Promoting democracy is not a new phenomenon to many countries. Developed democracies all over the world appreciate the significance of promoting democracy because of its importance in developing foreign policies. Moreover, democracy is much related to politics because it is linked to authority and legitimacy in the world of politics. Politics are linked to international conflicts by global governance and global civil society address issues. More so, the democratic level of the decision-making process within international organizations determines the relationship between democracy and politics (Ribeiro-Hoffmann). The issue of promoting democracy on the international level has not been taken seriously by many countries. For many years, countries have devoted their organizations and resources into promoting democracy. The political environment created by some leaders lead to uncertainties questioning the role of supporting democracy to performance, and future stability of the nation. The realities of the political marketplace will determine the future of democracy promotion in international relations (Burnell 1). The following paper explains how nations should promote democracy in international relations.
The relationship between democracy and international relations
Democracy and international relations have a strong relationship. Currently, democracy and commitment to fulfilling all values of democracy forms one of the most challenging commitments for most countries. The issue of the nation committing its activities to the international systems forms a very complex decision that requires approval from the public. The public plays a major role towards policy development aimed at encouraging international relations. In addition, the ability of the country to commit its operations to promoting democracy in the international relations acts as a centre for international institutionalization. International relations practiced by the nation cannot succeed with absence of democracy. It occurs because international interactions determine the ability of the country to commit itself to a democratic perspective. Democracy also enhances the strength of international relations and commitments, making the nation termed a democratic state (Gaubatz 110-113).
On the other hand, foreign policy makers aim at promoting democracy in other countries. After the World War II, a new format of promoting democracy was established that aimed at restructuring world politics. Nations across the world developed a common goal that encouraged development of democracy in order to improve their international interactions (Esnia 1). Presence of effective international relations acts as a major contributor to promoting and encouraging democracy in different nations across the world. As Lagon claimed, countries should encourage promoting democracy because it plays a significant role in improving the international relationship among different nations, and helps in promoting global trade. In United States, promoting democracy acts as the means of building support for strategic policies. The spread of democracy across international relations encourages more peace, pluralism, and prosperity (Lagon).
How to promote democracy in the international relations
Promoting democracy started the long time even before the establishment of present forms of governance used by many countries. The former United States President developed an urge to spread freedom to Iraq and other countries around the world in order to end fight, and increase prosperity among poor nations. U.S. has been fighting for a democratic world since World War II. The United States of America continues to press for promotion of democracy among its citizens, but the political nature of the country hinders fast implementation of foreign policies that accelerate the process. In addition, leaders view promoting democracy as an important component of encouraging foreign policies. In addition, Bush administration encouraged democracy because it acted as a means of combating terrorism and promoting peace. Bush focused on promoting democracy among international relations in order to end “war on terrorism” and promote national security (Epsitein, Serafino and Miko 1-2). After analyzing reasons why nations should promote democracy, determining methods that help nations promote democracy in international relations forms the most crucial aspect.
Nations can use different methods to promote democracy in the international relations as explained. Firstly, political analysts have developed theories that explain the relationship between democracies, politics, and international relations. Proper understanding of these theories helps nations promote democracy within their territories and outside borders. The most known theory that would play a major role in promoting democracy is a democratic peace. The theory claims that democracies should not fight over democracies. Past leaders of many western countries such as Thatcher and Bush developed policies that governed their politicians to demonstrate high levels of democracy. These policies were guided by the fact that democracy promotes peace among democratic nations while non-democracies have no peace. According to Acharya, a country that promotes democracy encourages developmental practices such as competition, diversity, peace, and settlement of disputes that help in maintaining peace and prosperity with other states. The Democratic peace theory, therefore, acts as one of the best methods of promoting democracy in international relations (Acharya 6).
