Write a 4 page essay on Democracy and Commodification.

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In the context of commodification, services that would be normally under the control of the state came under the control of the private sector, a fact that leads to the increase of cost involved (Giddens and Griffiths 367). Thus, the access to these services becomes more difficult and even, impossible, for a high majority of the population. From this point of view, commodification leads to the limitation of democracy, a political system that is based on equality and fairness in terms of law (Giddens and Griffiths 367). The potential limitation of democracy through commodification can be made understood by referring primarily to the cases of welfare regimes that are based on commodification and those that are not commodified. These cases would show how modern political systems could be related to commodification. Then examples could be provided for showing the relationship between democracy and commodification in practice. Giddens and Griffiths (2006) explain how political systems can be related to commodification: a) the social democratic regime promotes the provision of welfare services for all citizens with no exception, at a universal level (Giddens and Griffiths 367). Scandinavian states, that have this type of regime, are examples of states supporting the non-commodified political system. b) in ‘conservative/ corporatist states, such as France and Germany’ (Giddens and Griffiths 367), welfare services are non-commodified but they are not fully independent from the capital. Indeed, in the above states, the potential of each citizen to access the welfare services is differentiated according to his social status (Giddens and Griffiths 367). c) there is also the case of the liberal states, like United States, where ‘welfare services are fully commodified’ (Giddens and Griffith 367). It should be noted that the use of specific practices, in regard to the management of an economy, does not, necessarily, indicate the commodification of the local political system (Williams 157). In democracy also, a similar issue would exist. At this point the potential influence of commodification on democracy should be explained using relevant examples. In all states where democratic regimes exist media is commonly used for the promotion of specific political messages. Reference can be made, as an example, to the use of media for supporting a particular legislative text or for persuading the public that a specific political decision, for example the establishment of an area of entertainment, is fully justified in terms of public interest.

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