A Framework for Teaching Democratic Citizenship: An International Project

Charles F. Bahmueller, Ph.D.
Center for Civic Education

Is it possible to develop an international, cross-cultural consensus on the central meanings and character of the ideas, values, and institutions of democracy and the common elements of which education for democratic citizenship should consist? A new project is attempting to answer this difficult and thorny question. "Education for Democratic Citizenship: A Framework," administered by the Center for Civic Education, is an international project with a global reach-with advisors and critics from every inhabited continent. 1 

The Framework project, which began in 1996, is expected to continue well into 1999, when the last in a series of drafts will be published. In the interim, teachers, educators, and other interested parties from around the world are invited to participate by commenting on successive versions. 2  Review of the Framework's first draft began in autumn 1997; a second draft was released during the winter of 1998.

Among those reviewing Framework drafts and advising the project's developers are individual scholars, NGOs, and national ministries of education from more than three dozen countries, including China (Hong Kong), Mongolia, Thailand, and Turkmenistan in Asia; Benin, Ethiopia, and Ghana in Africa; Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Germany, and Russia in Europe; Argentina, Brazil, and Costa Rica, in Latin America; and Canada, Mexico, and the United States, in North America.

Comments on the first draft were overwhelmingly favorable. For example, "I believe this framework is a very good achievement" (Costa Rica); "The document I thought was excellent" (Dominican Republic); "I find the project an important one. It will be of much use for democratic education in many parts of the world" (Hong Kong); "This Framework meets our interest and will be very useful for all institutions dealing with the civic education" (Mongolia); "I am very impressed by [your] careful and thorough approach to the subject. This is a well balanced outline..." (Serbia); "It is already obvious that the final variant of this document will be very useful and widely used...in different countries" (Tajikistan).

One Framework, two versions

At this writing, the Framework is presented in two versions. One is known as the "Five-Part," the other as the "Seven-Part," Outline. While a large majority of reviewers favored the Seven-Part version, a significant minority favored the Five-Part version (some strongly), and a number favored doing both. In consequence, both will probably be published. Giving readers a choice, rather than a single version, carries its own message-a democratic, or, better put, a "liberal" message. The majority has not, as in liberal democracy itself, decimated the minority; a plurality of voices is heard, not a monotone.

The roots of this liberal message are nearly as old as democracy itself. In this presentation of plural voices some will hear an echo of Aristotle's famous criticisms of the notorious unity-and consequent decimation of liberty-found in Plato's Republic. Plato erred, in Aristotle's view, in searching for social harmony by driving out all dissident sounds from his "closed society," mistaking a single note for a chord. Real harmony consists of more than one note. By the end of the twentieth century we have come to believe that, like the fabric of liberal democracy, musical integrity is undiminished by dissonance. Be this as it may, the message of the Framework is conveyed partially by its form, not by its contents alone.

The Five-Part Outline. What is the substance of the Framework? The Five-Part Outline is a logically constructed whole that begins with "The World" and ends with "The Citizen":

  1. The World: the transnational context of human rights, the Open Society, and political order
  2. The People: the foundation of political community and government
  3. The Polity: the ordering of civic life, politics, and political systems
  4. The Government: the formal institutions and processes for public affairs
  5. The Citizen: The principal actor
This arrangement of topics forms a unity which pleases some reviewers, but disturbs others, since any alteration of the topics fatally disrupts the flowing logic of its structure.

The Seven-Part Outline. By contrast, the Seven-Part Outline is not a closed whole nor an unalterable process of reason and is composed of a series of questions. It opens with the germane topic, "What is democracy?" and closes, in its October 1997 version, with the roles of democracies in world affairs:

  1. What is democracy?
  2. Why choose democracy?
  3. What makes democracy work?
  4. How does democracy work?
  5. What is citizenship in a democracy?
  6. How do societies become and remain democratic?
  7. What roles do democracies play in world affairs?
Since most topics covered under these headings are dealt with in each version, for brevity's sake only the material covered by the Seven-Part Outline, preferred by reviewers, will be examined in some detail.

