Democracy: Only Game in Town

With the Cold War over, democracy became the only game in town. But the ‘war’ against terror made allies of authoritarian states, especially in Asia. Now democracy is said to be part of the answer for the Middle East, but is it really for export?

The World Today
Published 1 August 2003 Updated 21 October 2020 6 minute READ

Anita Inder Singh

The problems of democratisation, especially in central and south Asia, assumed a new international significance in the aftermath of September 11 2001. The terrorist attacks on New York and Washington threatened democratic values worldwide. Democracy is based first and foremost on the principles of intellectual and political choice, the legitimacy of governments, freedom of speech and association, equality before the law and dialogue.

The attacks originated in an Asian country – Afghanistan, whose extremist Taliban government was sustained by the neighbouring authoritarian state of Pakistan.

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