The Fragility of Democracy

  • Fred Halliday


Alongside war and inequality, the third of the great challenges facing the world at 2000 is that of extending, but also consolidating, democracy. Democratic states not only fulfil desirable political goals, and protect rights, they may also bring wealth and security. Fukuyama and others have claimed that democracy is the highest, implicitly final, stage of political development, and the one that is most compatible with other goals, notably economic growth. The fate of democracy is also of great import for any survey of international relations because of its close relation to peace. The intuition of Immanuel Kant at the end of the eighteenth century, that a peaceful international order could be founded through the co-operation of constitutional states, has now become a more proximate possibility.1


Political Development Political Order Democratic State Gated Community Electoral Politics 
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  1. 2.
    Samuel Huntington, The Third World. Democratization in the Late Twentieth Century (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1993).Google Scholar
  2. 4.
    John Rawls, The Law of Peoples (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1999).Google Scholar
  3. 5.
    Jack Snyder, From Voting to Violence. Democratization and Nationalist Conflict (London: W.W. Norton, 2000).Google Scholar
  4. 7.
    On falling trust in political institutions and decline in political participation, Susan Pharr and Robert Putnam (eds) Disaffected Democracies (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2000).Google Scholar
  5. 10.
    Robert Cooper, The Postmodern State and World Order, 2nd edn (London: Demos and the Foreign Policy Centre, 2000).Google Scholar

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© Fred Halliday 2001

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  • Fred Halliday

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