Skip to main content
×
×
Home

Toward an Instrumental Right to Democracy

  • Khalifa A. Alfadhel (a1)
Extract

The downfall of the Soviet Bloc in the early 1990s led to an atmosphere of exaggerated victory, notably captured in Francis Fukuyama's famous book, The End of History, which celebrated the ideological triumph of democracy as a unanimously agreed-upon ideal form of government. The international law literature was not immune from the sense of democratic rejoicing. Of special note in this regard was the notion of an entitlement to democracy, introduced by the late Thomas Franck. Drawing on ideas of self-determination in international law, which themselves date back to the American Declaration of Independence, Franck postulated an “emerging right to democratic governance.” He stipulated that “[s]elf-determination postulates the right of a people organised in an established territory to determine its collective political destiny in a democratic fashion and is therefore at the core of the democratic entitlement.” This essay considers Franck's claims, and argues that his view of democracy was too thin; instead, the essay argues for an instrumental conception of democracy that ties it to other rights and entitlements.

  • View HTML
    • Send article to Kindle

      To send this article to your Kindle, first ensure no-reply@cambridge.org is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about sending to your Kindle. Find out more about sending to your Kindle.

      Note you can select to send to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations. ‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be sent to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

      Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

      Toward an Instrumental Right to Democracy
      Available formats
      ×
      Send article to Dropbox

      To send this article to your Dropbox account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your <service> account. Find out more about sending content to Dropbox.

      Toward an Instrumental Right to Democracy
      Available formats
      ×
      Send article to Google Drive

      To send this article to your Google Drive account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your <service> account. Find out more about sending content to Google Drive.

      Toward an Instrumental Right to Democracy
      Available formats
      ×
Copyright
This is an Open Access article, distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution licence (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
References
Hide All

1 See Francis Fukuyama, The End of History and the Last Man (1992).

2 Thomas M. Franck, The Emerging Right to Democratic Governance, 86 AJIL 46 (1992).

3 Id. at 48–49.

4 Id. at 52.

6 See Khalifa Alfadhel, The Failure of the Arab Spring (2016).

7 Gregory H. Fox & Georg Nolte, Intolerant Democracies, 36 Harv. Int'l L.J. 1 (1995).

8 Secretary-General, An Agenda for Democratization, UN Doc. A/51/761 (Dec. 20, 1996). For a detailed assessment on the drafting of this document, see Caroline E. Lombardo, The Making of an Agenda for Democratization: A Speechwriter's View, 2 Chi. J. Int'l L. 253 (2001).

9 Secretary-General, In Larger Freedom: Towards Development, Security and Human Rights for All, UN Doc. A/59/2005 (Mar. 21, 2005).

10 General Assembly, Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action, UN Doc. A/CONF.157/23 (July 12, 1993).

11 Comm'n on Human Rights, Promotion of the Right to Democracy, UN Doc. E/CN.4/RES/1999/57 (Apr. 27, 1999).

12 United Nations Millennium Declaration, GA Res. 55/2 (Sept. 8, 2000).

13 2005 World Summit Outcome, G.A. Res. 60/1 para. 119 (Oct. 24, 2005).

14 Consolidated Version of the Treaty on European Union, Feb. 7, 1992, 2002 O.J. (C 325) 5. See Bojan Bugarič, The Right to Democracy in a Populist Era, 112 AJIL Unbound 79 (2018).

15 Organization of American States, Resolution 1080, AG/RES. 1080 (XXI-O/91) (June 5, 1991).

16 Organization of African Unity, Constitutive Act of the African Union, July 1, 2000.

17 Handyside v. UK para. 49, App. No. 5493/72 (Eur. Ct. H.R., Dec. 7, 1976).

18 United Communist Party of Turkey v. Turk. para. 45, App. No. 19392/92 (Eur. Ct. H.R., Jan. 30, 1998).

19 Refah Partisi (Welfare Party) v. Turk., App. Nos. 41340/98, 41342/98, and 41344/98, Judgment of the Grand Chamber (Eur. Ct. H.R., Feb. 13, 2003).

20 Human Rights Comm., Bwalya v. Zambia, Communication No. 314/1988, UN Doc. CCPR/C/48/D/314/1988 (July 27, 1993).

Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

AJIL Unbound
  • ISSN: -
  • EISSN: 2398-7723
  • URL: /core/journals/american-journal-of-international-law
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *
×

Metrics

Altmetric attention score