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    how does reagan substantiate his opinion that democracy is a powerful force? by stating that it is a powerful political movement by giving examples of countries that have become democracies by explaining how the free market works by discussing ways governments are measured


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    Promoting Democracy and Peace

    President Ronald Reagan – Speech to the British Parliament, June 8, 1982

    Promoting Democracy and Peace

    President Ronald Reagan – Speech to the British Parliament, June 8, 1982

    My Lord Chancellor, Mr. Speaker:

    The journey of which this visit forms a part is a long one.  Already it has taken me to two great cities of the West, Rome and Paris, and to the economic summit at Versailles.  And there, once again, our sister democracies have proved that even in a time of severe economic strain, free peoples can work together freely and voluntarily to address problems as serious as inflation, unemployment, trade, and economic development in a spirit of cooperation and solidarity.

    Other milestones lie ahead. Later this week, in Germany, we and our NATO allies will discuss measures for our joint defense and America’s latest initiatives for a more peaceful, secure world through arms reductions.

    Each stop of this trip is important, but among them all, this moment occupies a special place in my heart and in the hearts of my countrymen – a moment of kinship and homecoming in these hallowed halls.

    To foster the infrastructure of democracy, the system of a free press, unions, political parties, universities, which allows a people to choose their own way, to develop their own culture, to reconcile their own differences through peaceful means.

    Speaking for all Americans, I want to say how very much at home we feel in your house.  Every American would, because this is, as we have been so eloquently told, one of democracy’s shrines.  Here the rights of free people and the processes of representation have been debated and refined.

    It has been said that an institution is the lengthening shadow of a man.  This institution is the lengthening shadow of all the men and women who have sat here and all those who have voted to send representatives here.

    This is my second visit to Great Britain as President of the United States.  My first opportunity to stand on British soil occurred almost a year and a half ago when your Prime Minister graciously hosted a diplomatic dinner at the British Embassy in Washington.  Mrs. Thatcher said then that she hoped I was not distressed to find staring down at me from the grand staircase a portrait of His Royal Majesty King George III.  She suggested it was best to let bygones be bygones, and in view of our two countries’ remarkable friendship in succeeding years, she added that most Englishmen today would agree with Thomas Jefferson that “a little rebellion now and then is a very good thing.”

    Well, from here I will go to Bonn and then Berlin, where there stands a grim symbol of power untamed.  The Berlin Wall, that dreadful gray gash across the city, is in its third decade.  It is the fitting signature of the regime that built it.

    And a few hundred kilometers behind the Berlin Wall, there is another symbol.  In the center of Warsaw, there is a sign that notes the distances to two capitals.  In one direction it points toward Moscow.  In the other it points toward Brussels, headquarters of Western Europe’s tangible unity.  The marker says that the distances from Warsaw to Moscow and Warsaw to Brussels are equal.  The sign makes this point: Poland is not East or West.  Poland is at the center of European civilization.  It has contributed mightily to that civilization.  It is doing so today by being magnificently unreconciled to oppression.

    Poland’s struggle to be Poland and to secure the basic rights we often take for granted demonstrates why we dare not take those rights for granted.  Gladstone, defending the Reform Bill of 1866, declared, “You cannot fight against the future.  Time is on our side.”  It was easier to believe in the march of democracy in Gladstone’s day – in that high noon of Victorian optimism.

    We’re approaching the end of a bloody century plagued by a terrible political invention – totalitarianism.  Optimism comes less easily today, not because democracy is less vigorous, but because democracy’s enemies have refined their instruments of repression.  Yet optimism is in order, because day by day democracy is proving itself to be a not-at-all-fragile flower.  From Stettin on the Baltic to Varna on the Black Sea, the regimes planted by totalitarianism have had more than 30 years to establish their legitimacy.  But none – not one regime – has yet been able to risk free elections.  Regimes planted by bayonets do not take root.

