Democracy Works 2014 The Democratic Alternative from the South India, Brazil, and South Africa
In this report, the achievements of the past twenty-five years were examined, and it looked particularly at the progress made which is often not sufficiently acknowledged either within these countries or by outsiders. The problem of corruption is then examined more deeply; one of the most difficult challenges faced by all three countries, and examines how the institutions of democracy are coping with it. Thirdly, a discussion is included of the challenges facing the three societies today. Like many countries in the aftermath of the global financial crisis, India, Brazil, and South Africa have entered a difficult new phase in their development. All three need a new wave of (remarkably similar) bold reforms— further market liberalisation, more effective education and other social policies as well as a deepening and strengthening of political institutions—in order to return to higher, more inclusive growth and ensure political stability. Evidence from these countries have indicated that it is not democratic freedoms or electoral pressures that prevent better policies being adopted and implemented. To meet their challenges each country has to strengthen accountability and then use the advantages of democratic processes and institutions to build a new political consensus for reform. Their leaders will need to adopt and sell the necessary reforms by using a new definition of what constitutes the ‘national interest’ in each country. The report ends by identifying the components of the emerging democratic alternative from the South.