Democracy plays a very pivotal role in the governance of a country. Such kind of governance may be initiated by the citizens or by their representatives whom they have elected. At the outset, democracy provides a suitable system of governance where different calibre of people coexists despite their class, gender, origin, ethnicity, religion and culture among other affiliations. The more striking aspect of democracy is the provision of political freedom to the citizens in a country given the fact that majority dictates what is good for them. In essence, the civil rights of people is upheld and respected. However, democracy should be coiled with elaborate institutional framework as the majority who has the say can abuse such privileges and oppress the minority group within their area of jurisdiction. Different countries have varied degree of democracy given their status of civilization hence the variability in the freedom enjoyed by their citizens. In highly democratic states, citizens enjoy a variety of freedom including freedom of speech, association and assembly among other freedom issues. It is however, worth noting that coiling democracy with other values such as trust enhances the positive coexistence of different people within same environmental setting. This paper therefore examines the relationship of democracy and the social values by comparing and contrasting nations that have different degree of freedom.

To begin with, political freedom is one such important factor in a society that everyone is willing to benefit from. It is however dependent on the mode of governance and the legal as well as political framework existing in a state that guides such governance approaches. Different nations have varied degree of freedom brought about by the levels of democracy practiced within a nation. Some states such as France and Germany have high freedom rates while other nations such as Iraq and Iran enjoy little freedom. The first two states were democratically established a long time ago unlike the latter two countries which have had their struggle for democratic space for a short period of time notably after the disintegration of communist bigwigs. Varieties of values are correlated to democracy in many ways and are therefore important in upholding the democratic space within a nation. It is therefore important to examine the various values, beliefs and attitudes that are have tried to shape up the democratic systems in the aforementioned countries. It is partly true though majorly hypothetical that the post-communist states of Iran and Iraq have to undergo a long and challenging task in an attempt to gain democratic stability currently enjoyed by Germany and France. The choice of the aforementioned countries was based on the fact that these nations share some things in common such as culture and religion. For instance, Iran and Iraq are Islamic nations while France and Germany are Christian-based States.

The procedure of democratization is affected by a variety of social issues including religion, tradition, and emphasis of education among others which shapes up the social values and beliefs which in turn affects the behavior of the populace. To begin with, Germany and France are predominantly Catholic territories even though East Germany is occupied mainly by the Protestants. Iraq and Iran on the other hand are strongholds of Islamic religion. The values and beliefs of the two cliques of countries are sharply different. As Germany and France campaign for the respect and upholding of individual human rights of each and everyone in their country, Iraq and Iran on the other hand lobby for the elevation of group ideals and the subsequent handling of individual or personal issues as secondary in priority. According to the Islam religion, the ethics and virtues of the believers emphasize the support an individual is supposed to offer to his/her group and not putting his personal needs a head of the group’s needs. This has negative impact on democratic practices lobbied by the western countries that requires that individual human rights be respected. Besides, Islamic religion has other beliefs and values that hamper the process of democratization. To begin with, the issues concerning of morals are highly demanding according to the Islamic teaching unlike Christianity practiced in Germany and France. According to the Confucian morals churches give answers to all the moral problems an individual faces. The World Values Survey provides statistics where 64.3% and 77.3% of respondents in Iran and Iraq respectively supported the idea compared to 42.6% of similar respondents in Germany. 35.7% and 22.7% of the respondents in Iran and Iraq opposed the idea as 54.7% of the German respondents believed that churches do not offer solutions to moral problems.

Moreover, the rule of virtue and not the rule of law are prominent in the two Islamic countries of Iran and Iraq as opposed to Germany and France which enforces the latter. According to Muslims, individuals are supposed to define their interest in the interest of where they come from and not their personal interest. In essence, in politics and governance, there are no basic human rights in Iraq and Iran but the rights of community as a whole. This is in contrast with the two secular countries of France and Germany where civil human rights is respected. Democracy is deeply rooted in the rule of law and provides an environment for the upholding of human rights. The Islamic value that campaigns for the primacy of group over individual interest may be a factor derailing the democratization process in Iraq and Iran compared to Germany and France which have well established democratic processes.

