Sunday, September 19, 2010

Reflection (Week #4)

In class we discussed the role of the United States in promoting democracy and whether or not direct intervention in a state's internal affairs is necessary to encourage a democratic world or whether we should simply maintain our state as a functional example of democracy in order to allow the emergence of a democratic political systems internally.

Personally, I believe letting states develop without direct intervention of the United States is the best way to promote international democracy because not all states have the capacity for democratic elections because they lack the stability. For example, the recent Afghan elections have resulted in violence, including kidnappings of campaign workers and election officials, as well as the murders of political figures and supporters. If democratic elections are too strongly encouraged in a state they can lead to further internal instability. Therefore, a democratic system of government should be promoted in a more passive manner that would allow a state to pursue democratic elections on its own when it is stable enough to successfully transition, which would result in stronger democracies. The African Charter on Democracy, Elections and Governance, which was adopted by the African Union in 2007, is a prime example of this. Although the charter was signed in 2007, it was designed to promote a slow transition to democracy by 2015, and as of the end of 2010, 13 African nations are on track towards full implementation including Botswana, Burundi, Cameroon, Cape Verde, Ghana, Kenya, Malawi, Mali, Namibia, Rwanda, Senegal, Sierra Leone, and South Africa. The charter is proof that it is possible for a group of countries to instigate a relatively peaceful transition to democracy without direct military intervention of the United States

1 comment:

  1. You seem to imply that simply because a country gains stability, democracy will suddenly come along with it. While I admit it is unwise for the US to directly intervene in providing democratic elections for a country that doesn't want them, I think it is in the interest of the US, according to liberalism in international relations, to seek to nurture stability in promising nations. This doesn't necessarily have to be done by the United States, or even by using military force. The fact is that in many nations, power is too addicting. A corrupt dictator isn't going to relinquish authority over a state because that's what his people want. And the people aren't powerful enough to challenge or overthrow him. It is up to the liberal states of the world, I believe, to foster liberal sentiments in all nations. As JFK said, "If one man is enslaved, all are not free."