6th Floor, Woodrow Wilson Center

The Democratic Alternative from the South: India, Brazil, and South Africa

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Webcast Recap

The evidence from three important rising democracies makes it clear: there is no need to give up individual rights and freedoms in order to achieve growth or to expand opportunities for the majority of citizens. On the contrary, the experiences of India, Brazil, and South Africa demonstrate that the expansion and strengthening of democratic institutions can pave the way for a second wave of reforms needed to ensure steady high growth and to increase opportunities for the poor.  Since the global financial crisis of 2008, however, many countries in the developing world have looked at China as a model for rapid growth.

This battle of ideas between democratic and authoritarian approaches to growth will be the focus of a seminar the Brazil Institute, the Africa Program, and the Asia Program of the Wilson Center will jointly host on May 20 to mark the Washington launching of Democracy Works—a joint project of the Legatum Institute (United Kingdom), Center for Development and Enterprise (CDE, South Africa), Center for Policy Research (India), and Instituto de Estudos do Trabalho e Sociedade (IETS, Brazil). Two of the principal authors, Ann Bernstein, from CDE, and Simon Schwartzman, from IETS, are former Wilson Center Scholars. The project was in part developed during Ann Bernstein's residence at the Center in 2013.

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  • Jane Harman

    Director, President, and CEO, Wilson Center
  • Simon Schwartzman

    Senior Researcher, Instituto de Estudos do Trabalho e Sociedade, Former Wilson Center Fellow
  • Ann Bernstein

    Public Policy Scholar
    Executive Director, Centre for Development and Enterprise, South Africa
  • Eswaran Sridharan

    Academic Director, University of Pennsylvania Institute for the Advanced Study of India
  • Matthew Taylor

    Associate Professor, School of International Service, American University, and former Brazil Institute Fellow
  • Duncan Wood

    Director, Mexico Institute
  • Marina Ottaway

    Middle East Fellow
    Former Senior Research Associate and Head of the Middle East Program, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Alyssa Ayres

    Senior Fellow for India, Pakistan and South Asia, CFR
  • Anne Applebaum

    Director, Transitions Forum, The Legatum Institute
  • Paulo Sotero

    Director, Brazil Institute