Introducing the Power, Conflict and Democracy Programme

Olle Törnquist • Sunil Bastian • Kristian Stokke • Nicolaas Warouw
Journal article PCD Journal • 2009 Indonesia • Sri Lanka

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(English, 12 pages)


The state of democracy in the Global South is marked by a striking paradox: while liberal democracy has attained an ideologically hegemonic position through two so-called waves of democracy, the qualities of such democracies is increasingly called into question. The ”old” democracies in the global South like Sri Lanka are weakened. Democracy deficits have emerged within constitutional and institutional arrangements as well as in political practices. Further, the ”third wave of democracy” is over. ”New” democracies like Indonesia have fostered freedoms, privatisation and decentralisation but continue to suffer from poor governance, representation and participation. Hence there are general signs of decline. Vulnerable people are frustrated with lack of actual influence and sustained elitism. Politicians winning elections often need to foster ethnic and religious loyalties, clientelism and the abuse of public resources. Powerful groups and middle classes with poor ability to win elections tend to opt for privatisation and return partially to authoritarian governance.




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