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Research Paper

The Rise of Illiberal Democracy, Fareed Zakaria.

US Government

POS 2041

Ilias Lamrani

"Today, 118 of the world's 193 countries are democratic" (Zakaria) this means that more than half of the countries of the world have adopted this political system. Originally created by the Greek 2500 years ago, the word 'democracy' comes from 'Demos' which means the people, and 'Kratos' which is power. Basically, this political system gave power to the people by choosing their representatives through voting. In this article, Zakaria discuses and defines clearly the democracy, liberalism and illiberalism, and the relation between each other. He affirms we are witnessing the rise of Illiberal Democracy that could cause conflict and civil war. But how is this even possible? Isn't democracy the perfect political system? Isn't it what many countries, during the Arab spring, were fighting for?

According to Zakaria, a long time ago, democracy meant to be Liberal Democracy.

A political system that gave the power to the people to choose their representatives thought organized, free and fair elections and where the majority rules. He goes into details saying that "open, free and fair election, are the essence of democracy, the inescapable sine qua non" (Zakaria). Which means, democracy can't be true is there is no free elections. However, this requires a freedom of speech and assembly. Indeed, a democracy should most of all be a "constitutional liberalism" which is a system of laws and institutions created in order to protect rights, liberties and freedoms of the citizen like "freedom of speech, religion, assembly and property"(Zakaria). He takes the example of the Greek democracy who emphasizes on individual freedom or even the Romans with the rule of law. Those "inalienable" human rights are protected, by limiting the government from gaining too much power. Indeed, this...