Section B) Global governance and international organizations
Piccone Ted |
Five Rising Democracies and the Fate of the International Liberal Order
Ed. Brookings Institution Press , Washington, DC , 2016
|The spread of democracy and human rights over the last three decades has dramatically changed the international landscape. In 1989, just over 2 billion people lived in one of the 69 countries considered an electoral democracy. Today, those numbers have almost doubled, with more than 4 billion people living in one of the world’s 125 democracies. Political reforms in places like the Philippines, Chile, Poland, South Korea, and Mexico have captured the world’s attention and inspired renewed hope for an international liberal order founded on democracy, peace and development.
More recently, however, shifting power balances are shaking the foundations of the international liberal order and disrupting movements toward democracy and human rights. Established democracies are falling victim to apathy, polarization, and rising nationalism, while others are either at a plateau or backsliding on their path to liberal democracy. International cooperation to protect and expand the hard-won gains of the post-Cold War years is faltering as China, Russia and other authoritarian states defend their illiberal paths to development.
In a new book, Five Rising Democracies and the Fate of the International Liberal Order, Brookings Senior Fellow Ted Piccone examines how five pivotal countries—India, Brazil, South Africa, Turkey, and Indonesia—can play a critical role as both examples and supporters of liberal ideas and practices.
These rising stars, according to Piccone, stand out for their shift from authoritarian governments to more open and representative systems; for their impressive progress in delivering better standards of living for their citizens; and for the significant diversity of their populations. Their embrace of globalization and liberal norms has directly, and positively, affected their own trajectories both economically and politically.
The transitions of these five democracies, which represent 25 percent of the world’s population, offer important examples of the compatibility of political liberties, economic growth, and human development. However, their foreign policies have not caught up to these trends, swinging unpredictably between interest-based strategic autonomy and an erratic concern for democratic progress and human rights. In a multipolar world, the fate of the international human rights and democracy order depends on how they reconcile these tendencies.
Filled with a data-rich analysis of recent progress—and setbacks—experienced by these five countries, along with practical recommendations for building a North-South consensus on human rights and democracy, Five Rising Democracies and the Fate of the International Liberal Order is an important book for understanding the links between democracy and foreign policy, and how these important countries will affect the future of the international liberal order.