Post Tagged with: "democracy"

Ukraine’s Orange Revolution Five Years On

Ukraine’s Orange Revolution Five Years On

The story of how Yushchenko came to power with high domestic and international expectations that he largely failed to fulfill will be a fascinating area for future research by historians, political scientists and sociologists. This article provides an initial overview of the Yushchenko presidency; first considering whether it was part of a ‘second wave’ of democratic breakthroughs from 1996-2004 (the ‘first wave’ being in 1989-1991) and then analyzing three factors that facilitated the Orange Revolution.

South Africa’s democracy at risk

South Africa’s democracy at risk

South Africa’s transition to democracy still captures the world’s admiration. The vitality of the democratic movement is still seen in a vibrant print and radio culture and in discussion forums, workshops and educational programmes organized by a range of civil society organizations. But now, at the time of the fourth democratic elections in April 2009, its future is threatened by powerful anti-democratic forces, and it risks succumbing to the populist authoritarianism that has captured so much of post-colonial Africa.

Nigeria’s Post-Military Transition: “Democracy is not a Day’s Job”

Nigeria’s Post-Military Transition: “Democracy is not a Day’s Job”

Despite Nigeria’s transition to democracy there are trends towards identity-driven political agitation by well-armed youth militia or vigilante groups engaged in acts of violence as responses to alienation from the state, economic decline, unemployment, and the militarization of society by decades of military rule. This underscores the persistence of militarism within some sections of civil society in a ‘democracy-from-above’ which has in practice largely favoured vested interests, and all but closed the prospects for political participation, dialogue and grassroots democratization.

International NGOs in Africa: the politics of democracy without votes

International NGOs in Africa: the politics of democracy without votes

The growing presence of international NGOs (INGOs) in Africa is both a manifestation of, and a major reinforcement for, a political process which is neither democratic in the traditional sense nor authoritarian. Voting takes place, but most governments use the advantages of incumbency to ensure their regular re-election. Opposition parties with little prospect of victory have limited scope for demanding changes in governmental behaviour or policy. NGOs, in contrast, are less easily ignored.

Should Democracies Sanction Democracies?

The dilemmas surrounding international intervention into the domestic affairs of brutal regimes such as Burma or Zimbabwe are often discussed. Nevertheless, there is also room for the less-examined question of the legitimacy of international pressure in cases where the violating state is a liberal democracy. Should this influence the set of considerations that other democratic states take into account when they decide whether or not to interfere in their domestic affairs?

The Politics of Displacement in Kenya

In this brief piece we will look at Kenya’s politics of displacement. Recent violence in this important East African country left over a thousand dead from police bullets, fires and machetes and around 600, 000 displaced. Whilst such violence reaches back into the colonial period, the combination of bad government and the revival of multi-party elections is also central.

The Civilian Surge: Liberal Foreign Policy, Intervention and the Internet

British foreign policy under the stewardship of David Miliband has maintained its universalist outlook but shifted its agenda from a distinctly top-down approach to a grassroots drive for what Miliband has called a ‘Civilian Surge’. This subtle shift is in part brought about by Miliband’s progressive liberal ideology but also by his interest in and support for new technology. But for all his enthusiastic rhetoric, is Miliband’s drive for a bottom-up approach to foreign policy the right one?

Apathetic about Democracy: Engaging Young Voters

There is a worrying trend of growing apathy amongst young people towards politics. The United Kingdom’s Electoral Commission published a report in 2002 called ‘Making an Impact’, which found that voter turnout among young people was at an unprecedented low point at the 2001 general election.

Democracy, Tribalism and Hunger: The View in Kenya

As in the other five slums in the city, people in Eastleigh are poor. They survive on far less than the average daily wage in Kenya, which is equal to about one and a half U.S. dollars. Lack of food is only one of their troubles. The political turmoil has exposed and exacerbated decades-worth of tribal tensions. While apparent to many Kenyans, for most of the international community, those tensions were hidden under the thin veneer of an emerging democracy with steady economic development and relative state stability.

Conversion and Fundamentalism: A Challenge to Islam and the Liberal Order

There are many reasons people choose to convert. Some do so for love and marriage, others because they are looking for spiritual meaning. However, there are also those who convert to Islam as an alternative to the current liberal ideology. Especially after the terrorist attacks on the Twin Towers, converts tend to lean more towards political choices rather than spiritualism and personal choice.

Pakistan: A Martial Show

Pakistan came into being out of a nationalist cause; the ethnic Muslim minority felt that its rights would be better preserved and served under a separate democratic setup, rather than among an overwhelming majority of Hindus. Great Britain also wanted a buffer state between the Muslim belt and India to save the Sub-Continent (which contained a quarter of the world’s population) from the effects of ‘Islamization’ and to ensure that it never emerged as a challenging power to British ambitions in the East (the Middle East, Hong Kong, Burma and Japan to name a few).

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