With Election Day just a few weeks away, everyone seems to be sitting on the edge of their seats as our two candidates remain neck and neck in the polls. These exciting times are not just motivating people to vote; they’re also shedding a new light on an old system: Global Democracy.
In the new fall issue of the World Policy Journal, the editors compare today’s period of politics to an “electoral tsunami.” With more of the world’s population heading to the polls than ever before, this new issue of WPJ includes a collection of articles that take an in-depth look at global democracy: the opportunities it presents, and the dangers that put it at risk.
The basic definition of democracy in its purest form comes from the Greek language, which means “rule by the people.” However, democracy is defined in many ways — a reason that might be the cause for the on-going disagreements among politicians leading various democracies.
In their recent issue, WPJ featured an interview with UN Secretary General, Ban Ki-moon, where he shares his thoughts on the matter:
“I think that democracy cannot be established over one or two elections,” wrote Ki-moon. “We need to continuously engage with people, so that first of all they can conduct elections credibly and in a fair and objective manner.”
WPJ editors also had the opportunity to speak with some of the world’s most distinguished commentators such as Patrice de Beer, whose career has brought him from charnel house of the Khmer Rouge’s “Democratic” Kampuchea, to London, Paris, and Washington.
“Too many potential voters take democracy for granted, treating it like a habit that has hung around for ages” De Beer wrote. “When you fail to use a privilege won by your forbears, when you let it decay as a useless tool, it runs the risk of becoming obsolete.”
This issue of WPJ contains pieces written by many more journalists, activists, and politicians, who tackle the issue that threaten democracy from Estonia to Bahrain and Tibet to Finland. It also includes a visual demonstration of a ranking of the world’s top 10 most authoritarian leaders based on time in power, prison population, military expenditures, freedom of the press, and the opinion of experts.
To read an interesting piece on global democracy in a world of decreasing US influence written by Christopher Shay, Managing editor of WPJ, click here.