Besides, the Confucian morality stipulates that the relationship between an individual and his/her parents are based on loyalty as well as filial piety unlike contracts or mutual benefits as witnessed in the pro-western countries. According to the Confucian morality individuals are judged by the honor and benefit they have brought to the family as the latter forms the basic facet of governance in Iraq and Iran. However, this is greatly different with Germany and France’s moral beliefs where an individual is entitled to be independent and therefore guided by personal liberty. He makes his own decisions and therefore does what he deems necessary. According to the statistics, 86.4 % of the French, 93.8 % Iranians, 96.1 % Iraqis as well as 81.8 % German believed that family was very important in day to day life. Democracy requires that on be is left to make his own choice in a free world. Individuals are required to accountable to what they do as individuals not as a group. The important moral goods encompass independence, individual rights, freedom, as well as self-determination.

The Confucian morality also presents a hierarchical form of relations in a Muslim family. It argues that the siblings should respect any decision made by the parents particularly by the father. The children are bound to respect this without questioning such decisions no matter how wrong they might prove to be. This is in contrast to the pro-western constitutions which enable the son to criticize apparent and disregard a decision when he feels that it has been wrongly made. Democracy provides for freedom of speech and that everyone with a sound mind should be allowed to criticize any decisions by anybody that the individual is uncomfortable with.

Furthermore, emphasis on education is another vital social value affecting the democratization process in a given nation. To begin with, the pro-west countries of Germany and France introduced education long time ago compared to Iran and Iraq which initiated such similar programs after communism had been overthrown hardly ten years ago. For instance, statistics retrieved from the world values survey provides highlights on an initiative of primary education established by Germany. According to the survey, 51.1% give the initiative top priority while 34.5% gives it high priority, 12.3% and 2.1% prioritizes the project as medium and low respectively. Other data are actually missing. Besides, gender equality should also be considered while offering educational services to the citizens. Responses on the whether university is more important to a boy then a girl demonstrated how Iran and Iraq despised undermined girl child education compared with Germany and France. According to the statistics, 13.8% strongly oppose the idea of elevating boys at the expense girl education while 13.3% strongly agree with the idea. 27.1% strongly oppose the idea in Iraq while 24.8% strongly agree with the idea. On the other hand, Germany and France presents sharply contrasting data results. In Germany, 49.3% strongly disagree that university is more important to a boy than a girl and 3.1% strongly agree with the idea. France presents even stronger data results in opposition of the idea. 73.1% strongly disagree while 1.8% strongly agrees. For any state to claim efficient democratization, subjecting its populace to education procedures is a fundamental aspect in the process. Education is vital for the democratic life of students as they can now to think critically, be efficient, and participate in all political spheres through engagement in lobbying, voting as well as involvement in decision-making processes. Issues of gender are also vital in the democratization process.

Besides, egalitarianism is another vital social value that can also be used in the comparison of the four countries in respect to democracy. Egalitarianism entails the belief on the equality of human beings concerning issues of economic, political as well as social factors. At the outset, democracy provides a foundation for the facilitation of equality in all the aforementioned spheres. Equality has been campaigned for by a variety of human groups as well as some state governments in the western region. Christian-based countries such as Germany and France encourage equality on the issues raised above by citing the bible that everyone is equal before God. Such equality is important in the democratic space where everyone is accorded equal opportunity so as to be productive. However, equality is highly disputed by Muslims world they undermine women in many occasions. This is exemplified in Iran and Iraq where men are elevated above women in many instances. For instance, a question was asked concerning the performance of women compared to men in the position of company executive. The responses were not surprising. French respondents disagreed strongly with the idea that women would make good chief executive compared to men.54.8% strongly agreed while 2.2% strongly opposed the idea. Germany had 44.8% respondents strongly disagreeing with idea as 3.0 strongly agreeing. On the other hand, Iran strongly agreed recording 20.7% followed by strong disagreement with the idea at 5.3%.


