30 May 2010Blog

Jamaica’s Bloody Democracy – NYTimes.com

by Jonathan

Freedom is not enough, new democracies also need economic growth to mature.

THE violence tearing apart Jamaica, a democratic state, raises serious questions not only about its government’s capacity to provide basic security but, more broadly and disturbingly, the link between violence and democracy itself.

The specific causes of the turmoil are well known. For decades political leaders have used armed local gangs to mobilize voters in their constituencies; the gangs are rewarded with the spoils of power, in particular housing and employment contracts they can dole out. Opposition leaders counter with their own gangs, resulting in chronic violence during election seasons.

via Op-Ed Contributor – Jamaica’s Bloody Democracy – NYTimes.com.