Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 57

Democracy Related Abstracts

57 Impact of Grassroot Democracy on Rural Development of Villages in the State of Haryana

Authors: Minakshi Jain, Sachin Yadav

Abstract:

Gram Panchayat is the smallest unit of Democracy in India. Grassroots Democracy has been further strengthened by implementation of the 73rd Constitutional Amendment act (CAA) in 1992. To analyse the impact of grassroots democracy the three villages are selected, which have the representation of each section of the society. The selected villages belongs to the same block and district of Haryana state. Villages are selected to access the marginalized group such as women and other backward class. These groups are isolated and do not participate in the grassroots level development process. The caste continue to be a relevant factor in determining the rural leadership. The earlier models of Panchayati Raj failed to benefit the marginalized groups of the society. The 73rd CAA, advocates a uniform three tier system of Panchayat at District level (Zilla Panchayat), Taluka/Block level (Block Panchayat), and village level (Gram Panchayat). The socio-economic profile of representatives in each village is important factor in rural development. The study will highlight the socio-economic profile of elected members at gram Panchayat level, Block Level and District level. The analysis reveals that there is a need to educate and develop the capacity and capability of the elected representative. Training must be imparted to all of them to enable them to function as per provision in the act. The paper will analyse the impact of act on rural development than propose some measures to further strengthen the Panchayati Raj Institution (PRI’s) at grassroots level.

Keywords: Democracy, Function, Rural development, marginalized people

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56 Alternation of Executive Power and Democratic Governance in Nigeria: The Role of Independent National Electoral Commission, 1999-2014

Authors: J. Tochukwu Omenma

Abstract:

Buzzword in Nigeria is that democracy has “come to stay”. Politicians in their usual euphoria consider democracy as already consolidated in the country. Politicians linked this assumption to three fundamental indicators – (a) multiparty system; (b) regular elections and (c) absence of military coup after 15 years of democracy in Nigeria. Beyond this assumption, we intend to empirically verify these claims and assumptions, by relying on Huntington’s conceptualization of democratic consolidation. Though, Huntington asserts that multipartism, regular elections and absence of any major obstacle leading to reversal of democracy are significant indicators of democratic consolidation, but the presence of those indicators must result to alternation of executive power for democratic consolidation to occur. In other words, regular conduct of election and existence of multiple political parties are not enough for democratic consolidation, rather free and fair elections. Past elections were characterized of massive fraud and irregularities casting doubts on integrity of electoral management body (EMB) to conduct free and fair elections in Nigeria. There are three existing perspectives that have offered responses to the emasculation of independence of EMB. One is a more popular position indicating that the incumbent party, more than the opposition party, influence the EMB activities with the aim of rigging elections; the other is a more radical perspective that suggests that weakening of EMB power is more associated with the weakest party than with the incumbent; and the last, is that godfather(s) are in direct control of EMB members thereby controlling the process of electoral process to the advantage of the godfather(s). With empirical evidence sourced from the reports of independent election monitors, (European Union, Election Observation Mission in Nigeria) this paper shows at different electoral periods that, in terms of influencing election outcomes, the incumbent and godfather have been more associated with influencing election results than the opposition. The existing nature of executive power in Nigeria provides a plausible explanation for the incumbent’s overbearing influence thereby limiting opportunity for free and fair elections and by extension undermining the process of democratic consolidation in Nigeria.

Keywords: Democracy, Political Party, democratic consolidation, election, godfatherism

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55 Shia School of Thought and the Experience of Political Order in Contemporary Era

Authors: Abdulvahab Forati

Abstract:

Religious intellectualism is the only stream of consciousness in Iran that its religious theories formed Democracy. The theory of Religious intellectualism was utilized in Constitutional Revolution and Islamic Revolution. To instate Democracy in Iran, in compare with West and sunnis, the theory of Religious Intellectualism is being used differently. Unlike Democracy in the west that has started with the concept of Individualism and Natural Rights or in Sunni world that has started with the concept of consultation, it has started in Iran with mima-la-nas-fih (what we don’t have any proof for)or mantaqa-alfiraq-altashri’ (area of vacuum from reason). Shia scholars first acquainted with the concept of Democracy through theories of Sheikh Mortiza Ansari, and later some of his followers, including Akhund-e-khorasani and Mirzaye naeini, regarding Sheikh Ansari’s thoughts, began to analyze its Constitutional system and Democratic elements. But Imam Khomeini, the great founder of Islamic Republic of Iran, with respect to RAKHS (religious permission for having a choice)could make connection between Islam and Democracy. Instead of focusing on Civil contracts, he relied on Sirah Ughala (Tradition) and accepted many of the current conducts, e.g. Democracy and Political Parties and acknowledged the authority (Hujiat) of them even in absence of Infallibles. These two are the most notable experiences of shia political thoughts about Democracy within the last 100 years. In this article, the author tries to explain the second experience in Imam Khomeini’s thoughts and Sirah.

