests that, working class is easily influenced by extreme ideology and has authoritarian orientationsthat are incompatible with democracy by nature (also see Luebbert, 1991).

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Middle class is identified as the consistently driving class for democratization (e.g., Luebbert, 1991; Rueschemeyer et. al., 1992; Huntington, 1991; Glassman, 1995; 1997; Huber and Stephens, 1999). This macro-level conviction about the role of the middle class is derived fromthe micro-level observations and analyses mainly of the Western societies, most of which suggest that middle-class : that is, they have attitudes in individuals thinkand act democratically of democratic and principles, engage in actions (non-actions) support a forthe rise and /or maintenance of democratic system and against a non-democratic system (e.g., Eulau, 1956a; 1956b; Nie et. al., 1969a; 1969b; Milbrath and Goel, 1977; Walsh et. al., 2004; Lipset, 1959; 1981; Glassman, 1995; 1997; Hsiao and Koo, 1997; So and Kwitko, 1990). Unlike bourgeoisie, middle class is in lack of powerful political patrons to protect its property interest,which makes middle class vulnerable to politics. Thus middle-class members have to rely on such democratic institutions as the popular election of leader, the limitation of state power, the constitutionalprotection of individual rightsto protect theirown rightsand properties against any powerful intruders(e.g., the government and its officials)(Glassman, 1995 and 1997). We make distinctionsbetween structuraland micro-level analysis in the discussion of the relationship between middle class and /micro distinction is important for any democracy. The structural class analysis. The micro-level class analysis defines a set of class locations "filled by individuals subjected to a set of mechanisms that impinge directly on their lives as they make choices and act in the world." (Wright, 1997a: 44) On the other hand, the structural-level class analysis is meant to describe "a crucial property of whole societies." (Wright, 1997a: 44) Accordingly,the structuralperspective on the role of middle class in democracy focuses on the relations between a country's number (or size) of middle class and its level of democracy (see, e.g., Lipset, 1981; Luebbert, 1991; Glassman, 1995); while the micro-level perspective answers the question whether middle class individuals thinkand act democraticallyin a society (see, e.g., Eulau, 1956a; 1956b; Nie, Powell and Prewitt, 1969a; 1969b; Walsh, Jenningsand Stoker,2004; Lipset, 1981). Structural Analysis of the Relationship Between Middle Class and Democracy Macro-level analysts embark on the micro-level assumption that middle-class individuals thinkand act democratically,and theyargue

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that the role of middle class in promoting democracy depends on its relative strengthin the class structure.Democracy only occurs where the middle class is large. Nonetheless, the middle class "did not have to be in the actual numerical majority.Rather, it had to be numerous enough and prosperous enough to be in alliance with the poorer classes, so as to counterbalance the power of the rich- or, in a situation wherein the rich, few and weak, would join, ratherthan oppose, the establishment of the legal democratic polity" (Glassman, 1991: 4). For example, American democracy occurred "wherein the rich were relatively weak, the poor easily absorbed into the middle class, and the middle class burning with desire for democratic and lawful government made the heroic success possible"; while "in England, where the gentry were all-powerful, and in France, where the poor swelled to vast proportions and could not gain upward mobility,and where the feudal classes still held some power, the political ideas of the . . . middle classes could not become institutionalized." (Glassman, 1995: 158) Moreover, empirical studies found that middle class only consistently pushed for their own inclusion in the polity but their attitudes toward full democracy which included the lower classes were ambiguous (Rueschemeyer et. al., 1992; Huber and Stephens, 1999; Huber et. al., 1997; Lipset, 1981). Middle class would push for full democracy "where they were confronted with intransigent dominant classes and had the option of allying with a sizeable working class" (Rueschemeyer et. al., 1992: 8). However, if middle class is not numerous in a society,it may not support fulldemocracy at all, since middle class would not use its relative advantage of strength to win the control over the resultof "one person, one vote" democracy. Middle class may feel threatenedby the lower class (i.e., workers and peasants) and believe that"one person, one vote" democracy will only allow workers and peasants to use their advantage of number to control politics. If that happens, middle class will feel vulnerable and thus support repressive state power (Rueschemeyer et. al., 1992; Huber and Stephens, 1999; Lipset, 1981). For example, Lipset (1981: 132-133) observed that, where middle class shrunk and its relative position in a society declined, "its liberal ideology the support of individual rights against large-scale power changed from that of a revolutionaryclass to that of a reactionaryclass" and fascism was the extremeexpression of a shrinkingmiddle class. A middle class-dominant society tends to be less unequal in terms of socioeconomic resources (Muller, 1988; 1995; Dahl, of the distribution

