The German Paradigm: German Democracy's Influence on the Institution of Democracy
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This paper sought to answer why Germany has been a successful democracy since the reconstruction of the country after WWII. This paper also sought to answer what elements of that success can tell political science about the institution of democracy. This paper used five criteria, effective participation, voting equality, enlightened understanding, control of the agenda, and the inclusion of adults, to define democracy and success. This paper then looked at poverty levels, education levels, and cultural factors in Germany and across the world to explain success. Poverty was found to be moderately low in democracy’s but not the lowest. Education levels were found to be highly correlated and causal with democracy. The most striking result was that culture, specifically civic culture, was found to be the most important factor in the success of a democracy. It was found that without a civic culture that nurtures democracy and guards it no country could implement democracy or hold a democracy.