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Universal vs. Liberal Democracy?

Khan, Ali (2003) A Theory of Universal Democracy: Beyond the End of History

Khan, Ali (2003) A Theory of Universal Democracy: Beyond the End of History

I am revising one of my articles that I had proposed years ago to an Estonian social science journal. The article is about making of primary and secondary laws in the European Union in the context of universal and state-centred theories. Looking for the appropriate contextual framework, and hoping to bring clearly out distinction between human rights and rights, I found an interesting book on the notions of universal democracy and liberal democracy. Universal democracy as good for everyone’s value, something on which the idea of global governance bases, and liberal democracy as connected with single states and cultural traditions, private property, separation of powers, and separation of religion and state. (Khan, Ali (2003) A Theory of Universal Democracy: Beyond the End of History. The Hague: Martinus Nijhoff Publishers, inspired by Francis Fukuyama (1992) The End of History and the Last Man. Free Press.) Link: (The book is worth reading, as it, inter alia, brings in also the dimension of Islam; and is full of thoughtful sentences, such as at pp. 79-80: “… even democracy, when separated from universal values, can be brutal form of government” – that may bring up questions about who determines the values.)

If one in that context thinks about the European Union, one notices that EU law (which is supranational law) on the one hand contains human rights, but on the other hand contains property rights and separation of powers – the latter two are not solely connected with states’ laws any more. Which indicates also the universal dimension of property rights and separation of powers. That way, one can understand the EU as an entity in between universal and liberal democracies?

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