The Death of Democracy and the Forces of Power and Control

Here in the UK, we are grabbling with our government's decision to abandon our EU membership. As the country is divided and hate incidents are increased by almost 50%, I wrote a think-piece with the aim of presenting a critical analysis of Europe’s missed opportunity for social justice. The paper has been published in the peer reviewed journal Social Sciences and it is open access. Full article here

It presents evidence by analysing the civil and political rights jurisprudence of the European Court of Human Rights in order to explore the potential of what it calls the “human rights project” for a regional democracy. The paper shows that a key objective of the European Convention of Human Rights was the development of case law that would construct a regional democracy for bringing consistency in the enjoyment of civil and political rights across the continent.

This “human rights project” was well underway, but is now hampered by contemporary forces of power and control that are ridiculing the work and status of the Council of Europe. I identify three levers that move these forces, namely: financial and security terror as well as nationalism. The paper warns that if these forces are not managed, the backlash in social justice will continue while the human rights project for a regional democracy will come to its demise.

Despite the sense of pessimism underlying my paper, I think we are living in opportune times. Institutions and policies are being reviewed globally (and nationally), and we are slowly becoming a bit more honest about our thoughts and feelings for each other. Public authorities are forced to become more accountable and partnership between states and civil society is encouraged particularly through funding structures and research projects sponsored b