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1971). Without a preponderant middle class, a society becomes more of socioeconomic resources. The inequalities unequal in the distribution in the distribution of socioeconomic resources are equivalent to the inequalities in distributionof political resources. Thus, "obviously a country with extreme inequalities in political resources stands a very high chance of having extremeinequalities in theexercise of power, and hence a hegemonic regime" (Dahl, 1971: 82). And extreme inequalities will generate resentmentsand frustrations among the disadvantaged and resentments and will frustrations weaken theirallegiance to group, the regime.Such situationis not favorableto competitivepoliticsand to polyarchy (Dahl, 1971). Cross-national studies uncovered that socioeconomic inequality has a negative effecton democracy: it will either reduce the likelihood of the inauguration of democracy in countriesunder authoritarian regimeor cause a reductionof democracy in countries under democracy (Muller, 1988; 1995). A middle class-dominant society may not necessarily entail the elimination of all substantive inequalities, however, in a middle classdominant society, the most importantsocioeconomic inequalities will be based not on inheritedsocial position but on education, occupation, and individual achievement. Hence, a middle class-dominant society presents to have high social mobility. Consequently, "middle-class societies featuring high social mobility are obviously better environments for fostering liberal democracy than those riven by longstanding class barriers." (Fukuyama, 1993: 101-102). In history,middle class in the Iberic-LatinWorld continued to be minor over a long developing period, and socioeconomic inequality remained to be high, and government always met with intense pressure from a large poor population for more egalitarian policies. Meanwhile, widespread social grievances and radical political appeals, particularly among desperate peasants and unemployed workers, cause much panic among the middle classes. The extreme populist politics (i.e., Peronism) that appealed to the lower classes against the middle class and upper class ever was widely accepted in the Iberic-Latin world for a long time (Lipset, 1981). Consequently, with the existence of threat of populist politics and deteriorationof socioeconomic polarization and class antagonism, the middle classes chose to ally with the bourgeoisie and the military,and they were content with their own inclusion and supported a repressive state power thatwas freefromthe influenceof the populace to protecttheir wealth and properties (Huber and Stephens 1999; Rueschemeyer et. al., 1992; O'Donnell, 1973).

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Based on these discussions, we induce the following hypothesis: a country's number Hypothesis 1: Thereis a positiverelationbetween Wherethe (or size) of middleclass and its probability of being democracy. middleclass is numerousand strong,thereare morepossibilities for this to be stable democracy. country Middle Class in Contemporary World To test the structural relationship between the relative strength of middle class and democracy cross-nationally,we need to first specify who is middle class? How do we develop a measurement of middle class that is valid cross-nationally? In the debate on conceptualizing middle class, two dichotomous approaches can be identified: the objectivist and the subjectivist (Campbell, et. al., 1960; Lipset, 1968; Kamieniecki and O'Brien, 1984; Mills, 1953; Kahl, 1957; Milbrath and Goel, 1977; Ray, 1971; Walsh et. al., 2004). The subjective approach suggests that, because a "social class is a psychological attachment that is part of an individual's overall self-concept" (Walsh et. al., 2004: 470), middle class is identifiedbased on an individual's belief or perception that he or she belongs to the middle stratumof a certain society. The origin of subjective approach may be attributed back to Aristotle. Aristotle "thought of classes as subjective rather than objective entities. Membership in a class, according to his way of thinking,is not determined by physical characteristicsof any kind, such as wealth or income, or at least not definitelydeterminedby such Members of the middle class gain theirposition therein characteristics. of by thinking themselves as above the lower class and below the upper class" (Eulau, 1956a: 236-237). According to subjectivists, with middle class is a socially constructedattribute,the identification middle class depends on an individual's awareness of class divisions and the salience of these divisions and also his/her belonging to middle class (Hayes, 1995; Walsh et. al., 2004). The objectivists argue for the importance of such objective socioeconomic indicators as income, education, and occupation in the conceptualization of class structure(see, e.g., Alford, 1962; Nie et. al., 1969a; 1969b; Verba and Nie, 1972; Kamieniecki and O'Brien, 1984; Sherkat and Blcjcker,1994; Wright, 1978; 1985; 1997b; Burris, 1986; Glassman, 1995; Zipp, 1986). Within the objective approach, there are two conceptual branches. One branch emphasizes the quantitative, cumulative property of the objective indicators (e.g., Milbrath and Goel, 1977; Nie et. al., 1969a; 1969b; Verba and Nie, 1972; Kamieniecki

