chapter  4
19 Pages

The Vulnerable Frontiers of New Democracies: State, Society, Poverty and Development

WithRobert Pinkney

This chapter examines what sort of political order is being sought in the new democracies. The new democracies became democratic after 1945, and have often experienced interludes of authoritarian rule. In constitutional terms, the political structures of the new democracies are not radically different from those of the old. Many new democracies had armed themselves with powers of censorship and detention without trial, but had been under pressure from the West to show greater respect for civil liberties. The conflicting currents of global forces provide both threats and opportunities for ruling politicians who want to use democracy without being used by it. Corruption in new democracies is difficult to criticise when Western political parties receive ever-larger corporate donations. The frontiers of new democracies remain vulnerable to forces as varied as poverty and consumerism; globalisation and parochial indifference; weak bureaucracies and undisciplined armies.