Keywords: Democracy, Political Order, Islamic Revolution, Shia school

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54 Imami Shia and Democracy

Authors: Hamid Reza Shariatmadari

Abstract:

The Muslims who believe in twelve Imams and believe that their twelfth Imam is now hidden, because of their kind of consideration of immune Imam as their unique canonical authority for interpretation of Islam, are subject of these important questions; how can you be democratic? And can you speak of democracy as the best model of governing? Answering this question, we can talk firstly about the nature of democracy and realize it as a way and mechanism not as a philosophy of identity and secondly we can refer to the nature and functions of Imam in Shiism and thirdly we will focus on the age of Ghaybah (Or concealment of Imam). In such a time we can or have to combine domination of Islamic Faqis (Islamic Jurists) and democracy which is known in Shiite Iran for instance as religious democracy.

Keywords: Democracy, Shiism, concealment of Imam, Islamic Jurists

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53 The Philosophical Basis of Democracy: An Islamic Perspective

Authors: Fahimeh Hooshyar, Seyyed Mojtaba Abtahi

Abstract:

Democracy which is, in its greek roots, consisted of “Demo” (People) and “Kratic” (people) is referring to governing of the people or governing by the people. in its widest definition it refers to a common lifestyle in which all the people has the equal potentials for social participating. But in political perspective, democracy is looking for the equal participation right of the citizens in political decision-making process. in this viewpoint, the democracy is solely a political construct or a social-political style in which all the values are relative. In this definition of the democracy emphasis is on equality of the people based on the governing rule and the natural social and political rights of every member of humankind. This notion of democracy by no means is a self reliant idea and the need of an ideological basis for approaching to this idea is inevitable. In this paper we are trying to define the inter-relations of democracy and its philosophical basis to Islamic fundamental ideas. Our approach to this topic would be a philosophical ideological one.

Keywords: Democracy, Islam, Secularism, democracy’s philosophical basis, fundamentalism

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52 Social Media Factor in Security Environment

Authors: Cetin Arslan, Senol Tayan

Abstract:

Social media is one of the most important and effective means of social interaction among people in which they create, share and exchange their ideas via photos, videos or voice messages. Although there are lots of communication tools, social media sites are the most prominent ones that allows the users articulate themselves in a matter of seconds all around the world with almost any expenses and thus, they became very popular and widespread after its emergence. As the usage of social media increases, it becomes an effective instrument in social matters. While it is possible to use social media to emphasize basic human rights and protest some failures of any government as in “Arab Spring”, it is also possible to spread propaganda and misinformation just to cause long lasting insurgency, upheaval, turmoil or disorder as an instrument of intervention to internal affairs and state sovereignty by some hostile groups or countries. It is certain that “social media” has positive effects on democracies letting people have chance to express themselves and to organize, but it is also obvious that the misuse of it, is very common that even a five-minute-long video can cause to wage a campaign against a country. Although it looks anti-democratic, when you consider the catastrophic effects of misuse of social media, it is a kind of area that serious precautions are to be taken without limiting democratic rights while allowing constant and perpetual share but preventing the criminal events. This article begins with the current developments in social media and gives some examples on misuse of it. Second part tries to put emphasize on the legal basis that can prevent criminal activities and the upheavals and insurgencies against state security. Last part makes comparison between democratic countries and international organizations’’ actions against such activities and proposes some further actions that are compatible with democratic norms.

Keywords: Security, Democracy, Social Media, disorder

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51 Islam and Democracy

Authors: Nasrollah Sekhavaty

Abstract:

This topic has many points, one of which could be "the relationship between Islam and democracy". In this paper we discuss the relationship between them. The logic has taught us that there is only one relationship between an object and itself. But if we have two things, there is one of the four relations between them; contradiction, equivalence, absolute generality & peculiarity or generality & peculiarity in some respect. To clarify the relationship between Islam and democracy, at first we must examine the meaning of Islam and Democracy. Islam is a religion which has ideas about politics and governance. The politics in Islam includes both individual and social affairs, to achieve worldly and heavenly blessings. With this assumption, Islam and democracy are not the same, or contrast, nor the absolute generality & peculiarity; but, the relationship between these two concepts is the generality & peculiarity in some respect. Conclusion: If one considers democracy as content, it does not accumulate with Islam which is content. But if democracy means a structure and style of governing, then its content could be Islam.

