Puzzle words hand Liza/Flickr

El misterio de la democracia liberal

PRINCETON – Hace casi dos décadas, el analista político Fareed Zakaria escribió un artículo profético llamado “El surgimiento de la democracia no liberal”, en el que expresaba su preocupación por la aparición de autócratas populares que no respetaban el Estado de derecho ni las libertades civiles. Escribió que aunque los gobiernos se elegían en procesos libres y justos, sistemáticamente violaban los derechos básicos de sus ciudadanos.

Desde que se publicó el artículo de Zakaria, las democracias no liberales se han convertido más en la regla que la excepción. Según cálculos de Freedom House, más del 60% de los países del mundo son democracias electorales – regímenes en los que partidos políticos compiten para llegar al poder en elecciones programadas regularmente – en comparación con el 40% a finales de los años ochenta. Sin embargo, la mayoría de estas democracias no ofrecen una protección igual bajo la ley.

Habitualmente son los grupos minoritarios (étnicos, religiosos, lingüísticos o regionales) quienes  sufren la peor parte de las políticas y prácticas no liberales. No obstante, los opositores de cualquier signo corren el riesgo de ser censurados, perseguidos o encarcelados sin motivo.

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