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and O'Brien, 1984; Sherkat and Blocker, 1994). This branch, or "quantitative" branch, suggests that the best way to capture an individual's class identification is to form a quantitative index of income, education, and occupation, and then to identifythe person with a social class according to the person's position in the overall scale of the index. As a result,the middle class usually consists of those who are in the middle range of the scale.2 The other branch, or "qualitative" branch, of the objective approach stresses the qualitative property of the various objective indicators of social class (e.g., Wright,1978; 1985; 1997b; Burris,1986; Glassman, 1995; Zipp, 1986). This branch argues that the middle class is composed of those who possess a set of certain socioeconomic attributes, which qualitatively distinguish themselves from other social classes. As Oppenheimer (1985: 7) says, "class is not a quantitative measurement along some mathematical continuum,but a qualitative measurement representinggroupings that are distinctand separate from one another." These qualitative attributesare derived directly from some key modern occupations in a society, such as private entrepreneursof small/medium firms,managerial personnel, and white-collar professionals. This article will not discuss and compare which measurement is more valid in detail. Rather, it suggests here, it is possible to employ the qualitative branch of objective measurement to identifymiddle class across countries in contemporary world. More in specific, this article operationalizes middle class by combining three occupational groups: private entrepreneurs of small-size business, managerial personnel, and professionals (including white-collar officeworkers). There are two theoretical justifications for us to use occupation to identifymiddle class. First, occupation is particularly suitable for cross-national comparative research. Such a single index of occupation retains the key elements of class in a disaggregated formwhich makes the crossnational measurement possible; meanwhile, it is cross-nationallyvalid since occupation does not change quite differently across societies and cultures so it may guarantee that we measure the same thing with regard to middle class (see, e.g., Alford,1962; Marsh and Kaase, 1979). Second, it is worth noting that, "an appropriate treasure of social class . . . depends entirelyon the theoreticalpurposes and assumptions of a particular research problem" (Alford, 1962: 417). Since the purpose of this study, as mentioned earlier, is to examine the structural relation between the relative strengthof middle class and