Before proceeding it should be noted that the Framework is not intended as a course or textbook outline, nor is it intended for students. Rather, it attempts to outline the common elements that any program of civic education should include to prepare youth or adults for democratic citizenship. How and when this material might be taught is beyond the Framework's scope.

The structure and content of the Framework

The Framework seeks to lead the reader from the most elemental, protean aspects of human self-government-from the question of why there should be government at all and why politics is found in any human group, to a knowledge and understanding not simply of any kind of democracy but specifically of liberal democracy, the regime of choice of the world's economically and socially most developed countries, from Japan in Asia and Australia and New Zealand in Australasia, to many nations in Europe, North America, and elsewhere.

The Framework first describes what liberal democracy is, carefully distinguishing it from other kinds of democracy, that is, from illiberal versions (see below). It seeks to articulate an international consensus on democracy's values, principles, and essential characteristics. These include, for example, such "liberal-constitutional" elements as respect for and protection of individual freedoms, the rule of law, the equality of citizens before the law, limited ("constitutional") government, an autonomous civil society, and the maintenance of the Open Society; as well as such elements of "democracy," narrowly conceived, as the conduct of free, fair, and regular elections, the secret ballot, and universal adult suffrage.

The Framework's concern with the ideology of liberal democracy-its underlying philosophy, its view of human nature-is apparent from its opening. Inherent in this ideology is liberal democracy's refusal to take a stand on the ultimate human condition, man's destiny and salvation, as matters outside its purview. Such questions must necessarily be left to religion and speculative philosophy, excluded from the inherently limited vision required by liberal freedoms. In this view, it is not accidental that enlarged visions of the human condition are officially held by theocracies, by twentieth-century communism, and by certain varieties of illiberal democracy. Such regimes sharply circumscribe religious liberty and attempt to direct the inner world of the individual; privacy, essential to liberties protected by liberal regimes, is curtailed or abolished.

This is not to say that liberal democracy has no public philosophy. Openly or implicitly, democracy requires an assumption of the possibility of man's self-responsibility and maturity. A precondition of successful liberal democracy is what in 1784 Immanuel Kant described as man's "coming of age," the autonomous thought of the adult citizen, undirected by the State. Other regimes, by contrast, keep the individual in child-like submission to the authority of an elite, who alone understand sufficiently to govern and direct the thinking of their subjects. 3  And recent political philosophy has argued forcefully that the liberal state is not simply neutral among all values - that certain ideas of human virtue are inherent in the public philosophy of liberal democracy. 4 

Distinguishing liberal from illiberal democracy. The central focus of the Framework is the moral and formal substance of democracy and the conditions for its establishment, maintenance, and flourishing. First, what is meant by "democracy"? The term "democracy" means little in itself other than free, fair, and regular elections. In the recent past certain scholars and democratic activists around the world were content to conflate "democracy," a term heavily freighted with moral legitimacy and uplift, and free elections. But experience has delivered this identification mortal wounds. In Sub-Saharan Africa, elections, not necessarily free and fair, but sometimes accounted "free enough" by observers, often meant dictators were placed or maintained in power. To the north in Algeria, it was clear that planned elections would mean the death of "democracy." Paradoxically, the elections were scuttled in the name of "democracy."

It is now clear to African democrats as well as to others that the equation of "democracy" and elections is unwarranted insofar as democracy is assumed to bring to power a decent, humane regime that respects the rights of citizens regarded as fundamental. At the same time, prominent political scientists such as Professor Samuel Huntington of Harvard University regard elections as the heart if not the soul of democracy. "Elections, open, free, and fair," he writes, "are the essence of democracy, the inescapable sine qua non." Huntington remarks that although the governments produced by such elections may be corrupt and irresponsible, their bad qualities only make them undesirable; "they do not make them undemocratic."  5 

Whether one accepts this argument, however, depends on acceptance of its premise that elections are the "essence of democracy." This is a matter of philosophical judgment, not a matter of fact-it is not a matter of expertise, such as Huntington's, in comparative government. The problem here is that identifying regimes as "democratic" in Huntington's narrow sense doesn't tell us enough: in particular, it doesn't tell us what kind of democracy is in question. In the end, the implicit view of the Framework is that discussing "democracy" in the narrow sense of multi-party electoralism isn't sufficient or even very interesting. Instead, varieties of democracy must be clearly distinguished. And what kinds are there?

