Despite the current democratic recession, democracy has no global rivals as a model of government, argues Larry Diamond. Yet the Third Wave generated many new democracies that are not only performing poorly, but remain “illiberal“, he contends in a feature for the Center for International Private Enterprise.
“Outside of the long-industrialized democracies, only a few countries have achieved a stable and liberal democracy of reasonably high quality,” Diamond observes. Three factors will determine the feasibility of a fourth wave of democracy:
- “gradual economic development that lifts levels of education, information, and autonomous citizen power and organization”;
- “the gradual integration of countries into a global economy, society, and political order in which democracy remains the dominant value and the most attractive type of political system”; and:
- democracy must deliver:
The new democracies that have come into being since 1974 must demonstrate that they can solve governance problems and meet citizens’ expectations for freedom, justice, a better life, and a fairer society. If democracies do not work better to contain crime and corruption, generate economic growth, relieve economic inequality, and secure justice and freedoms, sooner or later, people will lose faith and embrace (or tolerate) non-democratic alternatives.
The 2nd edition of CIPE’s web-based OverseasREPORT, is now posted online, featuring success stories from more than 20 CIPE programs around the world, including items on Small Business in Azerbaijan, Pakistani Corporate Citizenship, Entrepreneurship Programs for Egyptian Students, Tunisian Corporate Governance, Jordanian Political Parties, Best Practices in Eastern Europe Iraq’s Media and Private Sector Partnering.