Does Democracy Diffuse or Strengthen Ethnic Conflict?
The virtues of the ideal are seldom into its physical manifestation. Democratic ideals have proven impractical to implement with any sort of ease, and the result has been the rise of 'democratic' regimes that offer varying degrees of equality of opportunity but do not provide the requisite channels through which true, effective power-sharing can take place. While democracy flourishes in the developed nations, the divided societies of the Third World, they who need the power of democracy the most, fail to achieve any realistic semblance of the democratic process through current means. Practical democracy, embracing expediency and convenience over fairness and equality, has eschewed any mechanisms for providing guarantees to ethnic groups and depends on the goodwill of the ruling government (usually formed of the majority ethnicity) to deliver on the promises of equality and due representation.
In its current incarnation democracy continues to marginalize ethnic minorities, and subsequently deepens the ethnic divide. As in Pakistan, if this divide is not rectified through a structured political process, the social context of political struggles will again revert to a fight for freedom against tyranny.
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