Keywords: Democracy, Islam, Contradiction, equivalence, absolute generality, generality & peculiarity

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50 Examining the Relevance of Electoral Commission in Fostering Democratic Governance in Nigeria

Authors: Ahmed Usman

Abstract:

This paper attempts to examine the relevance of an Electoral Commission in the democratic process of governance in Nigeria. However, democratic system and governance present a clear indication of responsive and responsible governments. The idea of a government being responsive and responsible is based on the premise of conventional principles of democracy such as freedom of political, economic and social rights of and individual. More so, upholding of the Rule of Law based on the ground of constitutionalism is a clear manifestation of the democratic governance. The burdens of ascertaining theses democratic ethos rely solely on the constituted election management body known as Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) for the case of Nigeria. This body is however, saddled with the responsibility of organizing and conducting periodic regular credible election known as free and fair election. The body also, is expected to be neutral, and independent to ensure fair treatment to all. It is on the basis of this fair treatment that credible leaders emerged. To this end, the paper examines the powers, functions and features of Independent National Electoral Commission. More so, the concepts of election and democracy have been operationalized. It is obvious that electoral process in Nigeria is marred with series of problems of which the paper identified and solutions were proffered towards credible, free and fair elections for sustainable democratic governance. In order to succinctly discuss and analyze the issues at stake, Structural Functional Analysis theory is adopted as a theoretical frame work for the paper.

Keywords: Democracy, Governance, election, electoral commission

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49 The Principles of Democracy and Development: The Political and Philosophical Foundations of Development-Democracy in Africa

Authors: Fadeke Olu-Owolabi, Fayomi Oluyemi

Abstract:

The political and societal orders face the awesome task of overcoming the difficulties which lead to growing tensions and conflicts in Africa. At the core of analysis is the question, how stable and adaptable are established democracies, new democracies, and political and societal actors? The idea of development-democracy as implying the strong linkage between economic development and political democracy appropriately describes the distinguishing characteristic of this new demand for democracy in Africa. The theoretical study examines the political and philosophical foundation of the idea of development-democracy and the arguments presented to support the need for its adoption in Africa today. This paper critically examines the polemic between the advocates of developmental dictatorship and developmental-democracy and argues for the adoption of the latter in Africa. The paper sets out to expose for the political and philosophical foundation of developmental democracy maintaining that only democracy can facilitate development. This argument is supported further by the claim that both democracy and development are two sides of the same coin in the sense that the two are both ethical concepts. The paper also maintained that the only way by which democracy is worthwhile is when it is developmental. Finally, the paper affirms that since the two concepts of democracy and development are like the Siamese twins then the way out of Africa’s present crisis of development is to wholeheartedly embrace democracy. It posits that when genuine democracy is adopted, genuine and sustainable development can then be attained.

Keywords: Development, Democracy, Principles, polemic

Procedia PDF Downloads 345
48 Democracy and Security Challenge in Nigeria, 1999, Till Date

Authors: Abdulsalami M. Deji

Abstract:

Prolonged military incursion in Nigeria politics which favored the oligarchy brought agitation for democratic rule it exacerbated ethnicity integration of minority for fear of domination. The advent of democracy ushered in new breath of life to Nigerians from the shackle of military oppression to democratic governance. Democratic rule became a mirage as a result of prevalent insecurity in Nigeria; effort to bring lasting peace to all sections of the country had not yielded positive result till date. In the process of struggling for democracy among ethnic groups in Nigeria, they had instituted various militia groups defending the interest of their identity due to unequal distribution of wealth by military junta. When democracy came on board, these various militia groups became demons hunting democratic institutions. Quest by the successful government to find lasting solution has proved abortive. The security of politics which guaranteed stability is not visible in Nigeria, what we have now is politics of security. The unrest in Nigeria today has cripple socio-political and economy of the nation; the growth of economy favored elites without meaningful impact on the common man. This paper focus on the effects of democracy on Nigerians and, how security under democratic rule has hindered dividends of democracy since 1999-till date and way forward. The source is strictly base on secondary source from textbook, newspapers, internet, and journals.

Keywords: Security, Democracy, interest, militia

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47 Independence of the Judiciary in South Africa: An Assessment After Twenty Years of Democracy

Authors: Serges Djoyou Kamga, Gerard Emmanuel Kamdem Kamga

Abstract:

Any serious constitutionalism entails a system of government characterised by the separation of powers between the executive, the legislature, and the judiciary. The latter is generally in charge of upholding the rule of law and the respect for human rights which are vital for the functioning of any democracy. Therefore, for the judiciary to play its role as a watchdog, it should be independent from other branches of government. The aim of this paper is to examine the independence of the judiciary in South Africa after 20 of democracy. Defining judicial independence as the courts’ ability ‘to decide cases on the basis of established law and the merits of the case, without interference from other political or governmental agents’, the paper examines the extent to which the South African judiciary is independent after twenty years of democracy. As part of assessing the independence of the judiciary, the paper begins by looking at the situation during apartheid, then proceeds with an examination of the post-apartheid legal order. It also examines the institutional independence of the judiciary by looking into its day to day activities which revolve around its self-governance, or administrative and financial independence. In addition, the paper assesses the judges’ individual independence by examining whether judicial appointment, security of tenure, judges’ remuneration and disciplinary actions and the removal of judges from office do not contain loopholes that can hinder judicial independence. Ultimately, the chapter argues that although the South African model of judicial independence is yet to be perfect, it is a good practice that can be emulated by other African countries.

