Monday, March 23

Again with the ballots and bullets

Ken Roth of Human Rights Watch reviews Paul Collier's new book, Wars, Guns, and Votes in the NYT:
Collier’s primary conclusion: democracy, in the superficial, election-focused form that tends to prevail in these countries, “has increased political violence instead of reducing it.” Without rules, traditions, and checks and balances to protect minorities, distribute resources fairly and subject officials to the law, these governments lack the accountability and legitimacy to discourage rebellion. The quest for power becomes a “life-and-death struggle” in which “the contestants are driven to extremes.”
Sounds like a valuable addition to the democracy promotion debate.

On a minor note, though (and as I've said before), can we try to resist the temptation to use the title "Ballots and Bullets", as nice as it sounds, for any article discussing the intersection of voting and violence?

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