If in the West the non-fulfillment of such standards are interpreted to basically indicate government failure, applying the same Western model in assessing another country’s government would also require the same standards to be met in order for that government to be deemed successful.
In the Western model of Democracy, for example, due process of law, respect for human rights and individual liberty, and the general population’s participation in the democratic electoral process are among the standards that have thus far been raised by the Western school of thought to measure a country’s level of democracy. When non-Western Democratic countries and governments, therefore, fail to provide adequate evidence that these specific standards are being met, these countries risk immediately being condemned by the global society as undemocratic.
Organizations and individuals insisting on the application of Western models of government and the implementation of Westerns standards deduced from such models have thus been quick to condemn any and each country that have failed to meet these Western standards. Repressive regimes that fail to meet Western standards of Democracy, and who have a history, for example, of human rights violations, staggering judicial systems, and a weak electoral process, have thus been pressured in numerous instances to reform and meet these Western standards in order to gain the acceptance and approval of the dominant West.
To be sure, the notion that a universal set of standards can be deduced from Western models of government and applied indiscriminately to all countries in the World, rests on some very thin assumptions-that there is only one path towards the development of a specific form of government, and that a country’s progress down this path is but a naturally occurring process, one that is not influenced by internal and external factors. We can see these assumptions more clearly for what they are if we investigate the global movement towards Democracy.
The application of a Western model of Democracy for all countries, for example, presumes that a country’s progress towards democracy is a naturally occurring phenomenon, one that is dictated upon by a single process and occurs naturally without regard for a country’s socio-political status nor influenced by any external and internal forces. Basically, this means, that countries would generally develop into democracies as they progress regardless of any internal and external pressure or movement. This has largely been disproved by numerous studies, most notably, an examination conducted in 1996 which showed that 58 out of the 61 democratic countries that were studied became democratic unnaturally and that democratic progress was as a matter of fact induced by way of economic sanctions and conditional aid that demanded for democratic legislation. (Whitehead, 1996)
With today’s governments leaning decisively towards Democracy and democratic forms of governance, the implementation of a universal model of democracy-one that is produced and upheld by the dominant West-presumes that for a country to successfully implement and uphold a democratic form of