What we need, then, and what The End of History and the Last Man did not supply, is a theory of political development that is independent of economics. State formation and state-building, how this happened historically, the role of violence, military competition, religion, and ideas more broadly, the effects of physical geography and resource endowments, why it happened first in some parts of the world and not in others these are all components of a larger theory that has yet to be elaborated. Samuel Huntington in his book helped to undermine the original version of modernisation theory by positing a theory of political decay and arguing that decay was just as likely as development. There has been a great deal of political decay in the past generation, and its sources need to be explored systematically.
If ever a writer was the victim of his own success, it is Francis Fukuyama. In 1989, with Soviet power on the retreat in Eastern Europe and democratic activists filling Tiananmen Square, Mr. Fukuyama published an essay in The National Interest titled "The End of History?" In it, he proposed that the collapse of communism had left liberal democracy as the only viable form of government in the world. If History, with a philosophical capital H, was the story of mankind's progress towards a final state of freedom and happiness, then that progress was finished. All that remained was for the rest of the world to catch up to the end-point the West had happily reached. Three years later, when Mr. Fukuyama expanded his essay into a book, the tentative question mark was dropped: now he wrote of "The End of History and the Last Man." There is "a coherent and directional History of mankind," he insisted, "that will eventually lead the greater part of humanity to liberal democracy."
The End of History and the Last Man [Francis Fukuyama] ..
My first reaction on reading Francis Fukuyama's update on his End of History thesis was nostalgia. I still have on my bookshelf the only two copies of the National Interest I ever possessed, those namely that contain his oriiginal article and the one with further responses.