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itself,a single index of democracy ratherthan the social stratification can be used as a convenient occupation probably way of measuring and middle class position (Alford, 1962; Marsh Kaase, 1979). Based on World Values Survey 1999-2001, we measure middle class cross-nationally.The results are presented by Table 1. To map froma cross-country perspective, the countries are displayed in Table 1 by the percent of middle class in overall population, divided in columns across different levels of economic development. We array countries in three columns: low economic development, mediym economic development, and high economic development. Economic development is measured by Gross Domestic Production (GDP) per capita in Purchasing Power Parity (PPP) at year 2000.3 Economic development is believed to bring about the emergence of a large population of middle class in a society. As summarized by many scholars, economic development will change the structure of social stratification from the pyramid-shaped one, in which the majorityof the population is lower-class, to a diamond shape, in which the majorityof the population is middle-class (see, e.g., Muller, 1995; Nie et. al., 1969a; Lipset, 1981). Table 1 illustrates the intimate relations between the level of economic development and the size of middle class in a country clearly. In those low economic development countries, the percent of middle class in overall population is less than 28 per cent. On average, in those underdeveloped societies, around 19 per cent of their populations belong to middle class. In most of the high economic development countries, the per cent of middle class in overall population is no less than 30, with half of high economic development countrieshaving more than 40 per cent of middle class in theiroverall population. On average, in the highly developed societies, around 42 per cent of their populations belong to middle class. In the medium economic development countries, the percent of middle class in overall population often falls into the range between 20 and 30. On average, in those moderately developed societies, around 26 per cent of their populations belong to middle class. Overall, the bivariate correlation between economic development and the size of middle class generates a prettyhigh value of .832/ supporting the intimate relations between economic development and middle class-society. Model Specifications This study uses Freedom House Scale to measure the level of democracy in contemporaryworld. Freedom House Scale is a 7-point

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Table 1 Middle Class by Economic Development Medium LowDevelopment Development HighDevelopment .38 .22 Bosnia-Herzegovina .28 Argentina Albania .48 .28 Austria .19 Bulgaria Bangladesh .54 .26 Belgium .13 Chile China .47 .20 Canada .22 Iran Egypt .40 .23 CzechRepublic .25 Latvia India .47 .33 Denmark .19 Lithuania Jordan .45 .26 Estonia .19 Macedonia Morocco .22 Finland .32 .15 Mexico Nigeria .21 Poland .30 France .53 Pakistan .24 Germany .45 .28 Romania Peru .34 Greece .40 .19 Russia Vietnam .11 SouthAfrica .28 Hungary .33 Zimbabwe .17 Iceland .42 Turkey .24 Ireland Venezuela .34 .37 Italy .52 Japan .47 Korea,South Netherlands .37 .26 Portugal .49 Singapore Slovakia .33 Slovenia .36 .26 Spain Sweden .43 United .33 Kingdom United States j63 Pearsonr = 0.832 Note: Low development: GDP percapita (PPP) of4999$ or less;Mediumdevelopment: GDP per GDP per (PPP) of5000$ to9999$; Highdevelopment: (PPP)of capita capita 10000$ or more. (1-7) ordinal scale constructedfromtwo subscales: Political Rights and Civil Liberties, with a rating of 1 indicating the highest degree of freedom and 7 the least amount of freedom. Political Rights is a 7point scale (1-7) evaluated from three subcategories of 10 political rights questions: electoral process, political pluralism and participation, and functioningof government. Civil Liberties is a 7point scale (1-7) based on four subcategories of 15 civil liberties questions: freedom of expression and belief, associational and organizational rights, rule of law, and personal autonomy and individual rights. Each of 10 political rights questions and 15 civil liberties questions are evaluated on a scale of 0 to 4, where 0 point represents the smallest degree and 4 points the greatest degree of rightsor liberties. Thus, 10 political rightsquestions forman additive