The term "democracy" is often intended, especially by those who are not professional scholars, by definition to mean morally decent governments that not only hold free elections but also protect fundamental rights. "Undesirable democracy" in this usage is a contradiction in terms. Thus, when the California History-Social Science Framework recommends that students ask themselves "Is our society democratic?", 6  it asks far more than whether free elections are held; indeed, the context makes it clear that it would consider the reduction of democracy to free elections alone to be absurd.

This dispute is reminiscent of the argument between positivists and anti-positivists about what constitutes "law." A centuries-old adage has it that "lex injustia non lex est" ("unjust law is no law"). In this view, what might otherwise be a legitimate law loses its legitimacy if it is morally tainted. Therefore, it need not be obeyed. For some democrats, the same is true for fairly elected governments: if they turn on those they rule, they lose the right to be called democratic.

Opponents argue that the moral substance of a law and the obligation to obey it are issues separate from what can or cannot be called a law. What a law is depends on certain objective criteria: was it passed by both houses of parliament/congress and signed by monarch/president? If so, however morally tainted, it's a law. Similarly, under the "elections as democratic essence" criterion, political systems with fairly elected illiberal governments are "democracies."

The difference in these two positions can be effectively bridged by admitting that in itself "democracy" means little, that it must always be qualified. Taken literally, there is never simply "democracy"; "democracy" is always, as we have said, a kind of democracy. Those that limit the ends and means of government and respect liberal rights and that also hold free elections have for generations been called liberal democracies. Regimes based on more or less free elections that do not practice limited government nor consistently respect fundamental rights are best described as illiberal. 7 

By adopting consistent descriptives for the varieties of regimes that are elected through free elections, one preserves both Huntington's insistence on elections as a characteristic of any democracy, whether desirable or undesirable, and other democrats' attribution of moral qualities to "democracy," to which the qualifying "liberal" must now be added. On the question of elections, it can be said that free elections are common to all forms of democracy. 8 

A consequence of this discussion is that "liberal" can be detached from democracy: not only are all forms of democracy not necessarily liberal, but also all constitutional-liberal governments are not necessarily democracies. The United States was not a democracy in 1789, 9  but it was in most respects a liberal regime, with the glaring anomaly of chattel slavery. Constitutional monarchy in Britain in the 18th and 19th centuries was also a liberal regime without being a democracy. It may be pointed out, however, that in today's world it is difficult at best to sustain liberal freedoms in the absence of democratic controls on power. 10 

The fact that liberal and democracy can be separated both conceptually and actually is not unimportant. Some potential users of the Framework may find full-fledged liberal democracy a utopian dream given their country's circumstances; but they can demand and may be able to implement progressive liberalization as a step toward liberal democracy. And, perhaps more important, citizens of countries whose governments fail to meet the standards of liberal democracy but which hold free and fair elections can use the electoral process to demand liberal freedoms. 11 

The morphology and infrastructure of democracy. As the Framework proceeds from topic to topic it is clear that its authors believe citizens should be familiar with the morphology of democracy - its varying forms and procedures; the relationships of government with civil society, including religious institutions; the role of mass media; the functions of a civil service; and other matters ("IV. How does democracy work?"). The Framework is equally concerned with the infrastructure of democracy, its soft underbelly of networked relationships and civic trust and of other emotional ties, such as patriotism (as opposed to extreme nationalism or xenophobia) and loyalty to constitutional values. These latter ties signify adherence to a constitutional morality which places limits on the action of both public officials and ordinary citizens. All of this and more compose "III. What makes democracy work."

