Essay by thanh0408University, Master'sA+, November 2004

download word file, 5 pages 1.0

Downloaded 44 times

Globalization comes in many forms. Usually, it is economic and cultural globalization that people have in mind when they discuss with alarm Coca Cola, General Motors and Hollywood, but there is also a political globalization that seems to be sweeping the globe, a change that should be seen in a positive light. More and more countries are adopting representative democracy as their form of government. Countries without democratic forms of government are now the exception. Education is closely connected to democracy, since it is not possible to have a well functioning democracy without a politically educated citizenry. The question is what sort of education should this be? I think education that teaches students about democracy is necessary, but it is not sufficient and perhaps not the most important part of a democratic education. Another element that is crucial for a just society is not only that it be democratic, but that it also has a central role for civil liberties.

It might seem that representative democracy and civil liberties go hand in hand. There is, however, nothing in the nature of representative democracies that guarantees that they will protect civil liberties. In a representative democracy, citizens have a limited range of democratic rights. They have the right to vote for representatives, that is, legislators, who are empowered to legislate for the political unit. In some forms of representative democracy, the citizens vote also for the chief executive, France and the United States, for example, and for the judiciary, some of the states in the US, Texas for example. In addition, many representative democracies, like France, Canada and the United States, have referenda in which the citizens can vote directly on what becomes law. In most representative democracies, then, citizens have the following democratic rights: the right to vote in...