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index from 0 to 40, and 15 civil liberties questions form an additive index from 0 to 60. The additive indexes forpolitical rightsand civil liberties are furtherrated into a 7-point scale.5 The 7-point scale Political Rights and Civil Liberties are averaged to form a 7-point Freedom Scale foreach country. For Political Rights, a rating of 1 suggests the existence of a free and fair election, competitive parties or other political groups, competitive political participation, and a responsive government; while a rating of 7 suggests the absence of political rights due to an extreme oppression. For Civil Liberties, a rating of 1 suggests the existence of freedom of expression, assembly, association, education, and religion,an equitable system of rule of law, freeeconomic activity, and equality of opportunity; while a rating of 7 suggests the widespread fear of repression with no freedom at all. In this article, the Freedom Scale is rated into three categories of freedom statuses: Free, Partly Free and Not Free. Those countries whose Freedom Scale from 1 to 2.5 are considered as Free, 3 to 5 as Partly Free, and 5.5 to 7 as Not Free.6We believe that the designation of Free, Partly Free and Not Free is criticallyuseful in measuring the level of democracy in contemporaryworld. This study distinguishes two types of definition of democracy: liberal democracy and procedural democracy (see, e.g., Dahl, 1971; Huntington, 1991; O'Donnell, 1997; Diamond, 1996). It is Joseph Schumpeter who first formulatedthe concept of procedural democracy in his path-breaking work, Capitalism,Socialism,and Democracy.According to Schumpeter (1947: 269), democracy is a polity that "institutionalarrangement for arrivingat political decisions in which individuals acquire the power to decide by means of a competitive struggle for the people's vote." Recent followers of such procedural definitionof democracy include Huntington (1991) and O'Donnel (1997). And these literaturessuggest that, there are four key components of procedural democracy: regularly free and contested election, universal adult suffrage, a competitive, multi-partypolitical system, and elected officials who are responsive to the electorates.7 Liberal democracy, compared to electoral democracy, has one more importantfeature:the presence of a substantial array of civil liberties, which including freedom of expression, associational autonomy, and an equitable system of rule of law (Diamond, 1996; Dahl, 1971). The Free Status in the Freedom House survey is the best empirical indicator of liberal democracy. By contrast, those "partly free" countries qualify only as electoral, but not liberal democracies. The

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gap between electoral democracy and liberal democracy has become one of the most strikingfeaturesof new democracies (Diamond, 1996). If adopting the definition of electoral democracy, the percent of democratic countries in contemporary world is rising; on the other hand, if adopting the definitionof liberal democracy, the percent of democratic countries is declining (Diamond, 1996). Those Not Free countries qualify as nor electoral, neither liberal democracies. Table 2 shows the intimate relations between the size of middle class and freedom status. In those no free countries which are not Table 2 Middle Class by Freedom Status Free NotFree Partly Country Country Albania .22 China .19 Egypt Bangladesh Bosnia-Herzegovina .28 Iran .19 Pakistan Jordan Macedonia .26 Vietnam Morocco .19 Zimbabwe .15 Nigeria Russia .34 .49 Singapore .17 Turkey Venezuela .24

Free Country Argentina Austria Belgium Bulgaria Canada Chile CzechRepublic Denmark Estonia Finland France Germany Greece Hungary Iceland India Ireland Italy Japan Korea,South Latvia Lithuania Mexico Netherlands Peru Poland Portugal Romania Slovakia Slovenia SouthAfrica Spain Sweden United Kingdom United States

.38 .48 .54 .28 .47 .26 .40 .47 .45 .32 .53 .45 .40 .33 .42 .25 .34 .37 .52 .47 .23 .33 .22 .37 .28 .30 .26 .24 .33 .33 .28 .26 .43 .33 .63

.13 .22 .20 .21 .19 .11

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electoral neither liberal democracies, the per cent of middle class in overall population is less than 22 percent.On average, in those no free countries, around 18 per cent of their populations belong to middle class. In most of the freecountries,which are liberal democracies, the percent of middle class in overall population is no less than 30. On average, in the freecountries,around 37 per cent of theirpopulations belong to middle class. In the partlyfreecountries,which qualify only as electoral democracies, the average per cent of middle class in overall population is around 25. To test the structural relationships between the size of middle class and freedomstatus substantively,we conducted a recursive path analysis. In order to assess whether a country's number (or size) of middle class independently influences freedom status, we included some control variables: population size, Britishcolony, adult literacy, Christian culture, and subjective support of democracy. Christian culture: Cross-national quantitative studies have found that Christian countries are more likely to be democratic than countries with other religious cultures (Bollen and Jackman, 1985; Kurzman and Leahey, 2004). First,Christian theologies facilitatedthe cultivation of democratic values of equality and liberty. Christian culture "provides democracy with a system of beliefs that integrates its concerns for liberty and responsibility, individuality and community." (Witte, 1993: 12) Second, Christian churches as one of important and powerful force of civic organizations in a country "have served as benevolent agents of welfare and catalysts" of political development (Witte, 1993). This variable is measured by a country's dominant religion that was Christian in 2000 from Nation Master.8 Literacy: Empirical studies in the democracy literature have suggested that "the bettereducated the population of a country,the better the chances for democracy," for example, those democratic European countries "are almost entirelyliterate:the lowest has a rate of 96 per cent, while the 'less democratic' nations have an average literacy rate of 85 per cent." (Lipset, 1959: 78) The theoretical justificationforthis argument is as follows: First,education will make people good citizens. Educated people are more politically tolerant, and less susceptible to extremistideologies (Lipset, 1959 and 1981). Second, education will make people more efficacious. Educated people are more likely to consider themselves capable of influencing the government, to have political discussions, to interestin politics, which, in turn,theywill demand more institutionalizedand inclusive