Democratic citizenship. Perhaps the climax of the Framework is its treatment of citizenship ("V. What is citizenship in a democracy?"). There can be no democracy without democrats, without those who are self-conscious members of a self-governing sovereign people. The Framework discusses the meaning and significance of citizenship for liberal democracy, the kinds of opportunities for participation democracies provide citizens, the roles, rights and obligations of democratic citizens, and how they differ from those of other forms of government.

To distinguish citizenship from individuals' roles under other types of regimes, the Framework contrasts citizenship with communal membership and the status of subject. To sharpen its focus on the unique character of democratic membership, the Framework examines how the idea of democratic citizenship differs from other concepts of the individual's relationship to the political system, such as subservient/passive vs. active; dependent vs. independent; childlike vs. adult.

Finally, the Framework asks what civic dispositions and traits of public and private character, such as self-discipline, skepticism, compassion, and civility, strengthen liberal democracy; and it looks at length at the importance of citizens' attitudes and dispositions to their civic relationships. In sum, it may be said that if the Framework as a whole attempts to articulate the core meanings of liberal democracy, the section on citizenship forms the heart of education for democratic membership.

The viability of liberal democracy. It should be apparent even to casual readers of the document that the Framework makes no assumption about whether liberal democracy is viable in every part of the world, a proposition that no knowledgeable political scientist could accept. Thus, section "IV. Why choose democracy?" discusses disadvantages as well as advantages of democracy and the conditions under which other systems might be preferred. The Framework asks if democracy is always desirable and does not assume a positive answer. One could easily answer that democracy is undesirable if it empowers certain illiberal governments. It is also true that when social disorder reaches a certain level, threats to survival itself may suggest the necessity of some form of illiberal regime. The Framework is therefore far from a pollyanna or missionary document seeking to indoctrinate nonbelievers into a new dogmatic political faith applicable indiscriminately without regard to place and time.

Moreover, the major section that asks how societies become and remain democratic ("VI. How do societies become and remain democracies?") speaks of stages of democratic development, suggesting that societies do not become liberal democracies overnight, but as a result of a complex and sometimes lengthy process. It also makes the significant suggestion that "democracies" are rarely black or white-that political systems may embody a mixture of democratic and nondemocratic features. And it discusses at length the social, economic, and political conditions that threaten the democratic order.

In its last section, the Framework examines the roles that democracies play in world affairs. It does so since, to make responsible judgments, democratic citizens need some knowledge of international politics and the place of their nation within the international order. To be knowledgeable and effective, citizens should be aware of how the world is organized politically, how nations influence each other, the role of international institutions and transnational civil society, and more.

Democracy as Western "imperialism"

The spread of democratic practices by the West has been attacked in recent years as a new form of "imperialism." Now, the idea of "imperialism" necessarily includes some form of coercion. The Framework project, however, in no way forces itself on potential users. It has no means of coercion. Its only armies are its adherents, who are free to pick and choose among its wares, selecting only what they approve, adopting and adapting what they please, ignoring the rest. If, in its final form, the Framework has any force, it will be due solely to the compelling force of its persuasive power, to which no one can object.

The only "empire" here is an empire of ideas or, better put, a "republic of ideas." This is a "republic" into which interested persons anywhere may enter and leave at will. Moreover, participants in the project know that the Framework's pages, when published, will be permanently incomplete, since the conversation of democracy, like the search for justice, is by its nature forever unfinished.

The suggestion by skeptical voices that "Western" democracy is out of place among other civilizations is an argument to which only history itself will supply a definitive reply. In the meantime, those from every inhabited continent taking part in the development of this Framework spurn the notion that it constitutes a form of "imperialism" - Western or otherwise. It is an exercise of free men and women and nothing else.