    The strength of the Solidarity movement in Poland demonstrates the truth told in an underground joke in the Soviet Union.  It is that the Soviet Union would remain a one-party nation even if an opposition party were permitted, because everyone would join the opposition party.  America’s time as a player on the stage of world history has been brief.  I think understanding this fact has always made you patient with your younger cousins – well, not always patient.  I do recall that on one occasion, Sir Winston Churchill said in exasperation about one of our most distinguished diplomats:   “He is the only case I know of a bull who carries his china shop with him.”

    But witty as Sir Winston was, he also had that special attribute of great statesmen – the gift of vision, the willingness to see the future based on the experience of the past.  It is this sense of history, this understanding of the past that I want to talk with you about today, for it is in remembering what we share of the past that our two nations can make common cause for the future.

    Source : www.iri.org

    Democracy in Retreat

    Freedom in the World 2019

    Democracy in Retreat

    In 2018, Freedom in the World recorded the 13th consecutive year of decline in global freedom. The reversal has spanned a variety of countries in every region, from long-standing democracies like the United States to consolidated authoritarian regimes like China and Russia. The overall losses are still shallow compared with the gains of the late 20th century, but the pattern is consistent and ominous. Democracy is in retreat.

    In states that were already authoritarian, earning Not Free designations from Freedom House, governments have increasingly shed the thin façade of democratic practice that they established in previous decades, when international incentives and pressure for reform were stronger. More authoritarian powers are now banning opposition groups or jailing their leaders, dispensing with term limits, and tightening the screws on any independent media that remain. Meanwhile, many countries that democratized after the end of the Cold War have regressed in the face of rampant corruption, antiliberal populist movements, and breakdowns in the rule of law. Most troublingly, even long-standing democracies have been shaken by populist political forces that reject basic principles like the separation of powers and target minorities for discriminatory treatment.

    Some light shined through these gathering clouds in 2018. Surprising improvements in individual countries—including Malaysia, Armenia, Ethiopia, Angola, and Ecuador—show that democracy has enduring appeal as a means of holding leaders accountable and creating the conditions for a better life. Even in the countries of Europe and North America where democratic institutions are under pressure, dynamic civic movements for justice and inclusion continue to build on the achievements of their predecessors, expanding the scope of what citizens can and should expect from democracy. The promise of democracy remains real and powerful. Not only defending it but broadening its reach is one of the great causes of our time.

    Myanmar Rohingya refugee women shout slogans as they protest against the repatriation program at the Unchiprang Rohingya refugee camp. Photo credit: K M Asad/LightRocket via Getty Images.

    The Wave of Democratization Rolls Back

    The end of the Cold War accelerated a dramatic wave of democratization that began as early as the 1970s. The fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989 and the Soviet Union’s collapse in 1991 cleared the way for the formation or restoration of liberal democratic institutions not only in Eastern Europe, but also in the Americas, sub-Saharan Africa, and Asia. Between 1988 and 2005, the percentage of countries ranked Not Free in Freedom in the World dropped by almost 14 points (from 37 to 23 percent), while the share of Free countries grew (from 36 to 46 percent). This surge of progress has now begun to roll back. Between 2005 and 2018, the share of Not Free countries rose to 26 percent, while the share of Free countries declined to 44 percent.

    The reversals may be a result of the euphoric expansion of the 1990s and early 2000s. As that momentum has worn off, many countries have struggled to accommodate the political swings and contentious debates intrinsic to democracy. Rapidly erected democratic institutions have come under sustained attack in nations that remain economically fragile or are still riven by deep-seated class or ethnic conflicts. Of the 23 countries that suffered a negative status change over the past 13 years (moving from Free to Partly Free, or Partly Free to Not Free), almost two-thirds (61 percent) had earned a positive status change after 1988. For example, Hungary, which became Free in 1990, fell back to Partly Free this year after five consecutive years of decline and 13 years without improvement.