Keywords: Democracy, Separation of Powers, South Africa, judical independence

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46 The Principles of Democracy and Development: The Political and Philosophical Foundations of Development-Development in Africa

Authors: Fayomi Oluyemi, Fadeke E. Olu-Owolabi

Abstract:

The political and societal orders face the awesome task of overcoming the difficulties which lead to growing tensions and conflicts in Africa. At the core of analysis is the question, how stable and adaptable are established democracies, new democracies, and political and societal actors? The idea of development-democracy as implying the strong linkage between economic development and political democracy appropriately describes the distinguishing characteristic of this new demand for democracy in Africa. The theoretical study examines the political and philosophical foundation of the idea of development-democracy and the arguments presented to support the need for its adoption in Africa today. This paper critically examines the polemic between the advocates of developmental dictatorship and developmental-democracy and argues for the adoption of the latter in Africa. The paper sets out to expose for the political and philosophical foundation of developmental democracy maintaining that only democracy can facilitate development. This argument is supported further by the claim that both democracy and development are two sides of the same coin in the sense that the two are both ethical concepts. The paper also maintained that the only way by which democracy is worthwhile is when it is developmental. Finally the paper affirms that since the two concepts of democracy and development are like the Siamese twins then the way out of Africa’s present crisis of development is to wholeheartedly embrace democracy. It posits that when genuine democracy is adopted, genuine and sustainable development can then be attained.

Keywords: Development, Democracy, Principles, polemic

Procedia PDF Downloads 267
45 Arabic Fables in Contemporary Garbs: Ahmed Shawqī’s Reconstruction of Fables in the Modern Era

Authors: Monia Hejaiej

Abstract:

The fable has lent itself to memorable imitations and reinventions. The writing of fables, in prose and verse, was widely cultivated not only in pre-Islamic Arabia but also in the middle ages, reaching its culmination with the Egyptian poet and man of letters Ahmad Shawqī (1989-1932), who revived the ancient tradition, a relatively minor and unexploited genre in the modern era, and re-wrote rimed fables with an Arab Islamic flavor, articulating a set of modern ethico-political concepts and sensibilities such as a belief in good judgment in governance, individual liberty, democracy, a sense of the brotherhood of man and justice. This essay aims to restore the 20th Century poet to his rightful place in the international pantheon of literary achievement, and offers an examination of the Arabian fabulist tradition as it appears in Arabic literature, and a treatment of this genre re-visiting a few representative samples of Ahmad Shawqī collection of fables and their implications for contemporary politics in the Middle East.

Keywords: Democracy, ethics of care, fable, politcs, governace

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44 The Relationship between Democracy, Freedom and Economic Development

Authors: Hasan Bulent Kantarcı, Ugur Karakaya

Abstract:

In this study, firstly democratic thoughts which directly or indirectly affect economic development and/or the interaction between authoritarian regimes and the economic development and the direction and channels of this interaction were studied and then the study tried to determine how democracy affects economic development. It was concluded that the positive contributions of democracy to economic development were more determinant than the effects that were either negative or restrictive in terms of development. When compared to autocracy, since democracy is more successful in managing social conflicts, ensuring political stability and preventing social disasters such as famine, it contributes more to economic development. Democracy also facilitates delegation of authority, provides a stable investment environment and accelerates mobilization of resources in accordance with economic growth/development. Democracy leads to an increase in human capital accumulation and increases the growth rate through reducing income inequality. It can be said that democratic regimes are the most appropriate ones in terms of increasing economic performance and supporting economic development through their strong institutional structures and the assurance they will ensure in property rights.

Keywords: Democracy, Economic growth, Economic freedom, autocratic regime

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43 Nepal Himalaya: Status of Women, Politics, and Administration

Authors: Tulasi Acharya

Abstract:

The paper is a qualitative analysis of status of women and women in politics and administration in Nepal Himalaya. The paper reviews data of women in civil service and in administrative levels. Looking at the Nepali politics and administration from the social constructivist perspective, the paper highlights some social and cultural issues that have othered women as “second sex.” As the country is heading towards modernity, gender friendly approaches are being instituted. Although the data reflects on the progress on women’s status and on women’s political and administrative participation, the data is not enough to predict the democratic gender practices in political and administrative levels. The political and administrative culture of Nepal Himalaya should be changed by promoting gender practices and deconstructing gender images in administrative culture through representative bureaucracy and by introducing democratic policies.

