The core principles of democracy are freedom and equality. The representatives of democratic regimes are elected by the people directly or indirectly, in a system in which all citizens are able to participate with equal rights, as well as they have a voice in the proposal, development and creation of laws, since everyone have the right to practice political self-determination.
Democracy is thus a universal value, and full democratic regimes provide space for citizens to express their political, economic and social opinions freely. There several types of democracies throughout the world, nevertheless, if you were to guess how many full democratic regimes there are currently in the international system, how many would you say? I am afraid the number might a bit smaller than one could imagine.
We all hear the United Nations calling attention to the importance of promoting democratic regimes in the world, and we all heard presidential discourses of democracy promotion as a policy goal. Although we might have dubious feelings about such initiatives, what is important to remember is that the intrinsic rights and values around democratic regimes should be universal, and strengthening civilian voice in political processes is crucial to avoid authoritarianism.
The world we live in has changed, every day we see new movements fighting for the right to participate in the political processes, in the economic decisions that will affect our daily lives, to have a say in implementing a more sustainable development, among others claims, thereby calling attention to a wider democratization in the decision-making processes over the globe… MORE
Source: Democracy Index 2012 – The Economist Intelligence Unit.
October 28, 2013 4:14 pm
Rights abusers can breathe more easily
By Gideon Rachman
Should political leaders who have promoted or tolerated mass killings be brought to justice? Many in the west would instinctively answer Yes. The idea that leaders can kill their way to power – and not face punishment – seems morally wrong and politically dangerous. In recent years, an apparatus of international justice has been set up to ensure that mass murder can no longer go unpunished – with the International Criminal Court at its apex.
Next month, Uhuru Kenyatta, the president of Kenya, is due to go on trial at the ICC in The Hague for his alleged role in masterminding post-electoral violence in 2007-08, which led to more than 1000 deaths. The trial of William Ruto, Kenya’s vice-president, on similar charges, has already begun. In theory, the cases against Kenya’s leaders mark an important step forwards in the new international doctrine that human rights violations will be punished – no matter how powerful the perpetrators. In reality, there is a real risk that the Kenyatta trial will be the high water mark for the ICC and the ideas that it represents… MORE