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DEMOCRACY and DEMOCRATIZATION

Discussion in 'Jukwaa la Siasa' started by Game Theory, Jan 3, 2008.

  1. G

    Game Theory JF-Expert Member

    #1
    Jan 3, 2008
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    With the end of the cold war, British and U.S. policymakers sought a number of rationales to justify continued engagement in the world and to promote American interests. Republicans and Democrats alike were attracted to a framework developed by the Reagan administration: the U.S. promotion of democracy. The Clinton administration went further than Reagan and Bush, announcing in 1993 that all U.S. foreign policy would be guided by the doctrine of "enlargement," aimed at expanding the community of democratic states.



    Although this rhetoric indicated a shift in thinking from the former policy of containment (no longer necessary after the collapse of the Soviet Union), it was not backed up with significant policy initiatives designed to implement it. There were minor bureaucratic rearrangements such as the creation of the Center for Democracy and Governance at the Agency for International Development (AID) and the Bureau for Democracy, Human Rights and Labor at the State Department. Bill Clinton's attempt to create a position of Assistant Secretary of Defense for Democracy and Peacekeeping at the Department of Defense was thwarted by Congress, but a special Assistant for Democracy was named at the National Security Council (NSC).





    Promoting democracy, the Clinton administration has argued, is valuable not only for its own sake but also because it enhances free trade and economic growth and promotes global security. As President Clinton said in his 1994 State of the Union address, "Democracies don't attack each other," and therefore "the best strategy to insure our security and to build a durable peace is to support the advance of democracy elsewhere." However, one can argue that this "democratic peace theory" is based more on wishful thinking than empirical evidence especially at times when Kenya is on a brink of civil war and guess what the US state response:



    Sunday--White House endorses poll and hails new Kenyan leader.

    Monday--White House signals doubts about Kenyan election.


    how about watching tonights episode of NEWSNIGHT and probably you can understand how this BBC debate on democratization and democracy. Its my hope we will have a meaningful discussion on the subject:

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/programmes/newsnight/default.stm
     
  2. Nzokanhyilu

    Nzokanhyilu JF-Expert Member

    #2
    Jan 3, 2008
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    I had been reading the thread about Kenyan elections. And there is someone who put a comment that got into me, but i had no time to get back to them.
    This person was talking about Africa needing dictators and not democracy. Also it happened that I watched tha Newsnight programme last night, and I would suggest this guy watches that programme.
    The african journalist who was on the programme put it very well, that, the Africans (and in this case Kenyans), are very capable of making 'democratic' decisions, and our brothers and sisters in Kenya made that choice very well. The problem, as the guy mentioned is that, we have dictators who want to cling into power.
    I believe there are many ways to have a democratic system. Even a Kingdom can have a democratic system (even our Chiefdoms were more democratic that modern 'democratic' systems). What is important is that people should have the freedom to make informed decisions (that is democracy). And it is up to leaders and the people to create that atmosphere of freedom. If the leadership (Kingdom/Chiefdom) fails to create the right atmosphere for a happy people, then if the people want to change their system, it means they are informed enough to know their rights. If this results in a conflict, it doesnt not mean they cant run a democratic system, it just means they have looked at all other possible means of change........and force is the last option.

    As for USA policies on democratisation, that is a big joke. They prop goverments or work hand in hand with people they know they can influence for their own interests. And they are smart enough to change like chameleones to suit changes that are happening beyond their control. Whether it is Musharraff or Museveni (if you call these guys democratic), they will support even a dictator in the name of 'democracy'.

    As for Kenya, I have much respect for these guys. They understand change, and they want change.
    The opposition in Tanzania should learn from Kenya. As bad as it looks in Kenya with the presidential issue. The biggest win has been the parliament changes. Even if Kibaki manages to stay in power, he will have to dance to the tune of the high percentanges of opposition parliamentarians. The guy is just a lame duck. He will have to rule as a'dictator', otherwise, the people of Kenya have done what Tanzanians need to do. And the people of Tanzania can only do that, if the opposition gets to the people who are not 'informed' of their rights and changes that can be of benefit to them. But so long the average Tanzania doesnt know of their rights, then you cant blame that democracy is failing. It is just that, they are not aware of the strength of their vote. If an african government (such as under CCM), cant deliver on promises for basic needs, then they deserve to be kicked out........but they can only be kicked out if the people know that they deserve better (and know that they have the power to make that change).
     
  3. G

    Game Theory JF-Expert Member

    #3
    Jan 3, 2008
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    That was an interesting observation...i will come back with an appropriate contribution
     
  4. G

    Game Theory JF-Expert Member

    #4
    Aug 8, 2009
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    I am so tired now
     
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