Further, not only scholars and educators but statesmen as well reject the notion that "democracy" can be legitimately considered culture-bound - that it means whatever governments of the day say it means. That is what in 1997 Chilean president Edwardo Frei retorted to Fidel Castro, who repeated the claim, made for more than half a century, that communists have their own form of "democracy." Clearly, to Frei "democracy" means liberal democracy, since to him the democracy worthy of the name is the kind that protects fundamental rights, not the ersatz charades practiced in Cuba and elsewhere.

Thus, "democracy" does not mean whatever is politically convenient. It has an inner core of ideas and practices, however they may be adapted and reformulated in varying places and times. Democracy may fail - will fail - in some places (but not necessarily permanently) though just as surely it will succeed in others. While basic democratic ideas have long since spread throughout the world, misunderstandings of their meaning are not uncommon. Prior to the Framework project no attempt has ever been made to state these ideas in a systematic form through a process of international consensus.

Skeptical voices

There are other skeptical voices about the enterprise of a world-wide democratic movement. After all, ideas, especially political ideas, have notorious tendencies to be culture-bound. And attempts to export political values such as the freedom of the individual-undeniably an idea invented by the West-have been met with stern opposition from prominent Asian figures such as Singapore's Kuan Yew and Malaysia's bitterly anti-Western prime minister Mahathir Mohamad. Lee has been the most articulate spokesman for "Asian values," excoriating the West for attempting to apply Western standards to Asia, which, he argues, has its own standards. 12  These standards place authority before liberty and family before individual. Lee argues, in effect, that the West should mind its own business.

Responses to these arguments have not been long in coming. Former British governor of Hong Kong Chris Patten and others have pointedly asked why anyone should take the strictures of authoritarians such as Lee or Chinese communists to be the authentic voices of Asian values rather than those of Burma's Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, the Philippines' Cory Aquino, the thousands of Chinese students who raised the standard of a universal "lady liberty," or famed Chinese dissident Wei Jingsheng. These are only a few of the most outstanding exponents of rather different "Asian values" than those espoused by the benevolent despots of Southeast Asia. 13 

Moreover, India, indisputably an Asian country, despite serious problems, has long been considered a democracy (though of the "fragile" or "frozen" variety) and India's political values are at odds with the authoritarian expressions cited above. Although India's values must surely count in the "Asian values" debate, little is heard of them from Lee and his ilk. Finally, if Lee and his successors are so confident they represent the real values of their people, why have they never been willing to test them in free elections, rather than the sham events held in Singapore?

What is occurring in Asia as well as elsewhere is a political struggle among those of opposing views, not the inexorable continuation of tradition in the context of impenetrable cultural unity. "Asian values" differ both within and among countries of the region: from the liberal democrats of Japan, India, Taiwan, and Mongolia, to the suppressed democrats of mainland China, the people of Hong Kong, and the opposition of Burma, Indonesia, and elsewhere.

Opposed to this line of thinking is Samuel Huntington, who has articulated the hotly contested view that the world's major civilizations must be conceived as remaining separate in their central values and institutions, including political values and arrangements. He argues that as these civilizations modernize it cannot be expected that they will adopt Western values and institutions. The image of "an emerging homogeneous, universally Western world" is "misguided, arrogant, false, and dangerous."  14 

Among Huntington's arguments is that only a relative handful of first-generation leaders, especially in Asia, who were educated in the West adhere to liberal democracy. Newer generation leaders educated at home with a few often badly translated texts on democracy adhere to traditional, anti-liberal politics. 15  This may be true in various cases today, but it strains credulity to be certain that rejection of liberal democracy will continue indefinitely. Non-Western students still flock to Western universities; new generations rise to challenge the values and practices of parents and paternal states.

New generations need not abandon such key Asian values as family, work, thrift, and social harmony to embrace liberal freedoms and liberal democracy itself. Japan, the world's second largest economy, stands as a living refutation of the notion that liberal democracy is incompatible with Asian values.

