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Democracy as an International Obligation of States and Right of the People

Linda Wittor

There is a clear development towards the acknowledgement of democracy as a universal concern. States and international organisations openly support democracy and condemn setbacks in democratisation and consolidation of democracy. But how far does this development go? The author sheds light on the question of an international obligation of states to promote and protect democratic structures as well as a corresponding right of the people. Coming to the conclusion that such norms exist in certain regions and are emerging universally, the author further analyses whether this challenges existing rules of international law, namely the prohibition of the use of force and intervention. Lastly, it is dealt with the question of whether and how such a norm could be enforced under existing mechanisms.
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