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The Democratization Triangle

Democratization is a long, hard slog and it doesn’t happen in the same way in different places, as Roger Hardy of BBC News recently pointed out. Are there any ideas out there that could accelerate the process? Hardy himself observes that “people power is not enough.” So what else is needed?

Suppose we think about a “democratization triangle” that could begin to cope with the democratization obstacle course and speed up the process.


One corner of the triangle is protests. They have been around for a long time. So what’s new? First, they are all about democracy and accountability, whether they occur in countries which Freedom House calls, free, part-free or not free. In other words, many people instinctively understand that democratization is an ongoing process. Second, that understanding has spread all over the world, propelled by the internet. Two interesting websites explore the connections between technology and democracy— Tech President and Democracy Spot.

For more about the other two corners of the triangle, stay tuned.

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