Democracy is More Than Elections Part III

The downside of this globalization is that some groups in society are becoming more vulnerable , losing their jobs and having difficulty finding new work on the same terms as before. Here is an important part of the background for the outcome of the US presidential election in the autumn of 2016 and for the support for protest parties in many European countries. Little influence over immigration policy reinforces the economic insecurity and a feeling that the established parties cannot deliver welfare and security in an acceptable way. This goes a long way in explaining the rise of protest parties and anti-system movements, especially after the financial crisis in the United States and Europe from 2008.

5: Conditions for democracy

Democratic stability presupposes that the population and the political movements agree on basic rules of the game and institutions. Such agreement is not possible if the economic, cultural and religious contradictions are too great, as is the case in many deeply divided societies.

If economic class antagonisms coincide with ethnic and religious divides , agreement on common ground often breaks down. The mutual trust between the groups then becomes too small. And a tendency to abuse political power to keep opponents down can take over. In deeply divided societies, there is often only an authoritarian government that can hold the country together.

Former colonies have boundaries that were drawn up by the colonial powers without regard to geography, language, ethnicity and religion. Here, the division and lack of trust between ethnic groups can be obstacles to a well-functioning democracy. According to THENAILMYTHOLOGY, the old artificial colonial borders have intensified the level of conflict in many countries in the Middle East and Africa. In Central and South America, it is especially the economic class differences that have seemed divisive. In some countries, class divisions are exacerbated by ethnic differences.

6: Can democracy be introduced from the outside?

After the Cold War (from around 1990), several attempts have been made to establish democratic rule through international interventions , especially in the Middle East, Afghanistan and Libya. This has failed . The American and international forces have been perceived as parties in a civil war situation. They have sided with some groups in battle against others, and they have not been able to quell the antagonisms between warring parties. The outcome of overthrowing an authoritarian ruler will not automatically be a more democratic regime. The result could also be a new civil war in which a relatively orderly state power is replaced by state collapse and anarchy.

Nevertheless, there are historical examples of democracy being introduced from outside . This was done through occupation of Germany and Japan after World War II. Conditions here were better than in many of the countries in the Middle East and Africa today. Neither Japan nor Germany had upsetting ethnic or religious differences. Germany had a democratic past and Japan a popular emperor who accepted the occupying power. Both also had a well-functioning bureaucratic tradition . The system of government imposed on the losing parties by the occupying powers also laid the foundation for rapid reconstruction and economic growth.

These are completely different conditions than those that were present in the conflict areas after the Cold War.

Democracy is demanding . It places strict demands on the will to cooperate and compromise. Democratic stability with rights guarantees is limited to a few dozen countries. It has taken a long time to develop the basis for such a system of government, and it is not a matter of course that all the states of the world will gradually become more democratic. Moreover, it is important not to take democracy for granted; it must be continuously protected and actively exercised. Democracy commits.


The EIU / Democracy Index is composed of 6 categories with a number of indicators in each of them:

– the electoral process and pluralism

– human rights

– the functioning of a government

– political participation

– political culture

In other words, in order to score high and thus be a full-fledged democracy, a country must score high in all categories.

Euro cooperation and convergence criteria

To ensure that members align their economic policies with each other – necessary to implement Economic and Monetary Union (EMU) – EU countries have established some convergence criteria . These must be met by a country in order to adopt the euro, but then also comply as a euro member.

  • Low inflation – stable prices
  • Low government budget deficit: Maximum 3% of gross domestic product (GDP)
  • Low government debt. Maximum 60% of GDP
  • Stable currency
  • Interest rates are roughly the same as in other euro area countries

As of January 2017, 19 of the 28 EU countries also participate in euro co-operation (the United Kingdom, Denmark and Sweden are excluded). The countries that have joined after 2003 have transitional arrangements until they adopt the euro. The 19 euro countries have a total population of 339 million.

After becoming part of the euro area, a member state must comply with the Stability Pact.

Democracy is More Than Elections 2

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