Threat to Democracies

Context: Problems faced by the leading democracies in the world.

What are the issues that are threatening the Democracies?

  • Identity crisis: The issues of identity, or threats to identity, are becoming an important issue in elections, across democracies.
  • Menace of Fake news: Manipulation of grievances by using psychometric techniques and use of ‘deep fakes’ made possible through Artificial Intelligence, further enhances the threat to current notions of democracy.
  • Terrorism is resurfacing with renewed vigour: The IS, that was thought to be defeated following the victories achieved in Syria and Iraq towards the end of 2018, has recently carried out attacks in France (Paris, Nice) and in Austria (Vienna).It reminds of the transnational character of the threat it poses to democratic countries.
  • Informational autocracy: There is a growing concern across the globe about increasing efforts to manipulate information in order to perpetuate power. For example, the efforts made by the U.S. President, Donald Trump, to negate the verdict of the recently held presidential elections

What are the Problems specific to European democracy?

  • Economic uncertainty: With a resurgent COVID-19 pandemic, an uncertain Brexit will further damage the prospects of both the United Kingdom and Europe.
  • Threat to secularism:
  • The recent wave of terrorist attacks, beginning with the beheading, recently, of a Paris schoolteacher by an Islamic State (IS) supporter, followed by IS violence in Nice, have raised questions on long-held secular beliefs.
  • French President Emmanuel Macron and French leaders have been openly harsh against radical Islam

What are the Problems specific to   Indian democracy?

  • Polarisation: The enactment of Citizenship (Amendment) Act and the National Register of Citizens have created a deep religious divide among its citizens.
  • Challenges to Internal security: With growing tensions in Jammu and Kashmir (J&K), Pakistan’s efforts to push terrorists in larger numbers is leading to large scale casualties especially among the Indian Army and security forces personnel.
  • Failure of India’s bargaining strategy: India has been left out of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), world’s biggest trade bloc which covers almost a third of the world’s economy.
  • International isolation: Provocation by Pakistan by holding of Assembly elections in Gilgit-Baltistan and India’s steady marginalization in Afghanistan where the control of the Taliban is increasing confirms India’s isolation in international arena.
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