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Liberal Democracy

Content for Mains Enrichment (CME)


Source: IE

 Context: The recent student protests on US campuses against the war in Gaza, have highlighted a complex crisis involving liberal democracy, universities, and the nature of protest itself.


The protests reflect a crisis of liberal democracy due to the political system’s failure to address atrocities in Gaza and its impact on young people’s (primarily students) sense of political agency. Additionally, the crackdown on free speech during these protests signals a deeper crisis of democracy and polarization within the United States.


What is Liberal Democracy?

Liberal democracy is a form of government characterized by the protection of individual rights and freedoms, the rule of law, free and fair elections, and a system of checks and balances. It emphasizes principles such as equality before the law, freedom of speech, press, and assembly, and the separation of powers between different branches of government.

The solution to address the crisis of liberal democracy stemming from student protests in universities involves promoting dialogue and understanding between students and university administrations, respecting freedom of speech and expression while ensuring safety and order on campus, and encouraging constructive engagement with issues through channels such as forums, debates, and student-led initiatives.