Discussion on democracy must be global: Martin Jacques
GENEVA, Nov. 18 (Xinhua) -- The discussion about democracy must be global, and in the era of globalization and climate change, a concept of "the world" rather than just "a nation state" is essential, Martin Jacques, a well-known scholar and political commentator, said Thursday.
Speaking at a webinar on democracy and human rights co-hosted by the Permanent Mission of China in Geneva and the Permanent Mission of the Russian Federation in Geneva, Jacques argued that China does have that concept and this is why the Chinese proposition for a community with a shared future for humankind is fundamental to a new way of thinking about the world and democracy.
The West is concerned whether individual states are, in its terms, democratic, as it does not address whether the international system is democratic, and it will be unsustainable in the era of globalization, he explained.
"The rise of China together with new and overarching phenomena, such as the pandemic, climate change, and globalization, is forcing a major rethink about democracy and also human rights," he argued.
Jacques was until recently a Senior Fellow at the Department of Politics and International Studies at Cambridge University. He is a Visiting Professor at the Institute of Modern International Relations at China's Tsinghua University and a Senior Fellow at the China Institute, Fudan University.
For him, if in most of the last 70 years the Western democracy has enjoyed a strong and successful history, its future looks clouded in uncertainty.
"Ultimately, any form of governance only works if it can deliver for its people," he stressed, citing a New York Times columnist that "China can still get big things done" while America, not so much.
Unlike the Western democracies, which are consumed by the present, China thinks in the long term, said the scholar, adding that both the pandemic and climate change are quintessentially long-term issues, which need a stronger role of the state.
He said the failure to stop the pandemic in the United States was because the government could not or would not play this role.
"The ability of government and society to think in the long term and operate and plan accordingly will become imperative. Much closer relationship between the government and the people will be essential for any effective response. The Chinese governance is much better placed than Western governance to handle these challenges," he said. Enditem