Keywords: Democracy, Culture, Politics, Women, Administration, Policy, Nepal

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42 Ethnic Militias and Insecurity in Democratic Nigeria

Authors: Adeyemi Kamil Hamzah, Abayomi Nathaniel Oyesikun

Abstract:

Throughout modern history internal strife has burdened Africa most populous nation, Nigeria. The country encompassed more than four hundred ethnic and sub ethnic groups with the different background and identities. This group has not fussed themselves together to emerge as a nation what we have are mere ethnic and religious groups i.e. Hausa/Fulani Igbo Yoruba Ijaw, Ibibio, christian, and Muslim. The source of problematic Nigeria is linked to colonial policy of segmentation, discontent to religion, faith, and ethnicity. The wave of spiral killing among the major ethnic entities with different religious affiliation has brought the process of good governance in the country to its kneel. This paper will place insecurity in Nigeria in context by reviewing the root and rise of ethnic militia. In doing so it will evaluate how the West Africa power house arrive at the point where it is today with all unprecedented unrest from regions that formed Nigeria. Both primary and secondary sources were applied for the quality of this paper. The effects of ethnic militia in realizing and actualizing political stability are equally discussed, recommendations proffered and conclusion given.

Keywords: Democracy, Violence, insecurity, militia, ethnic

Procedia PDF Downloads 188
41 Social Media as a Means of Participation in Democracies

Authors: C. Arslan, K. Yakar

Abstract:

Social media is one of the most important and effective means of social interaction among people in which they create, share and exchange their ideas via photos, videos or voice messages. Although there are lots of communication tools. Social media sites are the most prominent ones that allows the users articulate themselves in a matter of seconds all around the world with almost any expenses and thus, they became very popular and widespread after its emergence. As the usage of social media increases, it becomes an effective instrument in social matters. While it is possible to use social media to emphasize basic human rights and protest some failures of any government as in “Arab Spring”, it is also possible to spread propaganda and misinformation just to cause long lasting insurgency, upheaval, turmoil or disorder as an instrument of intervention to internal affairs and state sovereignty by some hostile groups or countries. It is certain that social media has positive effects on participation in democracies allowing people express themselves freely and limitlessly, but obviously, the misuse of it is very common and it is quite possible that even a five-minute-long video record can topple down a government or give a solid reason to a government to review its policies on some certain areas. As one of the most important and effective means of participation, social media presents some opportunities as well as risks. In this study, the place of social media for participation in democracies will be demonstrated under the light of opportunities and risks.

Keywords: Democracy, Social Media, Participation, Opportunities, risks

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40 Ex (War) Machina: Arab Spring

Authors: Deniz Alca

Abstract:

This research aims to study the themes of autonomy, democracy and the legitimacy of power under the headline of Arab Spring. After the first wave of Arab Spring, among the frequently mentioned ideals of self-recognition, awakening, democracy, autonomy, freedom etc. main concern of the border neighbors and the western governments was to see a “legitimate power.” Although the metaphor of spring was still pointing at emancipation, the principal focus was mostly not on the people but on the governments. So the question of what makes a government legitimate has come to the forefront. However, democracy and freedom, seems to be the main subject matters of the discussions, this rush about establishment of “legitimate governments” lead other countries, to indulge or worse endorse armed oppositionists. So essence of “power” changed from legitimate to rulership. It seems that the civil initiative or autonomy and clearly democracy are still far away from us. The need to a savior is overpowering. This cultural and traditional and almost hereditary miss orientation of the people, both the ones who are playing the role of god and the ones who believed the inevitable need to be freed by someone else, seems to be leading the Arabs to a new autocracy or worse. Middle East is waiting for the ex machina to operate. But what it gets is a spreading warfare. This darkness falling down on Middle East under the concept of spring may be explained by the confrontation of the concepts of emancipation and liberation. So the question is, if the era of emancipation really over or is there still a chance for autonomy and grassroots democracy operating as constituent power?

Keywords: Democracy, legitimacy, Autonomy, Emancipation, Liberation, awakening, civil initiative

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39 Using Support Vector Machines for Measuring Democracy

Authors: Tommy Krieger, Klaus Gruendler

Abstract:

We present a novel approach for measuring democracy, which enables a very detailed and sensitive index. This method is based on Support Vector Machines, a mathematical algorithm for pattern recognition. Our implementation evaluates 188 countries in the period between 1981 and 2011. The Support Vector Machines Democracy Index (SVMDI) is continuously on the 0-1-Interval and robust to variations in the numerical process parameters. The algorithm introduced here can be used for every concept of democracy without additional adjustments, and due to its flexibility it is also a valuable tool for comparison studies.

Keywords: Democracy, Machine Learning, Support Vector Machines, democracy index

Procedia PDF Downloads 190
38 What Defines Acceptable European Values for Georgia

Authors: Tamari Beridze, Maia Kipiani, Natalia Tchanturia, Bella Goderdzishvili, Sophio Beridze, Natia Kuparadze

Abstract:

Europe has concrete examples how small nations can survive and maintain their identity in its area. Values are eternal guides of our life and source of its perfection. European values are universal and relevant for every epoch, society or state. Values, such as personal freedom, human dignity, sovereignty of law, national or cultural identity are universal and eternal. Even superficial review of history of Georgian culture clearly shows that western values, including fundamental human rights. This paper discusses the approach and findings of choice of values in Georgia. Georgia is still quite far away from perfectly established values. Georgia has walked the hardest road till XXI century. Country survived miraculously many times. The study shows that the only way to survive is to strengthen national, traditional values and should not forget global factors. It is clear that for achievement of goals is important European education, legislative and economic reforms, peacefully and democratically develop Georgia.

