Democratic Politics (NTSE/Olympiad)
4. Challenges to Democracy
Thinking About Challenge in Democracy
Thinking About Challenges
(a) Foundational Change :
Different countries face different kinds of challenges. At least one fourth of the globe was still not under democratic government. The challenge for democracy in these parts of the world is very stark. These countries face the foundational challenge of making transition to democracy and then instituting democratic government. This involves, keeping military away from controlling government and establishing a sovereign and functional state.
(b) Challenge of Expansion :
Most of the established democracies face the challenge of expansion. This involves applying the basic principal of democratic government across all the regions, different social groups and various institutions. Ensuring greater power to local governments, extension of federal principle to all the units of the federation, inclusion of women and minority groups etc. falls under this challenge. This also means that less and less decisions should remain outside the arena of democratic control. Most countries including India and old democracies like the US face this challenge.
(c) Deepening of Democracy :
The third challenge, of deepening of democracy, faced by every democracy in the one form or another. This involves strengthening of the institutions and practices of democracy. This should happen in such a way that people can realize their expectations of democracy. But ordinary people have different expectations from democracy in different societies. Therefore this challenge takes different meaning and paths in different parts of the world. In concrete terms it usually means strengthening those institutions that help people’s participation and control. This requires an attempt to bring down the control and influence of the rich and powerful people on decision making.
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