How can genuine democracy emerge from authoritarian regimes?


A global consciousness and more-democratic social and political structures are developing in response to increasing interdependencies, the changing nature of power, and the need to collectively address major planetary existential challenges. The apparent efforts of some governments, elite powers, or religious extremists to stop the long-range trend toward democracy are countered by the rapid democratization of information and intelligence in the cyber-era. Synergistically self-organized human rights movements for sustainable global democratic systems are taking place all over the world. Regardless of the trigger—autocracy, political or religious repression, economic inequalities, or restrictions on civil liberties—increasing numbers of more globally conscious, media-savvy advocates of self-determination are taking to the streets and the Internet, exhibiting unprecedented power in resisting external coercion. This renewed democratic commitment and courage is contagious, inspiring others worldwide to take action and organize for fundamental structural changes.

Yet if these movements do not mature into more effective systems to implement new strategies to address the global challenges of our times, democratic gains could be lost. They can turn to anarchy or oligarchy and challenge the foundations of modern democratic ideals and practices. Unless present outdated institutional, legal, and governance systems evolve, new forms of authoritarian regimes, organized crime, political/religious extremism, corporatocracy, and restricted freedom of speech and individual access to new resources could counter long-term trends of democratization.

Although the perceptions and implementations of democracy differ globally, it is generally accepted that democracy is a relationship between a responsible citizenry and a responsive government that encourages participation in the political process and guarantees basic rights.


06 May 2017


Society, Policy

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