January 27, 2006

Authoritarian democracy

Juan Cole writes in today's Salon (in an essay about Hamas's electoral victory in Palestine):
Democracy depends not just on elections but on a rule of law, on stable institutions, on basic economic security for the population, and on checks and balances that forestall a tyranny of the majority. Elections in the absence of this key societal context can produce authoritarian regimes and abuses as easily as they can produce genuine people power. Bush is on the whole unwilling to invest sufficiently in these key institutions and practices abroad.
That's the case at home, too.