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political participation and feel ready to participate in it (Almond and Verba, 1963). In this article,a country's literaryrate is drawn fromthe Human Development Report (2002). The literacy rate is "defined as the percentage of people ages 15 and above who can, with understanding, both read and write a short simple statement related to theireveryday life" (Human Development Report, 2002). Population: Empirical studies in the democracy literature have indicated that a country's population size may have impacts on the rise and stabilityof democracy (Kurzman and Leahey, 2004). There is a long historyof political thoughts that a well-functioningdemocracy has to be small. According to Montesquieu, "it is the natural property of small states to be governed as republics, of middling ones to be governed by monarchs, and of large empires to be ruled by despots" (Dahl and Tufte, 1973: 7). The theoretical justification for this argument is as follows: first, "small democracies provide more opportunity for citizens to participate effectively in decisions"; second, "in small democracies, leaders are likely to be more responsive to citizen views"; and third,"small democracies are more likely to generate loyalty to a single integratedcommunity" (see, Dahl and Tufte, 1973: 13-16). This variable is drawn from the Human Development Report (2002). BritishColony: Empirical studies in the democracy literaturehave suggested that formeroverseas colonies with a Britishcolonial history should facilitate the rise and stability of democracy (Bernhard and Reenock, 2004: 235). First, the presence of British colonialism "prevented the dominant classes from using the state apparatus to repress the emerging organizations of subordinate classes," rather,it "allowed forthe gradual emergence of a strongercivil society,capable of sustaining democracy after independence" (Rueschemeyer et. al., 1992: 9). Second, unlike other colonial powers who left their former colonies ill prepared for democratic governance, "Britain reacted to colonial discontentby gradually introducingreformsthat incorporated a more representativeformof rule,which aided the transition to a more democratic formof government"(Bollen and Jackman,1985: 445). This variable is a measure of British"colonial experiences for those states that became independent in the years after the Second World War" (Bollen and Jackman,1985: 444). In this study, those countries with a Britishcolonial experience include: Bangladesh, Egypt, India, Jordan, Nigeria, Pakistan, Singapore, South Africa,and Zimbabwe. Subjective Support of Democracy: There is general consensus among democracy theoriststhat a set of pro-democraticvalues held at

