In This Review

Stalled Democracy: Capital, Labor, and the Paradox of State-Sponsored Development
Stalled Democracy: Capital, Labor, and the Paradox of State-Sponsored Development
By Eva Bellin
Cornell University Press, 2002, 239 pp

Will state-sponsored industrialization produce capitalists and labor strong enough to pluralize power, thereby nudging authoritarian states toward democracy? In a detailed study of Tunisia, Bellin finds that some governmental development schemes that explicitly encourage the private sector can better enable private capital and labor to defend their interests. But the latter two remain at best "contingent democrats." Disinclined to risk the relatively privileged status that the authoritarian state grants them, these groups will champion democracy only to the extent that the state ceases offering special treatment. This study of "stalled democracy" explains much about Tunisia, which has exhibited reasonably positive economic performance in recent years alongside a dismal human rights and democratization record. But more important is that it contributes to our understanding of the relationship between development and democratization throughout the world. A concluding chapter presents short comparative studies of state relations with labor and capital in Egypt, Syria, Turkey, and several states outside the Middle East.