This article is the second in an editorial series titled “I do not think this word means what […]
By Georges A. Fauriol
The past decade has convincingly brought to a close a period of global democratic growth and consolidation underway since the late 1970s – Samuel Huntington’s “third wave.” We have instead now witnessed twelve years of democratic decline. This is fueled by the resurgence of expansionist authoritarianism armed with a vision strategically eager to compete with the norms and institutions of democracy; worse, there is also a measurable decline by established democracies in their commitment to democratic governing principles – in the aggregate, this is Larry Diamond’s “democratic recession.”
By Frank Vogl
Corruption – the abuse of public office for private gain – rages across most countries and for every crime of corruption there is a victim – now the number of victims is multiplying.
This should not have been the case – following World War Two we were promised a better world. After the suffering of tens of millions of people in two world wars, the leaders of the new United Nations felt compelled on December 10, 1948, to ratify the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. This is the most important public statement made in my lifetime. It is an aspirational document that calls on the governments of all to do good.
As we approach the 70thanniversary of that U.N. action we need to be still bolder in recognizing that its objectives have been insufficiently attained. Yes, more people have been lifted out of poverty in these last 70 years than in all of history. Yes, more people in more countries than ever before participate in elections, enjoy freedom of speech and assembly. And, it is also true that more people currently enjoy greater wealth than could previously have been imagined.
Photo: South African President Cyril Ramophosa (L) shakes former President Jacob Zuma’s (R) hand at a farewell reception for President Zuma. Photo credit: South African Government
By Kwadwo A. Boateng
Jacob Zuma’s presidency has ended, leaving behind a devastated economy. South Africans are eager to have a transparent government, and anti-corruption reform. The country now has a new president – Cyril Ramaphosa, who took office as interim president just six hours after a National Assembly vote saw Zuma resign under 783 counts of corruption. The country’s new leadership must adopt an effective policy of anti-corruption. Furthermore, it must pursue state-led reform, which starts with restraining executive control and empowering civil society, including black South Africans who face high levels of wealth inequality.