Turkey & Democracy Theory

Since the 1980s there has a been a theory about the threshold of economic development required to sustain democracy. Based on an examination of cases that relapsed from democracy back to dictatorship, the threshold was set at around $8,000. Turkey may been in a position to totally upend that theory. While Erdogan is not yet a true dictator, he is certainly closer to that end of the spectrum than the democracy Turkey was a decade ago. If this trend continues, then Turkey’s level of economic well-being, far higher than $8,000, would set a new threshold for at-risk countries, thereby putting places like Romania and Brazil, previously considered to be “out of the woods” as it were, back in the risky zone. We shall see.


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