Philippine Journal of Public Administration, Vol 53, No 2 (2009)

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Democratic Governance Beyond the Western Frontier: Democracy in War-torn Countries

Renia Corocoto

Abstract


A crucial concern in the process of democratization has emerged in what the international community has come to label as “failed states.” Failed states are those societies that have recently undertaken the decision to adopt liberal democracy following a long period of authoritarian leadership. The big leap taken is usually characterized by violence and instability attending wars waged in order to bring down the old social order. The recurrence of instabilities and violence in the process of implanting liberal democracy in societies that lack the political and cultural background to support a new system must be avoided. The process of democratization must not be done in a top-bottom approach in which so-called “well-ordered” people impose their system on burdened societies. Rather it is important that the people of war-torn societies be educated first and let them decide on how they want to (re)build democracy in their territory.