    An Ebb Tide in Established Democracies

    With the post–Cold War transition period now over, another shift in the global order is challenging long-standing democracies, from within and without. A crisis of confidence in these societies has intensified, with many citizens expressing doubts that democracy still serves their interests. Of the 41 countries that were consistently ranked Free from 1985 to 2005, 22 have registered net score declines in the last five years.

    The crisis is linked to a changing balance of power at the global level. The share of international power held by highly industrialized democracies is dwindling as the clout of China, India, and other newly industrialized economies increases. China’s rise is the most stunning, with GDP per capita increasing by 16 times from 1990 to 2017. The shift has been driven by a new phase of globalization that unlocked enormous wealth around the world. The distribution of benefits has been highly uneven, however, with most accruing to either the wealthiest on a global scale or to workers in industrializing countries. Low- and medium-skilled workers in long-industrialized democracies have gained relatively little from the expansion, as stable, well-paying jobs have been lost to a combination of foreign competition and technological change.

    Source : freedomhouse.org

    Democratic legitimacy: Is there a legitimacy crisis in contemporary politics? on JSTOR

    Hanspeter Kriesi, Democratic legitimacy: Is there a legitimacy crisis in contemporary politics?, Politische Vierteljahresschrift, Vol. 54, No. 4 (2013), pp. 609-638

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    JOURNAL ARTICLE Hanspeter Kriesi

    Politische Vierteljahresschrift

    Vol. 54, No. 4 (2013), pp. 609-638 (30 pages)

    Published By: Springer


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    Against the background of a renewed debate about democratic legitimacy, this essay discusses its conceptualization, its development over time and space, as well as its driving forces. The conceptual discussion leads to a typology of four distinct bases of democratic legitimacy. Tracing their empirical scope and depth shows that democratic values are developing world-wide - even in non-democracies, but that they are often shallow and badly understood. For established democracies, the empirical trends are not so much indicative of a continuous erosion of democratic legitimacy, but more compatible with equilibrium models that allow for performance-driven short- or medium term fluctuations of democratic legitimacy around stable equilibrium levels. These levels, in turn, are shifting as a function of long-term cultural trends and exogenous economic shocks like the current economic crisis. Vor dem Hintergrund einer erneuten Debatte zur demokratischen Legitimität diskutiert dieses Essay ihre Konzeptualisierung, zeitliche und räumliche Entwicklung, sowie die sie antreibenden Kräfte. Die konzeptuelle Diskussion mündet in eine Typologie, welche vier Formen demokratischer Legitimität unterscheidet. Die Diskussion der empirischen Reichweite und Tiefe dieser Typen zeigt, dass demokratische Werte sich weltweit verbreiten – sogar in Nicht-Demokratien, dass sie aber oft oberflächlichen Charakter haben und schlecht verstanden werden. In etablierten Demokratien verweisen die empirischen Trends weniger auf eine kontinuierliche Erosion der demokratischen Legitimität, sondern sind eher vereinbar mit Gleichgewichtsmodellen, denen zufolge die demokratische Legitimität aufgrund von Effizienzkriterien kurz- bis mittelfristig um stabile Gleichgewichtsniveaus herum variiert. Diese Niveaus bewegen sich ihrerseits langfristig aufgrund von kulturellen Trends und exogenen wirtschaftlichen Erschütterungen wie der aktuellen Wirtschaftskrise.

    The Politische Vierteljahresschrift (PVS) has been published since 1960 by the executive and advisory board of the German Association for Political Science (DVPW). The journal provides space for recent research findings from all sub-areas of political science. It therefore contains papers on political theory and the history of ideas; on comparative governance and politics; the domains of policy analysis, international relations and foreign policy; on political sociology; and papers in the areas of empirical social research and methodology.

    Springer is one of the leading international scientific publishing companies, publishing over 1,200 journals and more than 3,000 new books annually, covering a wide range of subjects including biomedicine and the life sciences, clinical medicine, physics, engineering, mathematics, computer sciences, and economics.

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    Politische Vierteljahresschrift © 2013 Springer

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    Source : www.jstor.org

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