"Democratic tradition involves a richly evolving collection of diverse beliefs, processes and structures that are neither easily characterized in concise terms nor summarized in a single systematic philosophy of governance" . The complexity of democratic governance could not be better put in plain words. Indeed, as the term of democracy is nowadays broadly employed, its meaning is still far less than unequivocal. While its etymology clearly implies that the governed should decide who is to govern them, its carrying out is subject to interpretation, and sometimes controversy. When Thomas Franck argued, in 1992, that a right to democratic governance was emerging, his argument was built upon a study of states' practice and of legal documents that were purporting the idea of such an evolution . However, it must not be left aside that democracy is never value-free as soon as it is proposed to be implemented in a very particular way. It is even less neutral when this particular way is presented as a Human-Right-to-be. Indeed, if such a right was to be a legal norm applicable to all, as Franck suggests it, then the notion of state's sovereignty, which is paramount, would be totally re-shaped. State recognition is based on criteria of statehood (territory, government, etc.), and internal government nomination-process is of domestic concern.
[...] Fox, "The Right to Political Participation in International Law", in Fox and Roth (eds.) Democratic Governance and International Law (2000) 48 at 83-84. One of the criteria established by Fox, to evaluate freedom and fairness of elections. Explained in Maogoto (2003). Interview of Javier Solana, EU Representative for Foreign Policy by Le Monde, Un groupe terroriste ne devient pas légitime parce qu'il a gagné des élections , January Steven A.Cook , Blame Democracy Promotion', The Washington Post July 29,06 UNC Art 2.4 Members shall refrain in their international relations from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any state, or in any other manner inconsistent with the Purposes of the United Nations.” (The UNGA acknowledged the proclamation of the state of Palestine in 1988). [...]
[...] This essay aims at assessing Franck's argument about the emergence of a right to democratic governance in several respects. Hence, I shall establish how this concept he described in 1992 has been developed and declined into a right to electoral rights over the past fifteen years. The weaknesses of the thesis as it evolved will be emphasised with respects to the 2006 Palestinian elections, in order to show how thin and fragile the supposedly emerging norm has become. Finally, I shall consider why such a right can't be more than what it has become a right to free and fair elections; and yet how much it need be. [...]
[...] Incoherence of the right to democratic governance as a right to ‘free and fair' elections Clearly, this election was kind of a jolt to the international community, and highlighted the need to refine the notion of democratic governance, in order to make unambiguous the difference between electoral rights and democratic entitlement. Indeed, there can be no legal norm that is to be interpreted in different ways from one time to another. So if a right to democratic governance exists or emerges, either it can be understood as a right to “free and fair” elections resulting from a democratic entitlement of human-beings, which means Hamas is completely legitimate and the pressure it is addressed (suspension of aids, etc.) is intolerable as it constitutes a “threat . [...]
[...] Christopher Hobson, “Democratic ‘Standards' in International refereed paper presented to the Second Oceanic Conference on International Studies, University of Melbourne, 5-7 July 2006. Susan Marks, The Riddle of All Constitutions: International Law, Democracy and the Critique of Ideology, (Oxford, New York: OUP, 2000). (Book Review by Richard Falk, ASIL Vol.96, No (Jan., 2002), 264-268. Richard Falk, Haïti intervention; A dangerous World Order Precedent for the United Nations”, (1995) 36 HILJ 341-358. Books James G. March and Johan P. Olsen, Democratic Governance ( New York: The Free Press, 1995) Gregory H. [...]
[...] By his methodology, that is the examination of the existence of a right to democratic governance through the analysis of its “compliance Franck adopts an “apologetic approach” international law is primarily what states actually do; whereas his aspiration to the recognition of a formally legal norm applicable to all is more an “utopian approach” international law is free from the corruption of power politics. The collapse of the Soviet Union allowed international law to gain influence over states actions, as the US interests coincided with the promotion and enforcement of international norms. [...]
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