Western liberal democracy. The evolution of liberal democracy - Thesis Example

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Liberal democracy,otherwise called constitutional democracy,is the most dominant form of democracies in the contemporary world and the phrase 'Liberal Democracy' is a frequently used to describe Western democratic political systems including the United States,Britain,New Zealand,Canada,Australia,and other nations…
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Western liberal democracy. The evolution of liberal democracy
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Download file to see previous pages Liberal democracy,otherwise called constitutional democracy,is the most dominant form of democracies in the contemporary world and the phrase 'Liberal Democracy' is a frequently used to describe Western democratic political systems including the United States,Britain,New Zealand,Canada,Australia,and other nations. To define a liberal democracy, it is "a form of representative democracy where elected representatives that hold the decision power are moderated by a constitution that emphasizes protecting individual liberties and the rights of minorities in society, such as freedom of speech and assembly, freedom of religion, the right to private property and privacy, as well as equality before the law and due process under the rule of law, and many more." 1As against the distinction with the Communist People's Republics or the 'Popular Democracies' of the Cold War period, constitutional democracies in the modern period are differentiated from the direct democracies and participatory democracies. The various constitutional forms of liberal democracies include republics, as in the case of the US, India, and France, and constitutional monarchy, such as the UK and Spain. This paper deals with Western liberal democracy in two sections: the evolution of liberal democracy and the nature of liberal democracy.Liberal democracy has its origins in the Age of Enlightenment in Europe in the 18th century at a time when monarchy was the practice of the time. The Western liberal democracy has emerged from the unique history of European civilisation and it has grown to become one of the most important forms of democratic government in the contemporary world. Today, one prevalent question concerning the Western liberal democracy is whether it can be served from its Western historical context and universalised for all nations of the world. The evolution of Western liberal democracy needs to be realised as the result of influential movements in the Europe, including the French Revolution and the English Revolution, based on the theoretical and philosophical thoughts such as liberty, equality etc. The American story of the evolution of liberal democracy is not different. "In part enlightened by European theoretical works, in part influenced by the European history, and in part responding to new life in American colonies, Madison, Hamilton and Jefferson, among others, conceived a federal republic, creating a new version of democracy which is elegant in theory but miserly in fact. It is elegant in the way it structures a durable government. It is miserly in the way it embraces the realities of the eighteenth century America, excluding a vast majority of people from the democratic process. Initially confined to one race and one gender, the base of American democracy has gradually expanded." 2 Thus, the American liberal democracy mixes reality with vision and today it has become the epitome of Western liberal democracy. Today, the eighteenth century liberalism which was based on property has been transformed o a new liberalism which is established on formal equality and liberty. . The Western liberal democracy in the contemporary world demonstrates that civil and political rights of the people can go hand in hand with higher standards of living. "In light of these achievements, liberal democracy is touted as the ideal form of government for all the peoples of the world. Any other system, including any other notion of democracy, is seen as a lesser construct, an inferior design, a recipe for social and economic backwardness." 3
Analysing the chief components in the origin and development of the Western liberal democracy, it is essential to relate to some essential sources of it. Any political ideology has a historical life, growth and development and the ideology of the Western liberal democracy is not different. Thus, it is important to have the background knowledge about the Greek heritage of democracy and the contributions of Christian theology and Roman ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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