1963-2013 - 50 years of Research for Social Change

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Visible Hands: Taking Responsibility for Social Development

Programme Area: Special Events (2000 - 2009)
Project Title: Geneva 2000: The Next Step in Social Development
No. of Pages: 190

From Chapter 3: Fragile Democracies…

Today the vast majority of countries have formally democratic systems of government. But gains remain fragile: vulnerable to voter disillusionment, ethnic conflicts and takeover by technocrats.

As the Social Summit emphasized, social development requires more than additional funds or better economic and social policies. It also requires a supportive environment, in particular, vigorous democratic institutions that allow citizens to participate freely in decision making.

On this point at least there has been some advance. One of the most cheering developments of recent decades has been the spread of democracy. Progress has been uneven, and democratic principles may not always have percolated very deeply into the national consciousness. But the direction of change has been positive.

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