Challenges Faced by Democratic Nations




Challenges Faced by Democratic Nations:

  • The English word ‘Democracy’ has its origin in the Greek root word ‘Demos’ and ‘Crescia’. Demos means 'common people' and Cressey means 'rule', thus democracy means the rule of people.  
  • Democracy is a continuous living process. Simply adopting democracy does not result in its implementation. There is a requirement of being alert and conscious of efforts in order to make democracy sustainable. It is critical to identify and address threats to democracy in a timely and democratic manner.
  • Today, every country claims to be democratic. However, very few countries in the world have a democracy that protects people's rights and freedoms and prioritizes their well-being. Many democracies are threatened by a military takeover. The spread of democratic values at the global level, as well as the adoption of true democracy by all nations, is a major challenge at the global level.  
  • Even in countries where democracy appears to be deeply rooted, democratic values are found to be very weak. Democracy appears in nations like India in the form of voting, elections, governmental structure, judiciary, etc. This is, however, only a political form of democracy. Democracy must be practiced in all aspects of social life in order to become a way of life. For true democracy to flourish, several measures must be implemented, comprising the inclusion of all social components, autonomy for social institutions, citizen empowerment, and the protection of human values. 
  • Another challenge that democratic nations face is ensuring that democracy becomes deeply embedded. The values of freedom, equality, fraternity, and justice, as well as peace, development, and humanitarianism, should be practiced at all levels of society. Only through democratic means can mass support for this goal be gathered. 


Challenges to Democracy 

We have noted the serious challenges that democracy faces around the world. A challenge is not just any problem. We usually refer to difficulties as 'challenges' only when they are significant and can be overcome. A challenge is a difficulty that contains an opportunity for progress. We advance to a higher level after overcoming a challenge. 

Foundational challenge: Different countries face various types of challenges. At least one-fourth of the world is still not governed democratically. Democracy faces a significant challenge in these parts of the world.  These countries face the foundational challenge of making the transition to democracy and then instituting democratic government.  This includes overthrowing the current non-democratic regime, keeping the military out of government control, and establishing a sovereign and functional state.  

Challenge of expansion: The majority of established democracies are facing the challenge of expansion. This includes implementing the fundamental principle of democratic governance across all regions, social groups, and institutions. This challenge includes ensuring greater power for local governments, extending the federal principle to all federation units, including women and minority groups, and so on. This also implies that fewer and fewer decisions should be made outside the realm of democratic control. Most countries, including India and other democracies such as the United States, are faced with this challenge. 

Deepening of democracy: Every democracy, in some form or another, faces the third challenge i.e., the deepening of democracy. This requires strengthening democratic institutions and practices. This should take place in such a way that people's democratic expectations are met. However, in different societies, ordinary people have different expectations of democracy. As a result, this challenge takes on different meanings and takes different paths in different parts of the world. In general, it refers to strengthening institutions that facilitate people's participation and control. This necessitates an attempt to reduce the control and influence of the wealthy and powerful in governmental decision-making. 

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