By calling a Democracy Summit on Thursday and Friday, the US president wants to safeguard a threatened model. But he must convince that the United States is still credible in this role.
To restore vigor to the democratic model: this is often the challenge launched by Joe Biden to 100 countries. The American President ends, this Friday, December 10, 2021, a virtual two-day summit dedicated to democracy .
A credibility to preserve
Defending against authoritarianism, fighting corruption and advancing human rights: the three axes of this meeting are timely, after a year marked by many coups d'état across the planet. But the game isn't won.
Main issue, for Joe Biden: to be credible. Although he emphasizes his difference from his predecessor with isolationist rhetoric, the Democratic President has successfully completed the withdrawal from Afghanistan planned by Donald Trump this summer .
Proof, in step with some, that the United States is prepared to turn a blind eye to the human rights violations committed by the Taliban back in power. And that they would now not request to export the American model.
A model that draws less
A model that, moreover, attracts less and fewer. According to a study by the Pew Institute measuring the reputation of the United States abroad, solely 17% of those polled see American democracy for example to follow. The pictures of the assault on the Capitol by supporters of Donald Trump rejecting the result of the presidential election were stunning. Like Texas , several states ruled by Republicans are fixing restrictions on the correct to vote, in a federal system where the illustration of each voter is already biased in presidential and senatorial elections.
” The United States usually impose high standards on other countries whereas they themselves are not up to the task, ” regrets William Howell, head of the political science department at the University of Chicago (1). Our commitment to democracy is at [*fr1]-mast, and I fear this can complicate the work of Democratic reformers abroad, whereas nurturing the ambitions of autocrats.
Repairing American Democracy
For the political scientist, Joe Biden must act quickly, starting by fixing American democracy and creating it a a lot of higher priority than it's . The Democratic Party controls the White House, the Senate and also the House of Representatives. This could not last, says William Howell. Unless Biden seizes this moment to strengthen our democratic institutions, I fear that populism, demagogy, restrictions on the proper to vote and the power of a minority can be strengthened.
The participants in the summit for democracy ought to meet at the top of 2022 to require stock. Until then, Michael Abramowitz, president of the Observatory of Democracies Freedom House , interviewed by Politico , insists on the importance of real commitments, otherwise the summit can be seen as an exercise in communication, that will fuel cynicism .