DEMOCRACY, FEDERALISM AND PEACE: EXPERIENCES OF INDIA AND OTHER COUNTRIES (DFP)
Venue: Dyal Singh College, Karnal
|Event Date/Time: Mar 04, 2010||End Date/Time: Mar 06, 2010|
|Registration Date: Jan 31, 2010|
|Early Registration Date: Jan 31, 2010|
|Abstract Submission Date: Jan 31, 2010|
|Paper Submission Date: Jan 31, 2010|
Democracy, Federalism and Peace: Experiences of India and Other Countries
The post-modern world which is theoretically not ready to surrender the heritage of modernity, has been experiencing with many ups and downs, failures and successes as well as some of the controversial negotiations for strengthening the values and principles of democracy and federalism for the major purpose of seeking peace, stability and development. It would be important to recall that the collapse of the Berlin Wall, political melting of the Soviet Union and the rejection of socialist and communist regimes in Eastern Europe particularly after 1989 echoed the slogans of democracy, federalism and globalization in which the United States had also played the most leading role. Hopes and expectations of various nationalities were weighed by the West as a preface to freedom which expedited their demands for independence, greater autonomy and partnership with other incentives in respective regions.
As a result, the European Union started the project of its expansion on the pretext of democracy in which it also endorsed the rights of ethnic communities which is reflected in the Lund recommendations of 1999. Similarly the United States and its allies advocated democratic regimes in the Middle East and elsewhere. The West intervened in some cases to set the power sharing agenda such as in the Balkans, Iraq and proposed negotiated settlements between the two communities in the divide island of Cyprus.
On the other hand, the importance and the growing awareness of the people towards the responsibility aspect of democratic system has brought about attitudinal changes in the minds of many to think of themselves as â€˜giversâ€™ and â€˜makersâ€™ rather than â€˜takersâ€™ and â€˜dependentsâ€™ vis-Ã -vis the governmental agencies. The â€˜publicâ€™ dimension of democracy has also enhanced the aspirations and capacity of the citizens to look into the questions of the governmental accountability, transparency and productivity. Such a working system has emerged into the EU model where the rights of the citizens are protected more as their legitimate claims rather than something donated by the state.
Similarly federalism as a system of multi-layered structures of powers authorized by the constitution has gradually proved to be an additional advantage to democratic polities which are inclined to deal with various regions and nationalities. Thus federalism emerged as an important recipe for those societies whose constituent elements are not mono-national but multi-national or better termed as plural or federal in nature. Therefore, federal political arrangements were devised in various countries to address to the needs and demands of sub-national groups, regions and national minorities. This federal polity has been on increasing demands for resolving conflicts, ensuring settlements, promoting dialogues, building peaceful road-maps and inclusive democracy resulting in recognizing diversity as the source of strength, appreciation and integration rather than the source of conflict and divisions.
Federal democracies have succeeded in building composite, concurrent and inclusive frame of power-sharing with the notion of self rule. It has rejected subordination and promoted peaceful integration. It has questioned negative liberty and appreciated social justice and affirmative action policies. It is also considered as the bawl of unity in diversity where differential attributes have advanced mutual respect and appreciations. India is one of the examples where federal democracy have also adopted asymmetrical federalism along with the rights of minorities and the regions focusing on recognizing diversities, rule of law, social justice and power-sharing aimed at federal-nation-building.
It is quite reasonable to mention that federal democracy establishes the relationship of the citizens with all the levels of the government which transform them into the real take-holders. Such a relationship expands the space of mutual understanding, tolerance and partnership which brightens the future of peaceful cohabitation. There are experiences in some parts of the world where the adoption of the federal principles have resulted in peace-building exercises.
It is in this context, the proposed internal conference will be organized by the P.G. Department of Political Science, Dyal Singh College, Karnal in the month of March 2010 (March 4-6) in collaboration with some other institutions to facilitate arguments over different aspects of the topic mentioned therein. It is expected that the interested participants would reach us with their proposed topic/theme of the work which they want to pursue and present at this international conference. Topics can be chosen from different aspects of three kinds of polities---classical federal polities, Quasi-federal polities, and polities where either federal principles have been initiated or they can be introduced.