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Diplomacy Alone Can’t Save Democracy

Yasmeen Serhan critically considers in the Atlantic how far diplomacy can go in effecting more democratic governance, emphasising that for lasting change to occur, the impetus and drive must come from within. Diplomacy "can pressure and promote more democratic practices, but it is not what drives democracy forward", as democratisation is a process that occurs within democracies, not between them. Moreover, many of the greatest challenges to democracy are internal threats. Foreign efforts will therefore be largely limited to supporting civil society and making financial and trade conditional on democratic benchmarks. Serhan notes that the Summit does take this dynamic into account by encouraging countries to set their own commitments, tailored to their own contexts and involving civil society and other actors in the discussion. The failure or success of the Summit will therefore depend on how effectively it can yield tangible domestic commitments.

Read the full piece here in the Atlantic.