The essay critically examines the relationship between politics and economy on the overall well-being and citizens’ satisfaction in their states. This compares and contracts the impacts of politics and economic states of Spain and Russia and how the performance of the two components affect or impact on the general well-being of their citizens. The essay is informed by extensive examination of scholarly articles to elucidate essential features in the relationship between politics and economy. The core tenet of the difference between Spain and Russia is the nature, context, and state of governance used to exert the rule of law and govern the respective countries. The existence of democracy or lack thereof in Spain and Russia respectively is a major phenomenon that impacts on the context of political and economic structures in the two countries. The following discussion further examines and outlines the comparison and contrast in the political and economic impacts on the well-being of the citizens in Spain and Russia with profound differences characterizing the analysis.
Politics and Economics: Relationship Within Each State Between Politics and Economics – and the Impact on the Well-being of the People
The performance of politics and economics plays a fundamental role in any respective country. For example, politics and economics influences key determinants of the public policy and the will to pursue and ascertain full implementation of the policies in the respective countries. This affects the nature and context of social democratic regimes and the rule over their citizens, influence public spending on any particular issue such as improvement of the public health, and determination of the contexts of the income inequalities on the population (Halvorsen, 2016). As a result, these aspects impacts on the overall well-being of their citizens.
The assessment of political instability and stability are major components in the difference between Russia and Spain respectively. According to White, McAllister and Munro (2017) asserts that the widening economic inequalities in Russia has profound adverse effects on the political stability of the country. White et al. (2017) further notes that the extensive adverse effects of economic inequalities in Russia exposes the country to political manipulation such as the prevalence of political power and its transition in ‘state capitalism’ where a few individuals and officials dominate key positions of the largest companies in the country. This posit that increased corruption and state capitalism is advanced in key sectors such as fuel and energy, industrial complexes, military, and infrastructure developments (Mamedova&Galachiveva, 2017). The political power takes lead and overshadows the economic development leading to extensive economic inequalities in the country and political instability.
In Spain, shows a different trend where political influence over the economic advancements is highly restored on the people. The extent to which democratic values play a critical role in the leadership, governance, and control of the country is profoundly different from the Russian case. According to European Union Eurydice (2020), “Spain is a State under social and democratic rule of law, which advocates justice, equality, and political pluralism as the highest values of its legal system.” The political structure under the parliamentary monarchy where the King is the Head of State and extensive power structure that promotes separation of power between the legislature, executive, and the judicial is central to the governance of the country (Sergeyevich, Grigorievich, Petrovich&Valervevich, 2016). This is contrary to the Russian case where the executive exerts more power over other government branches and induces extensive influence determining how they operate (Medvedev, 2016).
McCartney, Hearty, Arnot, Popham, Cumbers and McMaster (2019) states that the existence of better governance structures and political will impacts positively on the general citizen’s well-being. This is attributed to the fact that they are higher public spending, extensions to compulsory education provisions, fair trade policies, health and safety policies, better health care and improved accessibility, and high-quality affordable housing structures that exist in the country (McCartney et al., 2019). The promotion of neoliberal restructuring in the country promote policies that seek to improve the state of economic inequalities, health inequalities, extensive income inequalities, and political instability. In terms of the overall citizen’s well-being owing to the consideration of such factors indicates profound differences in the context of Russia and Spain. The advancements of improved health care access and increased government spending presents dissenting approaches in the two countries. While Spain seeks to create equality among its citizens culminating in improved citizen well-being, Russia shows a different trend where economic inequalities and government policies promote further disparities in the society (Medvedev, 2018). This erodes the citizens general well-being with the rich accessing better and quality services as compared to the poor in the society. This trend has been prevalent regime after regime with only the Vladimir Putin’s administration attempting to mitigating the adverse effects of economic inequality and disparities in the society (Lukkari, 2017)).
Impact of Democracy, or the Lack Thereof, on the Economy
Democratic practices in Russia and Spain shows profoundly different trends. While Spain can be considered a more democratically advanced country, democratic practices in Russia are highly curtailed by the existing political state of the country (Halvorsen, 2016). The economic inequalities in Russia presents an existence of profoundly wealthy individuals in the country who own and influence the government structures. This makes it profoundly difficult for democratic values and principles to be fairly practiced in the country (McGregor &Pouw, 2017). The economic differences among the citizens leave a few powerful individuals (oligarchs) at the helm of power in the country.
Unlike the state in Russia where economic inequalities are high, Spain exhibits a different trend where economic distribution among its citizens is moderately even. This presents more power existence in the people that seek to determine their governance and political discourse more closely (Graafland, 2020). This asserts a more involvement in the governance of their country and spreading of democratic practices. The democratic values and principles in Spain, therefore, present a state where the people demand for more government’s accountability and responsibility to resolve economic inequalities in the country. Thus, democracy impacts positively on economic distribution among the population in the country.
European Commission Eurydice. (22nd, Oct. 2020). Spain: Political, social and economic background and trends. European Commission. Retrieved from https://eacea.ec.europa.eu/national-policies/eurydice/content/political-social-and-economic-background-and-trends-79_en
Graafland, J. (2020). When Does Economic Freedom Promote Well Being? On the Moderating Role of Long-Term Orientation. Social Indicators Research, 149(1), 127-153.
Halvorsen, K. (2016). Economic, financial, and political crisis and well-being in the PIGS-countries. Sage Open, 6(4), 2158244016675198.
Lukkari, V. (2017). Economic Inequality in Imperial and Modern Russia in the Context of Political Instability.
Mamedova, S. D., &Galachiyeva, S. V. (2017). Strategic decision for Russia and China to take in a 3-year period for promoting economic and political development. ИзвестияКабардино-Балкарскогонаучногоцентра РАН, (6), 164-169.
McCartney, G., Hearty, W., Arnot, J., Popham, F., Cumbers, A., & McMaster, R. (2019). Impact of political economy on population health: a systematic review of reviews. American journal of public health, 109(6), e1-e12.
McGregor, J. A., &Pouw, N. (2017). Towards an economics of well-being. Cambridge Journal of Economics, 41(4), 1123-1142.
Medvedev, D. (2016). Social and economic development of Russia: Finding new dynamics. Russian Journal of Economics, 2(4), 327-348.
Medvedev, D. A. (2018). Russia-2024: the strategy of social and economic development. VOPROSY ECONOMIKI, 10.
Sergeyevich, G. S., Grigorievich, Z. S., Petrovich, I. O., &Valeryevich, K. A. (2016). The economic dynamics of Russia and its regions in the context of a structural crisis: analysis and forecasting. Социум и власть, (6 (62)).
White, S., McAllister, I., & Munro, N. (2017). Economic inequality and political stability in Russia and China.