western style democracy cannot flourish when human rights are being violated

Topics: Human rights, Democracy, United Nations Pages: 10 (4089 words) Published: March 11, 2014
By focusing on the characteristics of democracy and also highlighting specific human right violations in certain areas of the world, this paper attempts to show why a Western style Democracy cannot flourish when human rights are being violated. In order to know why a Western style Democracy works for some countries and not others, I will be comparing and contrasting the democratic systems between countries. During the course of this paper, I shall use certain key terms like “Western-style democracy” and “human rights”. This is why I feel the need to define these terms. For the purpose of this paper, “Western-style democracy” will refer to a form of representative democracy, in which the law requires those in power to protect individual rights. Some of these rights include the right to equality, liberty, free speech and other fundamental rights. This however brings us to the definition of “human rights”. “Human rights” are a set of rights that apply equally to all individuals by virtue of their existence and such rights are to be observed regardless of where the individual may find his or herself. By the definition of “Western style Democracy”, we see that human rights are intertwined with this style of government, and thus it is impossible to have this form of democracy when these rights are being violated. Western style democracy also entails that power be separated into different branches, and also free and fair elections be held (Varol, 2012). Certain developing countries claim to be practicing western democracy, but they do so at the surface level. This means they are only concerned about having a system of government in which the majority rules. By this, I mean they do not go beyond elections to consider what a true democracy should look like. Consequently, as mentioned in lecture, certain aspects of democracy such as the link between democracy, and equality are left out, tampering with some fundamental rights. If these countries claim to be democratic, but yet do not conform to certain aspects of what a democratic society should look like, then we cannot refer to them as a real democratic society. One of the questions that will be explored in this paper is “If we cannot refer to them as a real democratic society, then what do we call them? Another question that will be explored is whether or not the abuse of human rights can be prevented in these countries. This paper will argue that human right violations occur because decision makers often weigh the costs and benefits of violating human rights before violating them intentionally (Goodhart, 78). It will also argue that human rights violations could occur due to other issues, including political, and religious issues. In order to develop my argument in this paper, I will be comparing the democratic system of countries that practice western democracy to the Democratic systems in other parts of the world [Africa, Latin America, and Asia]. I will do this in order to relay the social differences between the democracies that make Western-style Democracy unable to flourish in these countries. For clarification purposes, it is important to note that human right abuses could occur due to various reasons. The government may be incapable of providing their citizens with the kind of help they need, and this may lead to their rights being violated. This however shows that not all countries where human rights are violated are corrupt, as we tend to believe. Also, human right violations can take on different forms such as torture, extra-judicial killings, political imprisonment, and disappearances (Goodhart, 78). Extra-judicial killings are human rights violations that occur in countries like Burma for example, where prisoners are usually taken to an unknown location, then mysteriously disappear (Amnesty, 1988). To begin, most African and Latin American countries are dominated by corruption, which makes it hard for western democracy to flourish. Western democracy has a system...
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