Liberal Democracy's Shortcomings in a Hyper-Speed World

Academic

Source

Rethinking Crisis Government
Constellations
Volume: 
9
Issue: 
4
Page numbers: 
492 - 505
Pages: 
14

Summary:

The author highlights how liberal democracy is struggling to keep up with the accelerating, globalised world of the 21st century, which increasingly demands rapid-fire decision-making in response to crises.

He argues that liberal democracy is geared to a more slow-moving rhythm of decision and policy-making, centred around elected assemblies in which representatives are required to debate and deliberate in a relatively slow-moving way.

Under the liberal democratic model, the executive is meant to be subordinate to the legislative, in terms of giving effect to the laws made by elected assembles.

Yet in a world which is confronted by many crises – particularly the threat of terrorism and how to rapidly respond – the executive, which is better geared to rapid decision-making, becomes more powerful.

Citing the US government's executive-driven response to the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, the author argues there is a real danger that the imbalance between the growing power of the executive and the declining power and oversight of elected assemblies has gone too far.

He argues for a re-think of liberal democracy to make sure the powers of the executive are properly justified.

 

Thumbnail image: Wikimedia Commons

Author(s)
William Scheurerman

University of Illinios

Countries/Regions
USAglobal
Published Date
April 21, 2002