Pre-requisites for democracy
Even though I agree with neocons who say that democracy abroad is in America's interest, I've always thought that markets come first and democracy second. As an example, I'd think of England: their democracy was built by merchants who wanted to protect their wealth from the monarchs' arbitrary rules. Here's a quote within a quote:
Charles Boix has written a fascinating recent article in Policy Review, in which he argues that as universal as the desire for freedom may be, the conditions for the spread of democracy are limited. Chiefly, equality of economic conditions is the primary state in which democracy will take root and thrive:
The insight that equality of conditions is a precondition for democracy has a long and often forgotten tradition in the study of politics.