Keywords: Society, Democracy, Science, Well-being, Human Dignity, economical reforms, European values, sovereignty of law

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37 Interrogating Democracy and Development in Africa: A Case Study of Nigeria

Authors: Yusuf Bala

Abstract:

The last decades of the 20th Centaury witnessed renewed hope about the birth of democracy and development in Africa the interface between democracy and development in Africa has long engaged the sustained interest of scholars and researchers across Africa. The process was actively supported by all segment of society, labour students market women, rural dweller who saw in it, the prospects of reversing the trend of political despair and in disillusionment that hither to characterized political life in Africa. The political tyranny and dictatorship while having it own clientele and beneficiaries had negative and suffocating effect on the majority of the people. The democratic aspiration of the Africa people is not only confined to the Arena of political Democracy of election and granting of civil and political rights, but it involves the demand for economic empowerment better living standards of the people and adequate social welfare indeed, for the majority of the people democracy is meaningful only when it delivers socio-economic goods. However, democracy and development have generated enormous interest no conclusive evidence seems to be shared in Africa. In the course of this research emphasis shall be made on certain issues, such as issues of corruption in democracy in Africa, ethnic conflict and democracy in Africa contribution of women to democratic practice and women participation in political arena, is still very low, democratization process and industrial relation in Africa as factor that hinder the development of Democracy in Africa, a case study of Nigeria.

Keywords: Development, Democracy, Conflict, Ethnicity, Dictatorship

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36 Controlling Youths Participation in Politics in Sokoto State: A Constructive Inclusiveness for Good Governance in Nigeria

Authors: Umar Ubandawaki

Abstract:

Political participation involves voluntary and deliberate efforts by the members of a political system to determine the kinds of political institution and individuals that will govern them and equally influence the mobilization and allocation of the available societal resources. Over the years, youths in Nigeria participated actively in political party rallies and voting to elect their leaders and representatives in governance. This paper examines categories and nature of participation in politics as well as factors that derived youths into politics in Sokoto State. Through the use of qualitative and quantitative data generated from focus group discussions, interviews and questionnaire, the paper find out that youth, in Sokoto State, have been induced in participatory activities that encourage political thuggery and manipulation of electoral outcomes. Moreover, they are neglected in the mobilization and allocation of the available resources of the society i.e they are denied dividends of good governance. The paper recommends that youths should be engaged into positive participatory activities for ensuring inclusiveness and promotion of good governance in Nigeria. It is hoped that this will enlighten youth and policy implementers on the constructive strategies in controlling youth’s participation in politics in Nigeria.

Keywords: Democracy, Governance, inclusivenes, participation and politic

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35 Media Usage, Citizenship Norms, and Political Participation of Transition to Democracy in Indonesia

Authors: Najmuddin Najmuddin

Abstract:

The purpose of this study is to determine whether media usage and change of citizenship norms influence political participation. The focus of this study is to examine citizenship norms in the context of the development of information, and communication technology and how it will impact political participation in the context of Indonesia's transition to democracy. The study use survey method. The main theoretical framework is media and political participation. The results of this study reveal that gender, age and educational background of the respondents did not influence significantly media usage and citizenship norms. The Results also show that educational background is not a factor that distinguishes media usage but it becomes differentiating factor in citizenship norms. The results further show that the media usage has a significant correlation with citizenship norms and citizenship norms has a significant relationship with political participation. In addition, media usage and citizenship norms impact significantly to political participation. The sub-dimensions of citizenship norms (compliance, duty, and engaged citizen) provides a significant contribution to the sub-dimensions of political participation (traditional political participation, modern political participation, civic political participation). Based on the findings it can be concluded that the political euphoria in the era of transition to democracy has changed pattern media usage and citizenship norms of among the young generation.