On the other hand, promoting democracy in the international relations would be done by adapting the theory of External Democracy Promotion. The theory, better explained by Smith, aims at developing strategies for democratic foreign policies that ensure democratic promotion in the international relations. Smith used the international democratic theory to make politicians understand the interrelationship between democracy, international systems, and democratization (Smith 1). Utilization of this theory allows modification of democratic perspectives that help in yielding a conception of democratic promotion as a means of supporting power interests. The government stands a better chance of developing foreign policies that ensures effective understanding between nations across the world, hence promoting democracy. In addition, foreign policies restrict people who go against democracy, for example, power greedy politicians, who must follow the rule of the land otherwise, face the full force of the law.
Non-government organizations like the United Nations (UN) focus on promoting democracy as their core business value. They incorporate freely expressed will of the citizens and follow the rule of law in promoting democracies across nations all over the world. According to UN rules, democracy is practiced when human rights and critical freedoms are respected, fulfilled and promoted ensuring a dignified life. More so, United Nations claims that people of the nation play very major role in promoting democracy. In addition, leaders should practice democratic governance that implements social and economic policies aimed at improving the livelihood of citizens. Government should first ensure the security and satisfaction of its citizens through strengthening homeland security and eradicating poverty respectively. The process creates and sustains an environment for responsible political processes and allows good international relations (UN).
UN explains different forms of supporting democracy in the international relations. The first recommendation aims at assisting government structures and other unstable bodies of the government, like the parliament, enhance balances and checks that promote the practice of democracy. The type of governance present in the country determines the democratic level of that nation. Centralizing local government structures helps in promoting democracy through enhancing mutual understanding among political leaders and the general public. In addition, a stable parliament with all members working together promotes democracy. The practice also ensures all foreign policies that ensure peace and security of the people are passed and implemented.
The second UN recommendation argues that promoting human rights and ensuring access to justice through strengthening judiciary systems help improve international relations. The American and European policy agendas focus on human rights and democracy promotion. Different democracies regional and international organizations join hands in ensuring implementation of foreign policy agendas. Human rights form one of the central issues of world politics, an issue that generates a lot of debate on international settings. The recommendation claims that ensuring diversification of human rights by increasing the number of policy-players forms the best strategies of promoting democracy in the country. Moreover, diversification ensures changes in society, state, and the government allowing good interstate interaction and promoting peace among democratic states (Transworld 4). It goes without saying that countries that invite UN activities promotes democracy in the international relations. Examples of such activities include United Nations Development Program (UNEP), Department of Peace Keeping Operation (DPKO), Department of Political Affairs (DPA), and United Nations Democracy Fund (UNDEF).
Fighting terror acts as another important strategy of promoting democracy in the international relations. Terrorism act has affected many nations worldwide, and the situation is not getting any better as more terrorist groups get recruited every day. Presence of terrorism acts in the country leads to insecurity that interferes with international relations among different states. Former U.S. President George Bush did a commendable job on the war against terrorist. The fight against terrorist interferes with a nation’s move towards democracy. One method of coping with terrorism is through implementation of policies aimed at preventing any terrorism act and governments working together. U.S. managed to fight terrorism and promote democracy in the international relations through numerous campaigns in the Middle East urging them to stop terrorizing U.S. citizens (Carothers 2). Other nations globally the world can also implement U.S. recommendations and promote democracy.
Finally, nations could promote democracy in the international relations by working together in eliminating barriers to intergovernmental relationships. Developing countries face the greatest challenge of democracy because of frequent violence caused by political instability. The country like Burkina Faso, currently at political war would never have a taste of democracy in the near future unless political leaders and the public work together to promote peace. Other nations like Niger, Cambodia, and Laos that are constantly at civil war practice excessive abuse of human rights (Rotberg 19). Intervention by other stable states like U.S. and NGOs would help promote peace in these nations and enjoy democratic governance that promotes foreign relations.
Promoting democracy and international relations is the effort of a nation with the assistance of other states. The discussion reveals that the democracy is relatively related to international relations. Moreover, various methods have been established that promotes democracy. These include implementing democratic peace and external democracy promotion theories. On the other hand, the paper recommends that nations invite activities of donor organizations like UN whose core values is democracy, human rights and justice for all. Terrorism also acts as a barrier to promotion of democracy in the international relations. Nations should focus on practices that promote democracy in order to develop good international relations.
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