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the individual level is conducive to the installation and consolidation of democracy (e.g., Almond and Verba, 1963; Putnam, 1993; Inglehart, 1990; Gibson et al., 1992). Among those democratic values, the overall support of norms of democracy is the most importantone (Gibson et al., 1992; Norris, 1999). This article measures the level of support of norms of democracy among people in a countrybased on the survey question "democracy may have problems but it's betterthan any other form of government." This survey question captures respondents' evaluative support of norms of democracy and the advantage of using the evaluative support of norms of democracy in measurement is that its focus is "on broad features of democratic governance, and not short-term judgments about specific governments" (Dalton and Shin, The level of support of norms of democracy in different 2004). countries is measured by the percent of those who choose "agree strongly" and "agree" with the statement that democracy may have problems but it's betterthan any other formof government.The result is presented in Table 3. Western scholarship suggested that middleclass individuals think and act democratically (see, e.g., Eulau, 1956a and 1956b; Nie et. al., 1969a; 1969b; Milbrath and Goel, 1977; Walsh et. al., 2004; Lipset, 1959 and 1981; Glassman, 1995 and 1997), thus we expect that the size of middle class in a country is positively related with the level of support of norms of democracy. The bivariate correlation between the level of support of norms of democracy and the size of middle class generates a significantvalue of .34, supporting the intimate relations between a middle class society and the level of support of norms of democracy. Moreover, it is our intentionto argue in this article that economic development does not have directimpacts on a county's probabilityof being stable democracy, while economic development may work through the size of middle class to influence a country's freedom status. With economic development, the middle class as the main prodemocratic forceemerges and gains in size, which, in turn,works as a causal agent forthe establishmentof democracy (see, e.g, Lipset, 1959 and 1981; Rueschemeyer et. al., 1992). Second, economic development changes a country's social structurefromthe pyramid-shaped one to a diamond shape with the majority of the population being middleclass. This structuralchange tempers the intensityof a country'ssocial conflict by reducing the proportion of the lower class that is susceptible to anti-democraticand extremistideologies and forcesand by increasing the proportion of the middle class that supports prodemocratic ideologies and forces,which, in turnwill facilitatethe rise

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Table 3 ofNormsofDemocracy Status The Level of Support by Freedom Free Not Free Free Country Partly Country Country Albania .91 .95 China Argentina Austria .97 Bangladesh .98 Egypt .92 Bosnia-Herzegovina .92 Iran Belgium .84 Jordan .89 Pakistan Bulgaria .87 Macedonia .81 Vietnam Canada .82 Morocco .96 Zimbabwe Chile .45 Czech Republic .93 Nigeria Denmark .63 .99 Russia NA Estonia .90 Singapore Finland .91 Turkey .88 France .94 Venezuela .93 .97 Germany .97 Greece .81 Hungary Iceland .97 India .92 Ireland .92 .94 Italy .92 Japan .91 Korea,South Latvia .89 Lithuania .88 Mexico .80 Netherlands .96 Peru .89 Poland .90 .93 Portugal Romania .78 Slovakia .84 Slovenia .90 SouthAfrica .84 .93 Spain Sweden .94 United Kingdom .78 United States .88

.90 .98 .69 .82 .72 .88

and stabilityof democracy (see, e.g., Muller, 1995; Lipset, 1981). Based on such discussion, we induce the following hypothesis: will be indirectly relatedto a Hypothesis 2: Economic development status a social structure country's freedom through changing country's from thepyramid-shaped one with the majority of lower class to a middleclassdominantsociety.

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Findings and Discussions Figure 1 displays the recursive path model of a country's freedom status. First,we test the hypothesized structuralrelationshipbetween the size of middle class and freedomstatus. As Figure 1 shows, the size of middle class has a negative and significant directeffect (beta = - 0.35) and class is numerous on freedomstatus,indicatingthat:wherethemiddle to while is more this be stable there , possibilities for country democracy; strong to be democracy. arefewpossibilities where themiddleis weak , there PathModel ofFreedom Status Figure1: Recursive

* < .05;** < .01. Note: p p = 2.03. ratio IFI= 0.92, df=15,CFI = 0.91, 30.47, Chi-square/df Chi-square= = 3. = 2,NotFree = 1,Partly Free Free index: ina 3-point is measured status 1. Freedom = 1,NotBritish scale:British ina dichotomous is measured 2. British Colony Colony = 0. Colony inmillions. is measured 3. Population = 1, Not Christian scale:Mainly in a dichotomous is measured 4. Christian Society = 0. Christian Society Second, we test the hypothesized relationship between economic development and the per cent of middle class in overall population. As Figure 1 shows, economic development has a positive and (beta = 0.83) on the number (or size) extremelysignificantdirecteffect of middle class in a society,indicating thatwhere national economy is highly developed, there is more probability of the emergence of a middle class-society; but where national economy is underdeveloped, there is more probability of being a pyramid-shaped society with a majority of lower class in overall population. The direct effectsof

