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PUBLIC POLICY - Essay Example

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Democratic Governments: Some Mounting Challenges Democracy in simple terms refers to a form of government according to which all the qualified citizens have an equal role in all decisions and policies that affect their way of living. Democracy is identified as one of the best possible ways to recognize how people in a state perceive a particular subject…
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Download file to see previous pages... However, democracy is currently increasingly criticized for not representing the interests of citizens or not taking into account the social justice and environmental concerns that span national boundaries. Undoubtedly, it is a potential challenge for democratic governments to represent diverse stakeholders and to manage risk in an accountable, inclusive way that is transparent to all. This paper will discuss the relevance of democracy in the present society with particular reference given to this system of government. Although democracy is the most accepted and suggested form of government today, many of its benefits proposed are hypothetical. The democratic progress was increasingly visible a couple of decades ago. The defeat of authoritarian military in Latin America, the failure of communist system around the world, and the fall of the Berlin wall were some of the notable examples of democratic progress (The Explosion of Third World Democracy, n.d.). However, the spread of democracy has slowed down following the dramatic political events by the end of the last century. Democracy appears to be difficult to achieve its stated goals completely despite certain significant success events in the past. Although many countries have undertaken processes like the organization of competitive elections as initial steps toward the execution of democracy, they fail to meet the high expectations of citizens about an improvement in their living standards. Many followers (states) of the democracy have failed to develop this system from within national boundaries by eventually institutionalizing political processes and spreading core values that are intrinsic to the democratic system. The former UN Secretary General Kofi Annan stated that “…democracy is a universal right that does not belong to any country or region, and that participatory governance, based on the will of the people, is the best path to freedom, growth, and development” (World Movement for Democracy). However, it seems that most of the countries cannot transform the universal values of the democracy into the practice of democratic governance mainly because the supply of transformation is lagging behind the people’s high expectations. Creating a social contract with citizens is necessary for governments so as to manage the democracy building process effectively. It is also important to meet the expectations of the people who really provide the governments with the governing legitimacy. Unfortunately, most of the countries have not ensured such a social contract and it is one of the major reasons the democratic system is struggling globally. Though today governments worldwide try to promote public participation in policy making, such efforts fail to meet their goals due to lack of dialogue between people (Smith 2003. As scholars point out, dialogue is an integral element of the participative democracy. Over the centuries after the time of Plato, the dialogic forms of democracy have been losing their significance. Today democratic processes have become individual centered as majority of our representatives are more beholden to corporate giants and fund donors than they are to citizens (Lindeman, n.d.). Similarly, today the media are also playing a noticeable role in ruining the good sides of democracy (Fog ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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