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The Rise of Illiberal Democracy, Summary of the article
Around the world, regimes that are legitimately and democratically elected are continuously ignoring the limits of their powers, and denying citizens their democratic rights and basic freedoms. All over the world from north to south and west to east there are disturbing occurrences and phenomenon, which the writer refers to as “illiberal democracy.” Countries like Yugoslavia, Peru, Sierra Leone, Pakistan, Palestine, Slovakia and Philippines just to mention a few, there is a rise the illiberal democracy phenomena. This developments however were not easily recognizable for the better part of the last century in the west; countries which have the highest possible states of democracy. Democracy in these countries has always gone hand in hand with several other features that give its description. These are the fee and fair elections, constitutional liberalism, rule of law and basic human freedoms and rights. In the rest of the world, however, the concepts of democracy are far apart. These countries are characterized with democracy without relevant constitutional liberalism lead to development of centralized or highly bureaucratic regimes. It also encourages erosion of civil liberties, and fosters completion between ethnic groups leading to ethnic conflicts and finally wars. Most wars that are ravaging many pert of the world today are a product the illiberal democracy. On other hand, the international community seems to have limited options on how to handle these phenomena. However the solution is within reach. Countries like the united state and the rest of the international community must stop the never ending obsession with balloting and emphasis the gradual and procedural liberalization of illiberal societies.
Liberalism seems hard concept to adopt. As a concept it must have been a product of political liberty, or it must have evolved as a doctrine associate with economic policies. In both cases it must have emerged and developed alongside democracy. Unfortunately, it has never been connected to its practice. However, in the present world, the concept of liberal democracy is of two kinds. Both the concepts are intertwined with the western political practices, but are terribly crumbling on the rest of the world. In a nutshell Zakaria is pint out that democracy has been successful while constitutional liberalism has been terribly failed.
Indeed majority of the countries of the world are democratic, 118 out of 193 courtiers. Over half of the citizens in these countries are “enjoying” the democracy. Multiparty elections have become a norm, a sign of increasing democratic space. Unfortunately, the democracy in some countries remains at the ballot box. Once in power the elected leaders bypass their parliament and rule by presidential decree. The consequently undermines the constitutional practices. Practices such as liberty and human right which are enshrined in the constitution are largely ignored and the ruling elite become the law doing all they can do to undermine their constitution and electorate. Various atrocities have been seen around the world due to these practices. In Iran many harsh restrictions are imposed on the people rights, for instance the freedom of speech, freedom of assemble among others are alienated. In fact, the government dictates how people dress. In Ethiopia various democratically elected parliaments are on record for setting security forces on journalists. Such incident are the order of the day and Zakaria argument is that democracy does not being liberty. Zakaria points out that this is a democratic age despite the fact that oppressive forms of leaderships approaches from the post human history still exist. Although there are no substitutes to democracy, illiberal democracies seem to gain legitimacy and steght since they allow some extent of democracy as oppose to the past forms of leadership such as dictatorship, totalitarian leadership, monarchies and religious dogmatic leaderships. Illiberal democracy is the order of the day.
Definitions from the article
Democracy can mean a lot of thing that are free of oppression. First, it can be defined as leadership by the lead/people. It is characterize by election which are free, open and fair, wide choice of political opinion, participation of the whole society men and women, and confer to the citizens unalienable economic, political, social religious, rights among others. In this regard, democracy is simply political liberty (Plattner).
Liberalism is a kind of leadership that observes the rule of law and respects basic human rights and can be define are civil liberty. Liberalism is the tradition of guarding the autonomy and the dignity of people from external coercion and erosion from sources such as the society, religion or state.
Illiberalism I also a form of leadership that emphasis a few principles of democracy by alienates liberty for the people. Such leadership practice democracy through conferring to the led political rights. The people are allowed to .............
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