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It has been said that democracy is the worst form of government except all the others that have been tried On the surface of the argument democracy appears to be the evolutionary step above ethnic identity the existence of a democratic setup a not-so-unspoken requirement for acceptance within the international community of states automatically negates any ethnic allegiances and attempts to replace them with a nationalistic identity However in countries where democracy is imposed from above rather than evolving from within most colonial states especially third world nations democratic and ethnic values are in direct conflict This paper focuses on their dichotomy and using Pakistans history as a case study tries to answer the question Does democracy diffuse or strengthen ethnic conflict Before we can understand how democracy affects ethnicity we need to explore the roots of contemporary democratic institutions and no one captures the practical vision of institutionalized democracy better than Diamond According to him the bits and pieces that constitute the mosaic for a democratic system are essentially the emergence of new political parties with differentiated agendas an expansion of civil society an increase in the assertiveness of legislatures and a movement toward consensus about rules and constitutions However democracy is not bound by institutions or the concept of a state Instead an ideal democracy is founded on simple fundamental principles that insist primarily on equality not only in voting but also on representation as well as citizen control of the agenda Here the emphasis is on consensus and in its truest form democracy is a process of all parties agreeing to a compromise decision to each and all of their issues Another aspect necessarily associated with democratic rule by many political scientists is that of modernization It has been contended that democracy is the consequence of the process of modernization Through modernization societies detach themselves from values and norms that restrict their development and adopt more modern values
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