Skip to main content

Cookies and Privacy

We use cookies to improve your experience on our website. To find out more, read our updated Cookie policy, Privacy policy and Terms & Conditions

GettyImages667251966 Getty Images

Democracies in Danger

Recent unilateral decisions by the Indian, American, and British governments are part of a worrying trend in the world’s leading democracies. But instead of resorting to outrage, democrats everywhere should focus their efforts on protecting public debate, reinforcing key institutions, and limiting the personalization of power.

OXFORD – By abruptly revoking the special, constitutionally protected status of Jammu and Kashmir, India has become the latest major democracy to act against a minority community for short-term political popularity. Kashmir will henceforth be ruled more directly from the government in New Delhi, and Hindu nationalists are thrilled. Carefully maintained constitutional arrangements are in tatters.

Meanwhile, in the United Kingdom, Prime Minister Boris Johnson has committed to leaving the European Union with or without a “backstop” protecting the border arrangements between British-ruled Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland. His hardline position ignores the concerns of Northern Irish constituents entirely. It is geared toward rallying his pro-Brexit English base, even if that means threatening the fragile peace and prosperity in Ireland.

In the world’s other great democracy, President Donald Trump has upended America’s relationship with Mexico and other Central American neighbors, and rallied his base by repeatedly demonizing Hispanics. The US Hispanic community is now paying a harsh price for such rhetoric, as evidenced by the massacre in El Paso, Texas, this month.

We hope you're enjoying Project Syndicate.

To continue reading, subscribe now.

Subscribe

Get unlimited access to PS premium content, including in-depth commentaries, book reviews, exclusive interviews, On Point, the Big Picture, the PS Archive, and our annual year-ahead magazine.

https://prosyn.org/7sRKEpu;
  1. bildt70_SAUL LOEBAFP via Getty Images_trumpukrainezelensky Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images

    Impeachment and the Wider World

    Carl Bildt

    As with the proceedings against former US Presidents Richard Nixon and Bill Clinton, the impeachment inquiry into Donald Trump is ultimately a domestic political issue that will be decided in the US Congress. But, unlike those earlier cases, the Ukraine scandal threatens to jam up the entire machinery of US foreign policy.

    0
  2. krueger21_trumpamericamediocre

    Making America Mediocre

    Anne O. Krueger

    America owes its economic strength to its private sector, which has long benefited from an absence of undue influence by politicians and the state. But under US President Donald Trump's administration, discretionary decisions by policymakers are increasingly giving some companies advantages over others.

    0