Keywords: Democracy, Media, Political, Participation, Citizenship, norms

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34 Social Media: The Major Trigger of Online and Offline Political Activism

Authors: Tang Mui Joo, Chan Eang Teng

Abstract:

With the viral factor on social media, the sense of persuasion is generated by repetition and popularity. When users’ interest is captured, political awareness increases to spark political enthusiasm, but, the level of user’s political participation and political attitude of those active users is still questionable. An online survey on 250 youth and in-depth interview on two politicians are conducted to answer the main question in this paper. The result shows that Facebook significantly increases political awareness among youths. Social media may not be the major trigger to political activism among youths as most respondents opined that they would still vote without Facebook. Other factors could be political campaigning, political climate, age, peer pressure or others. Finding also shows that majority of respondents did not participate in online political debates or political groups. Many also wondered if the social media was the main power switch that triggers the political influx among young voters. The research finding is significant to understand how the new media, Facebook, has reshaped the political landscape in Malaysia, creating the Social Media Election that changed the rules of the political game. However, research finding does not support the ideal notion that the social media is the major trigger to youth’s political activism. This research outcome has exposed the flaws of the Social Media Election. It has revealed the less optimistic side of youth political activism. Unfortunately, results fall short of the idealistic belief that the social media have given rise to political activism among youths in the 13th General Election in Malaysia. The research outcome also highlights an important lesson for the democratic discourse of Malaysia which is making informed and educated decisions takes more commitment, proactive and objective attitude.

Keywords: Democracy, Social Media, Political Communication, Political participation, political activism

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33 Free, Fair, and Credible Election and Democratic Governance in Bangladesh

Authors: Md. Awal Hossain Mollah

Abstract:

The aim of this study was to evaluate the relation between the free, fair and credible election in ensuring democratic governance in Bangladesh. The paper is a case (Bangladesh) study and qualitative in nature and based on secondary sources of materials. For doing this study, conceptual clarification has been done first and identified few elements of free, fair and credible elections. Then, how far these elements have been ensured in Bangladeshi elections has been evaluated by analyzing all the national elections held since independence. Apart from these, major factors and challenges of holding a free, fair and credible election in Bangladesh have been examined through using the following research questions: 1. Does role of election commission matter for free, fair and credible elections to form a democratic government? 2. Does role of political parties matter for democratic governance? 3. Do role of government matter for conducting the free, fair and credible election in ensuring democratic governance? 4. Does non-party caretaker government matter for conducting a free, fair and credible election? 5. Does democratic governance depend on multi-dimensional factors and actors? Major findings of this study are: Since the independence of Bangladesh, 10 national elections held in various regimes. 4 out of 10 national elections have been found free, fair and credible which have been conducted by the non-party caretaker government. Rests of the elections are not out of controversy and full of manipulation held under elected government. However, the caretaker government has already been abolished by the AL government through 15th amendment of the constitution. The present AL government is elected by the 10th parliamentary election under incumbent (AL) government, but a major opposition allies (20 parties) lead by BNP boycotted this election and 154 of the total 300 seats being uncontested. As a result, AL again came to the power without a competitive election and most of the national and International election observers including media world consider this election as unfair and the government is suffering from lack of legitimacy. Therefore, the governance of present Bangladesh is not democratic at all and it is to be considered as one party (14 parties’ allies lead by AL) authoritarian governance in the shade of parliamentary governance. Both the position and opposition of the parliament is belonging in 14 parties’ alliances lead by AL.

Keywords: Democracy, Governance, free, Bangladesh, fair and credible elections

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32 Rethinking Political Secularism in Iranian Context: Intellectual Struggle in Post-Reformist Period

Authors: Alphan Telek

Abstract:

Political secularism is different from philosophical secularism in terms of its inclusionary, peaceful, liberal and democratic aspects. Secularism as a political principle not only takes the separation of state and religion as a basis but also it aims to exclude any kind of ethnic, religious, racial, gender domination at the state level. Thus, although political secularism does not see any problem with the visibility and implementation of religious views and symbols in the public sphere, it stands against the fusion of political power and religious views or more generally any kind of identity. Iranian context especially the post-reformist period, which starts in 2005, shows religious and/or reformist intellectuals try to put forward the political secularism and make it attractable to the large masses. Three prominent figures of reformist intellectualism Abdolkarim Soroush, Mohsen Kadivar and Akbar Ganji form the basic vocabulary of political secularism in the post-reformist period of Iran. Their intellectual and political struggle against the Islamic regime’s anti-democratic policies and actions do carry significance not only for Iranian democracy but also for all Muslim people around the world that demand a more equal, free, and just society. The political and intellectual discourses of Iranian intellectuals indicate that political secularism is a requirement of democratic state and society. In this paper, it is discussed the relationship between political secularism, state, society, and Islam. Thus, it will be argued that secularism as a political principle is increasingly held by Iranian intellectuals to show the relation between secularism and democracy.

Keywords: Democracy, Middle East, political secularism, Iranian intellectuals

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31 Measuring Parliamentarian: Towards Analysing Members of Parliaments in Malaysia

Authors: Rosyidah Muhamad

Abstract:

Democracies are premised on the idea that citizens can hold their leaders accountable for their actions by voting for or against them in regular elections. However, in order this ideal to be realized, citizens must possess a minimum amount of information about their leaders’ performance. Citizens should be made aware of the performance of their elected representatives. This study seeks to analyse this critical information with special reference to Malaysian Parliamentarians (MPs). We adopted several existence Parliamentary Performance model with special reference to their performance inside the parliament. Among indicators used by the Scholastic for analysing this performance are the number of bills proposed by parliamentarian, the number of proposals that would benefit their constituency, the number of speeches made by the parliamentarian during plenary and the percentage of laws passed among the proposals made by certain parliamentary. The broad goals of the study include the analysis of the capacity of a representative body to accommodate the diverse claims and demands that are made on it. We find that overall performances of MPs are average. This is due to not only the background characteristic of individuals MPs but also the limitation of the mechanism provides in the Parliament itself.

