2013 was a bad year for democracy and freedom around the world, as WRM notes in his latest piece for the Wall Street Journal. Many Arab Spring nations have experienced coups or other chaos, fascism is on the rise in some countries, and places like Thailand are moving towards less democratic forms of government. In light of all of this bad news, WRM’s column proposes a way forward for those who care about spreading political freedom:
This doesn’t mean that democracy advocates should wring their hands and stand aside, but it does mean we need to think about promoting deeper social change over longer periods […]A more sustainable and effective democracy agenda would start with education. Helping talented young people get access to good education will, over time, do more to promote democratic ideals than anything else. This doesn’t just mean offering more students more opportunities to study abroad. Many countries, like Egypt, have terrible postsecondary systems. Founding new schools, helping existing ones, and promoting partnerships between Western and foreign institutions can go a long way.
Read the whole thing to get a fuller sense of how Western countries can still promote democracy in an age of domestic exhaustion and international chaos.