I came across a relatively old article the other day, which stated that the economic performance, political history, ethnicity, culture and other related factors should be taken into account when dealing with the country in democratic transition as opposed to having an expectation that all transitional countries will go through one path. All this is not new nowadays and appears to be the common sense.
On the way to democratization most of the countries seem to be experiencing the internal conflict between the human rights issues and democracy and each due to the different factor. For example Egypt, where the democratic revolution brought different problems to human rights and may be seen a threat to civil society
In cases like the Egypt we are dealing with the conflict between liberalism and democracy put into work through the religious lens, which is probably most common form of it. The revolutionary leaders use the common sentiments to burst a fire of response to the social inequality which in the end leads to the ideologic state. For example removal of Shah in Iran, all kinds of folks participated in protests after seeing the evils of shahs regime, this in turn was used to form the religious state which maybe was undesired by many who just protested Shah’s aggressive acts. Does this suggest that the west should only support liberal-democratic revolutions as opposed to any kind of democratic revolutions?
I believe the answer is no. Activities like protests gradually form the demos through showing the importance of popular support to those in power. The demands of the demos as such can not include violence or human rights violation. the uprisings happen because people participating in protest feel that some kind of rights they have, are or can be violated by current regime. Further, the revolution sets the precedent that people can install the new government anytime they wish which in turn promotes centrism, the governments are bound not to make decisions that go too far or don’t seem to attract much popular support.
Every revolution has it’s reasons behind it, the message that the people are trying to deliver. The government that does not follow the message is more likely to be replaced in the near future. That is exactly what has happenned to Victor Yushchenko, whose popular support went down to 5 percent in less than four years after the Orange Revolution. This means that revolutions happen out of the common necessity. It’s a request to change specific things in the country, just like the normal elections.
Even though, the way formation of demos and the precedent of popular power affects the democratization process depends on other variables specific for the country, it is always good to see that autocratic regimes are replaced with the governments that people have chosen, whatever their nature is, even if they are autocratic themselves. From the moment the revolution has ended starts the new era where popular support matters more than it did and at that point an opportunity opens for a country to solve its problems.