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Political system and Justice are also other important aspect of democratization process. To begin with, fairness in the offer of judgment is very vital in any civilized society. In respect to the four countries of France, Germany, Iran as well as Iraq, equal justice to all people is a vital component of attaining democracy in a country. Political system on the other hand provides a framework as well as guideline that would control all the political activities. Different countries have different political system in their government. For instance, some countries have systems that have democratic system. World Value Survey presents such analysis as used in the four nation’s analysis. The data presented are more or less similar in trend. For instance, Germany is rated at 56.7% as very good but at 1.0% as very bad political system. This is the highest score that insinuates that has political system with very goods political system with democratic political system. The table below summarizes all the data pertaining to the four nations. Iraq for instance had a very good score of 54.8% with the very bad score of 3.7%. Sound political system is the basis to the governance needed in the modern democratic world.


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Social trust is another equally important social value that has close relationship with democracy. To begin with, social trust entails the ability of a person or a group of people to embrace another stranger(s) in his/their midst. When people can have such behavior and attitude to accommodate other people no matter the differences in origin, class, ethnicity, religion or race, then harmony and unity can be effectively achieved. It is believed that people with trust are active and always connected to other people be they families or just friends. In the process, they try to uphold and maintain the positive character trait so as to sustain the friendship. It is more important to stay connected to other people so that an individual’s mistake or undoing is corrected. If such an action is not pursued one may end up getting used to the wrongs he/she has been committing.

Trust is however affected by a variety of factors. Firstly, the prevailing political and economic climate in a country has an impact on the trust on other people or certain things such as media, health care and education among others. The trust on a given political view in a media such as press is highly relevant to democracy in a state. Such trust ensures that we are in a position to accommodate other people’s ideas and opinions concerning pertinent issues of politics. It is however, worth mentioning that the confidence in press has deteriorated in France as statistics show that only 2.1% have trust in the press but 19.1% do not have trust at all. This is almost similar in Germany where 2.1% are known to have trust in the press but 15.8% lacks the trust in the press. Unlike the aforementioned statistics of the two pro-western countries, Iran presents a different scenario. In this survey results, 5.1% do not have trust in the press while 8.4% have trust in the press.

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Even though social trust is not in many instances associated with the usual set of economic, social as well as political variables including gender, age, education, income, race, and employment, it is sometimes found in some of the aforementioned social categories. It is always associated with high status, high education as well as high income and is therefore more likely to be exhibited among the middle aged men and women and the psychologically satisfied individuals in respect to their jobs or general lifestyle.

It is noteworthy that trust has a close relationship with the democratization process. The ability of an individual to embrace a stranger within his midst despite differences in class, religion, ethnicity, race or culture is an encouraging undertaking since it ensures that unity and harmony prevails. The occurrence of social trust among people in a society contributes to certain aspects of solidarity, productive cooperation as well as peaceful coexistence and stable relations which are suitable for the nourishment of democracy. Democracy is known to prevail in such aforementioned environments as peace and harmony.

Generally, the difference witnessed between the four discussed countries is partly dependent on time factor when democracy was established in the aforementioned nations as well as the differences in the social values of the Asian countries from those of the pro-western. For instance, Germany and France had established the democratization process long ago before Iran and Iraq which are in still the process of establishing democracy following the fall of communism. France and Germany established liberal democracy many years back and have therefore positioned themselves in vantage points as far as political freedom is concerned. Their citizens enjoy the fruits of freedom as well as respect for human rights. Iran and Iraq on the other hand are still on the verge of trying to integrate the native Confucian value of the East Asia in an attempt to enhance democratization process. They lack freedom of expression and still engage in violations of civil rights.


As mentioned above, democracy is a fundamental aspect in good governance of any nation. Sound democratic practices employed by those in power ensure a suitable environment characterized by high degree of freedom. Democratization process may be initiated by the leaders themselves or compelled by elected people. The aspect of democracy is related in one way or another to a number of social values including morality, tradition, culture, social trust, and education among other values. The above discussed nations have demonstrated sharp differences in various aspects of the social values according to the world value survey. For instance, such sharp contrast has been witnessed in the issue related to gender and education. The pro-western countries of France and Germany strongly oppose the idea that university is more important to boy than girl as supported by Iran as well as Iraq. Countries such as France and Germany had long time ago established democratically compared to Iran and Iraq which are developing their democratic process after the fall of communism. It is therefore noteworthy that the social values associated with democracy would be developed at a similar slower pace as the democratic process. Finally, a democratic process, practice as well as institution should ensure high quality public policy that is in the interest of the public.