A sudden surge in the right-wing political groups centered around white supremacist ideologies, is leading to democracy being undermined all over the world. Zunaira Malik observes the veiled origins and the swift rise of these groups, and the myriad of themes within far-right politics.
With the political system in disarray, the author, Shanze Khalid, claims that Pakistan actually resembles a monarchy. She supports her assertion by giving references to Pakistan’s convoluted relationship with dynastic politics and corruption.
The author, Afifa Iqbal, illustrates the process of the no-confidence motion in Pakistan before delving into PM Imran Khan’s miscalculations. The uncertainty in the domestic political arena is disquieting as it is, but what will become of the democratic framework if the no-confidence resolution were to pass?
Though America considers itself the true representative of democracy, its actions prove otherwise. The hypocritical nature of the United States is apparent from its propensity to get militarily involved in other states, like Afghanistan, Syria, and Iraq, in the name of promoting democracy. The authors argue that contrary to establishing a democratic regime, the US military interventions have worsened the instability in these states. Moreover, the US itself is a dysfunctional democracy and even the Summit for Democracy can be seen as an effort to divide the world and preserve the US hegemony.
Though China considers itself to be a “socialist democracy”, it is not a democratic state in the eyes of the West. The authors, Alyan Waheed and Muskan Moazzam, note that while the West is busy contemplating the state of democracy in China, it has failed to realize that despite being “non-democratic”, China is a better leader, and more beneficial for the international community, under the control of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). As per their argument, the CCP has ensured that the nationalist element in the Chinese does not become overpowering and that China remains a pragmatic and rational status quo power.
Democracy is considered an integral part of the West’s foundation. According to the Corruption Perceptions Index and the Democracy Index, flawless democracies are the least corrupt. As such, since corruption hinders the economic growth of states, the extent to which a state is democratic should correlate to its economic development. The author, Syed Taha Mehdi, argues that in Asian countries like Pakistan, where the top 1% of the population controls 16.8% of the wealth, the political elite often exploit the state and sponsor electoral campaigns which benefit them. Hence, the policies enacted in weak democracies cater to the economic and political interests of the powerful few, often at the expense of the populace that has elected them.
The present government has put forward its proposal of e-voting through electronic voting machines (EVMs), but this proposition is fraught with uncertainties, given political deadlocks and transparency issues The author, Nimra Dawood, discusses and analyzes the wrangles over the introduction of EVMs in Pakistan for the 2023 elections, particularly the incompatibility of the EVMs with the 2017 Election Act.
Democracy is dubbed as the only model of excellence for governments, while dictatorship is always viewed as a malicious model of governance. The author notes that every form has its merits and demerits, and so explores the dictatorships that have advanced the economy and equality in the state. The author makes reference to several instances of dictatorships – Iraq, Libya, Venezuela, Russia, UAE, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, China, and Pakistan – that worked in favour of the country and the people. These countries experienced economic growth and better implementation of social rights throughout the course of dictatorship. Consequently, the author believes that even dictatorial governments are politically viable.
As the rule of the people, democracy is the political theory that merits itself a place of sanctity among the masses. With so many forms of government around the world, all with varying degrees, democratic norms are at stake. The author also notes how freedom of speech is used as a tool to impair the foundations of a democratic government.
After spending almost three decades as the world’s sole superpower, the United States of America has finally reached the point where its decline begins. The US economic, military, and political prowess is being rivaled by Russia and China. Abdul Majeed, a political researcher and former member of the Youth Parliament of Pakistan, notes that America’s share in the world economy has fallen from 40% in 1960 to 24% in 2019. Whereas, China’s share is increasing due to the massive infrastructure projects it has undertaken in Asia and Africa. Similar to its economic decline, the US has fallen behind Russia and China in technological development, and the 5G and space race. The author argues that the superpower is no longer the ideal democratic state. Not only has it been marked as a flawed democracy for the fifth consecutive year, but it has also lost its ability to militarily protect its allies, and as Russia and China develop, so do the threats to the US hegemony.
The failure of the parliamentary system in the country has raised concerns regarding its effectiveness. The populace is divided between the pros and cons of transitioning to a presidential form of governance yet again after the pathetic display of the politicians in the Parliament over the budget proposals. The overarching concern, in either case, is for the delivery of democracy and good governance to the grassroots level.
The author seeks to explain the democratic insufficiencies and the violation of civil and political rights in Myanmar against a backdrop of Martin Luther King Jr.’s words. The violence against the minorities – particularly the Rohingya Muslims – has unveiled cracks that lay just beneath the surface of Myanmar’s so-called ‘democracy’.
President Lukashenko’s sustained grip on Belarus has forced the citizens to protest against the authoritarian regime of 26 years, which will probably last for another decade or so, if democracy continues to be stifled. Russian alliance has bolstered Lukashenko’s unyielding position of maintaining his regime, considering that both nations have put Tsikhanouskaya, the opposition leader, on their wanted lists.