How State Capacity Can Enhance the Quality of Democracy
Without any doubt, state capacity can either enhance or undermine the quality of democracy. The United States and Russia are among the most powerful nations whose governments have an enormous ability to influence domestic and foreign policies. On the one hand, the government and people in power in Russia have been exhausting democracy since its independence. Committee on Foreign Relations United States Senate reports, “Mr. Putin has made it a priority of his regime to attack the democracies of Europe and the United States for years.” What is more, he and his supporters have exercised disinformation, cyberattacks, corruption, and organized crime in order to satisfy their own private interests.
They exploited citizens and the land’s resources, destroying democracy within the Russian border and influencing international relationships. Russia is an excellent example of how state capacity can undermine democracy. On the other hand, the United States is another country having exceptional state capacity, and its government has always stood up for democratic principles. Certainly, it is unreasonable to claim that the U.S. government has succeeded in enhancing the quality of democracy within its border and worldwide. Nevertheless, it has been investing tremendous numbers of resources in promoting democracy and applying its values.
According to Pew Research Center, even though many Americans are dissatisfied with different government institutions and the political system in general, they have a positive attitude towards the way democracy works in the country. In the United States, state capacity is used with the aim of improving democracy rather than undermining it. Political leaders in the U.S. appreciate basic democratic values regardless of whether they are Republicans or Democrats. Evidently, the contrast between Russia and the United States is striking; thus, it may be concluded that democracy employed by the latter makes a positive impact, but the approach preferred by the former negatively influences society.