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economic development on the number (or size) of middle class in a society explain 69 percent of the variance in the variable. Third, we test the hypothesis that the relationship btween economic development and freedom status can work through the size of middle class. As Figure 1 shows, the direct effect of economic development on freedom is not significant. But, economic development has the indirect effecton freedom status, that is - 0.29 (beta = -0.83 x 0.35 = - 0.29), indicating thatwhere national economy is more developed, it tends to launch electoral and liberal democracies. This finding confirms our hypothesized causal path between economic development and freedom status: the more developed is a country's economy, the more likely it has a large population of middle class, which, in turn,leads to a liberal democracy. Finally, even when the control variables were taken into consideration, the causal path from the number (or size) of middle class in a society to freedom status still functionsindependently. The standardized coefficient (beta) between middle class and freedom status is significantat 0.05 level. Figure 1 shows that population size, Britishcolony, and the level of support of norms of democracy do not exert direct impacts on freedom status. Christianity(beta = - 0.46) has significantdirect effectson freedom status at 0.01 level. This finding indicates that where Christian culture is prevailing in a society, it is more likely to launch electoral and liberal democracies. Figure 1 also shows that the size of middle class in a countryhas significantdirect effectson the level of norms of support of democracy (beta = 0.34). Such findingindicates that wherethemiddle class is numerous and strong, there are morepossibilities the in this to for people country supportnormsof this recursive model Overall, democracy. path explains 55% of the variance in the freedom status. Conclusion By employing the method of structuralequation modeling, we have found that there is a strong positive relation between the size of middle class and democratic status. And we also found that economic development does not exert direct impacts on democratic status, rather it works through middle class to exert indirect impacts. This finding suggests that with economic development, middle class as a consistentlypro-democraticforcegains size, which is a favorable precondition for the installation of a democratic system and the consolidation of such political system. Since the findings presented above are based on a cross-sectional analysis, we do realize the

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shortcomings of this analysis. And we are cautious about making direct causal inferences from this cross-sectional data. Nonetheless, we do believe that the findingsfromthis study and theirimplications can contributeto our understanding of the central question about the role of middle class in democracy. Here we highlight these findings and implications. First, we have found that the size of middle-class objectively defined by occupation is significantly associated with democratic status. These findings apparently suggest that the objective indicator of middle class is applicable to our understanding of democratic transitionand development. Second, that where the middle class is numerous and strong, there are more possibilities for this countryto be stable democracy; while where the middle is weak, there are few possibilities to be democracy. If such findings about the role of middle-class in democracy presented above can be repeated in future studies based on a time-seriesanalysis or on broader countrysamples or some in-depth case studies, then it can be more assertively argued that the middle class is the harbinger of democratization. References IndexoftheAssociation A Suggested ofSocialClassand Voting. R. (1962), Alford, 26: 417-425. Public Quarterly Opinion (1963), and Chicago:RandMcNally. Party Society. and Almond,G., and Verba,S. (1963),The Civic Culture:PoliticalAttitudes Press. Princeton: in FiveNations. Princeton University Democracy Colonialism ofWestern Overseas TheLegacy . (2004), Bernhard, M.,andReenock, 48:225-250. Studies International Survival. on Democratic Quarterly R.W. (1985), PoliticalDemocracyand the Size Bollen,. A., and Jackman, Review 50:438-457. American ofIncome. Distribution Sociological 15 and Society V. (1986), oftheNew MiddleClass.Theory The Discovery Burris, 317-349. (3): WithAMOS: BasicConcepts, . M. (2001),Structural EquationModeling Byrne, Erlbaum Lawrence and Programming. Mahwah,New Jersey: Applications, Publishers. Associates, D. E. (I960),TheAmerican W. E.,andStokes, P. E.,Miller, A.,Converse, Campbell, Inc. & New York: Voter. Sons, John Wiley Class and Elitesin The Working R. B. (1999),PathsTowardDemocracy: Collier, Press. America. and South Western University Cambridge Cambridge: Europe New Haven: Yale and Opposition. Dahl, R. A. (1971),Polyarchy: Participation Press. University

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