Democracy in the New World Order

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Democracy in the New World Order

Is democracy still part of the solution for a better world?

Democracy in the New World Order

27

documentaries

19

interviews

3

debates

9

graphs

20:11h

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Democracy Is Under Serious Threat

In the New World Order, democracy is under serious threat. Even in democratic strongholds like the United States and Europe, populist politicians and their constituencies are openly flirting with autocracy. Although these constituencies do not yet represent the vast majority, they are quickly gaining appeal and tightening their grip on power. It can no longer be denied – the world we live in finds itself in transition! Something is brewing and in this section you will learn what it is?

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Is democracy failing?

POPULISTS ARE BEATING THE DRUM OF DISCONTENT.

Although democracy has been the most successful form of governance since World War II (Democracy Timeline), in recent years, it has become apparent that in the United States, but also in Europe, democracy is not adequately addressing the socio-economic problems associated with globalization, wide-spread immigration and climate change. Nearly all democratic countries are facing growing economic instability and inequality, while non-democratic China seems stable and on the rise.

Trump I could shoot somebody and not lose votersAdvocates of democracy point to the fact that freedom of speech and equality before the law is non-existent in China. Yet, both equality and freedom are hollow principles if a government is unable to create the circumstances for all its citizens to obtain basic needs – food and water, shelter, clean air, and some perspective. When democracy is unable to provide these basic needs, people tend to blame the idea of democracy or may start doubting about the existence of democracy. This is exactly what we see happening today in modern democracies. Populists are beating the drum of discontent and make it sound as if foreign influence is to blame. Democracy is in serious trouble, no doubt,  if democratic governments are unable to deal with the problems that cause the discontent.

World Map of Democracy

How countries compare

basic facts Democracy

Democracy, literally, rule by the people. The term is derived from the Greek dēmokratiā, which was coined from dēmos (“people”) and kratos (“rule”) in the middle of the 5th century BCE to denote the political systems then existing in some Greek city-states notably Athens.

In effect  the term democracy refers to a a system of government by the whole population or all the eligible members of a state, typically through elected representatives.

Although there is evidence that democracy, broadly speaking, was widely practiced within tribes and small societies throughout early history, the term was first used in 507 BCE by the Athenian leader Cleisthenes to introduce political reforms that he called demokratia. The Greek word demokratia means “rule by the people” or “power to the people” (from demos, “the people,” and kratos, or “power”). Therefore, the ancient Greek city-state of Athens is credited to be the first democracy in the world. Its political system was comprised of three separate institutions: 

  • the ekklesia, a sovereign governing body that wrote laws and dictated foreign policy.
  • the boule, a council of representatives from the ten Athenian tribes and the dikasteria.
  • the popular courts in which citizens argued cases before a group of lottery-selected jurors. 

Although this Athenian democracy would survive for only two centuries, its “invention” by Cleisthenes was one of ancient Greece’s most enduring contributions to the modern world. Ever since, democracy has faded in and out of western civilization through revolutions, and overthrows, until it finally culminated into the clash of civilizations of the past century. 

Watch the Clash of Civilizations and Democracy

In the year 507 B.C., the Athenian leader Cleisthenes introduced a system of political reforms that he called demokratia, or “rule by the people” (from demos, “the people,” and kratos, or “power”). It was the first known democracy in the world. This system was comprised of three separate institutions: the ekklesia, a sovereign governing body that wrote laws and dictated foreign policy; the boule, a council of representatives from the ten Athenian tribes and the dikasteria, the popular courts in which citizens argued cases before a group of lottery-selected jurors. Although this Athenian democracy would survive for only two centuries, its invention by Cleisthenes, “The Father of Democracy,” was one of ancient Greece’s most enduring contributions to the modern world. The Greek system of direct democracy would pave the way for representative democracies across the globe.

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Broadly speaking, there are four types of democracy.

  • Direct Democracy
  • Representative democracy
  • Constitiutional democracy
  • Monitory democracy

Direct democracy
In a direct democracy, such as ancient Athens, all citizens (only adult males who had completed their military training; women, slaves and plebs were not citizens) are invited to participate in all political decisions. This form of democracy is no longer practiced. In this form of democracy citizens are continuously involved in the exercise of power and decision is by majority rule.

Representative democracy
In a representative democracy, representatives are elected by the people and entrusted to carry out the business of governance. Australia is a representative democracy.

Constitutional democracy
In a constitutional democracy a constitution outlines who will represent the people and how. Australia is also a constitutional democracy.

Monitory democracy
Political scientist John Keane suggests that a new form of democracy is evolving in which government is constantly monitored in its exercise of power by a vast array of public and private agencies, commissions and regulatory mechanisms. See Life and Death of Democracy by John Keane, published by Simon and Schuster UK in 2009.

Democracy in Numbers

1
Countries Democratic

in 2018 (out of 195 countries in the world)

1
Countiries Autocratic

in 2018 (out of 195 countries in the world)

Democracy Timeline

Explore the rise of democracy over the past 140 years

1880 - 1880

Will China Ever Become A Democracy?

So far they have been doing very well without it

" Western Analysts often overlook  how much of China's modern-day policy is driven by the collective trauma of its colonial past. "
Alison Kaufman | China's Century of Humiliation
Alison Kaufman
China Analyst

1839 – 1949

China's Century of Humiliation

The century of humiliation, also known as the hundred years of national humiliation, is the term used in China to describe the period of intervention and subjugation of the Chinese Empire and the Republic of China by Western powers, Russia and Japan in between 1839 and 1949.

Cartoon Century of Humilation

Brexit

Why the UK left the EU

The most pressing policy issues, like climate change, disease control, Artificial Intelligence regulations, will require global solutions. Nationalist politicians instead advocate or pursue the dismantling of supra-national organisations. Rather than moving forward, they take several steps backwards.

Brexit - Why the UK left the EU

Origin of Democracy

Government of the people, by the people, for the people is trumpeted as the bedrock of western civilization. But where did the idea of democracy come from? 

quoted

The Rise
of Populism

In quoted we present an interview with Guido Tabellini about the Rise of Populism. Tabellini has been professor of economics at Bocconi University since 1994.

From obama to Trump

America's Great Divide

A two-part investigative documentary into America’s increasingly bitter, divided and toxic politics.