The Rise of Illiberal Democracy
Initially, democracy was supposed to be liberal – marked by the “rule of the law, separation of powers, and protection of basic liberties of speech, assembly, religion and property” (Zakaria, p. 22). Once it was not enough for political power just to be fairly elected to become a liberal democracy. Democracy meant the rule of the people not only during the procedure of selecting government. Liberal democracy is rather about governmental goals. It supposes that individual’s autonomy and dignity is protected against coercion. Nevertheless, liberalism has never been unambiguously linked to democracy in practice. As a result, democracy is flourishing all over the world, while constitutional liberalism isn’t.
Fareed Zakaria points out that nowadays “half of the “democratizing” countries in fact turn to be illiberal democracies”. Illiberal democracy is the disturbing phenomenon of international life increasing around the world. It supposes that the democratically elected regimes, which have been reelected or reaffirmed through the referenda, begin to routinely ignore constitutional limits on their power and deprive the citizens which have elected them the basic rights and freedoms. So it may be concluded that “constitutional liberalism leads to democracy, while democracy doesn’t seem to bring constitutional liberalism”. Elections, even when reasonably free, may result in strong executives, weak legislatures and judiciaries, and a few civil and economic liberties (Zakaria, p. 28). Thus, constitutional liberalism is about the limitation of powers, democracy is about its accumulation and use.
Actually, there are several reasons why illiberal democracy may lead to the war. One of them is the fact that democratization often brings with it hyper-nationalism and war-mongering, so the political and military leaders do their best to succeed after the fall of previously existing authoritarian order, so they rally the masses behind the national cause. When the political system is opened up, diverse groups with incompatible interests gain access to power and press their demands. As a result – aggressive rhetoric and policies, which involves countries into war and confrontation, and that has nothing in common with real democratic peace. Over the past decades there were some debates about the democratic peace – about the assertion that no democracies have gone to war with each other. Some explain that by the fact when the public makes decisions, it is understandably cautious. But anyway, it is necessary that democratic peace is the liberal peace. Fareed Zakaria considers that liberal democracies protect citizens’ basic right and administers a fair court system bureaucracy, in such way undoing the framework of rights and laws. In addition, in case if the interests of the rulers correspond with the interests of the nation, caution is unnecessary.
How does a liberal autocracy lead to a liberal democracy (example of Egypt)While speaking about Egypt, I cannot say it may be proud of its political system transformation from a liberal autocracy to a liberal democracy. Egypt is a country of unique unsuitability for a celebration of …