Keywords: Democracy, Evaluation, Malaysia, member of parliament

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30 Democracy Leadership and Good Governance in Nigerias Fourth Republic

Authors: Salisu Adamu Abdullahi, Yusuf Abdullahi Manu

Abstract:

Nigeria returned to a democratically elected government on May 29, 1999. This signaled the beginning of the journey into the Fourth Republic. The return has received popular endorsement by the electorates as the level of enthusiasm was high due to the yearnings and expectations by the electorate that democracy will bring about the much-desired change required by the general mass. As democracy would allow for popular participation through periodic elections and so on. The paper examines democracy, leadership, and challenges of good governance in Nigerias Fourth Republic. It utilizes secondary source of data and content analysis as a methodology. It argues that Nigerias practice of democracy over the years is marred by flagrant abuse of the principles of good governance by the ruling elite. This has posed threats to the survival of democracy due to non-adherence to one of the cardinal principles of democracy which is good governance. The paper recommends among others that the anti-corruption law is amended in such a way that death penalties be issued to those found wanting by the law.

Keywords: Democracy, Challenges, Good Governance, democratic consolidation

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29 Television and Virtual Public Sphere: A Study on Malayali Tribes in Salem District, Tamil Nadu

Authors: P. Viduthalai, A. K. Divakar, V. Natarajan

Abstract:

Media is one of the powerful tools that manipulate the world in numerous aspects especially in the form of a communication process. For instance, the concept of the public sphere, which was earlier represented by landlords and elites has now transformed into a virtual public sphere, which is also represented by marginalized people. Unfortunately, this acquisition is still paradoxical. Though the media proliferation and its effects are humongous, still it has not been the same throughout the world. Inequality in access to media has created a technological divide among people. Finally, globalization and approach by the government towards using media for development communication has significantly changed the way in which the media reaches every nook and corner. Monarchy, oligarchy, republic and democracy together form the basis of most governments of the world. Of which, democracy is the one with the highest involvement and participation of the people. Ideally, the participation of the people is what, that keeps the democracy running. A healthy democracy is possible only when people are able to access information that makes citizens responsible and serves to check the functioning of their elected representatives. On one side the media consumption of people plays a crucial role in the formation of the public sphere, and on the other side, big media conglomerates are a serious threat to community participation, which is a goal that the media should strive for in a country like India. How different people consume these different media, differs greatly from length and breadth of the country. Another aspect of this media consumption is that it isn’t passive. People usage and consumption of media are related with the gratification that they derive from the particular media. This aspect varies from person to person and from society to society according to both internal and external factors. This article sets out from the most underlying belief that Malayali Tribes have adopted television and becomes a part of daily life and a day never passes without it especially after the introduction of Free Television Scheme by the past state government. Though they are living in hilly and socially isolated places, they too have started accessing media for understanding about the people of the plains and their culture, dictated by their interest. Many of these interests appear to have a social and psychological origin. The present research attempts to study how gratification of these needs lead Malayali Tribes to form such a virtual public sphere where they could communicate with people of the plains. Data was collected through survey method, from 300 respondents on “Exposure towards Television and their perception”. Conventional anthropological methods like unstructured interviews were also used to supplement the data collection efforts in the three taluks namely Yercaud, Pethanayankkanpalayam and Panamaraththuppatty in Salem district of TamilNadu. The results highlight the role of Television in gratifying needs of the Malayali Tribes.

Keywords: Democracy, gratification, Malayali Tribes and television, virtual public sphere

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28 Democracy and Human Rights in Nigeria's Fourth Republic: An Assessment

Authors: Kayode Julius Oni

Abstract:

Without mincing words, democracy is by far the most popular form of government in the world today. No matter how we look at it, and regardless of the variant, most leaders in the world today wish to be seen or labeled as Democrats. Perhaps, its attractions in terms of freedom of allocation, accountability, smooth successions of leadership and a lot more, account for its appeal to the ordinary people. The governance style in Nigeria since 1999 cannot be said to be different from the military. Elections are manipulated, judicial processes abused, and the ordinary people do not have access to the dividends of democracy. The paper seeks to address the existing failures experienced under democratic rule in Nigeria which have to transcend into violation of human rights in the conduct of government business. The paper employs the primary and secondary sources of data collection, and it is highly descriptive and critical.

Keywords: Democracy, Human Rights, Politics, Republic, Nigeria

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