Teaching Comparative Government and Politics

Monday, March 04, 2013

Wealth leads to democracy?

A teacher in Aurora, IL caught this bit of a 60-Minutes interview with one of China's most successful billionaires. (The excerpt is 5 minutes long.)

Developer Zhang Xin repeats the widely held idea that prosperity leads to a democratic political culture. Must we wait for more prosperity in China to see if that's right? Or are there other ways we might test the hypothesis?

(By the way, I'm confused about CBS' use of her name. Most often in a headline like the one below, the person referred to would be identified by her family name. But this headline uses her "first" name. While sometimes the famous American developer is referred to as "Donald," most often, in a headline, he'd be identified as "Trump.") Ms Zhang gets the familiar treatment in this CBS press release.

Xin on democracy
Zhang Xin
It happens rarely. But every once in a while, during a 60 Minutes interview, someone will drop a bomb into the conversation and say something that shocks even our veteran correspondents. That happened to Lesley Stahl in this week's interview with a Chinese billionaire named Zhang Xin…

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