By 2000 Freedom House, an American think-tank, classified 120 countries, or 63% of the world total, as democracies.
Representatives of more than 100 countries gathered at the World Forum on Democracy in Warsaw that year to proclaim that “the will of the people” was “the basis of the authority of government”.
A report issued by America’s State Department declared that having seen off “failed experiments” with authoritarian and totalitarian forms of government, “it seems that now, at long last, democracy is triumphant.”Such hubris was surely understandable after such a run of successes.
But stand farther back and the triumph of democracy looks rather less inevitable.
Their placards called for closer relations with the European Union (EU), an end to Russian intervention in Ukraine’s politics and the establishment of a clean government to replace the kleptocracy of President Viktor Yanukovych. Democracies are on average richer than non-democracies, are less likely to go to war and have a better record of fighting corruption.
But their fundamental demand is one that has motivated people over many decades to take a stand against corrupt, abusive and autocratic governments. More fundamentally, democracy lets people speak their minds and shape their own and their children’s futures.
The world applauds the collapse of the regime and offers to help build a democracy.
But turfing out an autocrat turns out to be much easier than setting up a viable democratic government.
Student success is a controversial issue without any controversy.
Not everyone realizes that every individual has different ideals for success.