Still, the rise of a number of authoritarian Asian nations to economic prominence is often cited as a challenge to the relevance of liberal democracy in developing countries. Looking into the start of the next millennium, the degree to which the corporatism of Asian neo-mercantalism, summed up in the terms "Japan, Inc." and "Asia, Inc.," will be retained, abandoned, or transformed remains to be seen. The financial and economic crisis of 1997-98 and appears to be hastening fundamental economic structural change in much of the region. 16  The political consequences are unclear.

The economic suffering of Indonesia, where, at the outbreak of the crisis, the regime of ageing patriarch Suharto was rife with corruption, nepotism, and cronyism, points out the dangers inherent in authoritarianism not only in Asia but everywhere. It also points out the need for the cleansing effects of the transparency prescribed by liberal notions of the Open Society. Rulers may claim to be wise, but are they?

The ancient question, "Who guards the guardians?" reverberates not only through centuries, but across cultures and civilizations as well. Those attempting to cope with this question may find the ideas of liberal democracy fully germane to their situation, even if they must be adapted to non-Western settings. It is difficult to deny that the evils of unchecked power are universal.

In this context, a view of Professor Zbigniew Brzezinski might be considered. Brzezinski argues that contemporary accounts of "Asian values" express differences in the stage of socio-economic development, not evidence of unbridgeable cultural divides in a world of relative values. 17  Contrary to Huntington, he believes that economic development will lead to a convergence of certain core political values and that if and when Asian and other countries approach the level of Western development, they, too, will abandon authoritarianism and demand fundamental liberal freedoms. Ironically for this debate, Lee Kuan Yew himself appears to hold a variation of this view, since he forsees the future adoption of liberal freedoms in East Asia - the only question seems to be when. 18 

Finally, as already stated, the Framework makes no claim that the nondemocratic world is now ready for liberal democracy. It implicitly insists, however, that bastardized illiberal versions of "democracy" not be confused with liberal-constitutional varieties. This can only be done via a careful examination of the meaning of democracy, precisely what the Framework attempts.

The jury is out regarding liberal democracy as the "end point," 19  as it were, of the age-old human quest for dependably decent and effective government. It will remain out for a very long time, perhaps permanently. As a precondition for choice, the world needs a shared understanding of its core meaning. The Framework is a giant stride in making the meanings of democracy the common intellectual property of everyone. As such, it deserves the support and participation of democrats everywhere.


1. This paper is published in the Summer 1998 issue of the International Journal of Social Education, available June 1998.

2. The Framework is available at the Center's site on World Wide Web (www.civiced.org). Comments should be sent directly to the Center via e-mail (center4civ@aol.com), fax (818/591-9330), or post (5146 Douglas Fir Road, Calabasas, CA 91302, USA).

3. See, Immanuel Kant, "What is Enlightenment" (1784), in The Philosophy of Kant: Immanuel Kant's Moral and Political Writings, edited with an introduction by Carl J. Friedrich. New York: The Modern Library, 1949, pp. 132-139.

4. See William A. Galston, Liberal Purposes: goods, virtues, and diversity in the liberal state, Cambridge and New York: The Cambridge Press, 1991; and Stephen Macedo Liberal Virtues: Citizenship, Virtue, and Community in Liberal Constitutionalism, Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1990.

5. Quoted in Fareed Zakaria, "The Rise of Illiberal Democracy," Foreign Affairs, vol. 76, November/December 1997, pp. 24-25.

6. See California Department of Education, History-Social Science Framework for California Public Schools, Kindergarten Through Twelfth Grade, 1997 Updated Edition.

7. See Zakaria, op. cit. It is sometimes suggested that illiberal regimes be called "non-liberal," but this term is unsatisfactory. Regimes that trample fundamental rights are more than merely "not" liberal; they are diametrically opposed to liberal values-they are anti-liberal. "Non-liberal" at best soft-pedals and fails to capture this defining characteristic.

8. It may be asked if under this regime of definitions "people's democracies" is a legitimate use of "democracy." The answer is "no," because all forms of democracy require free elections, with all that this key term means, not simply "elections," such as the sham elections held under communism.

9. Not all features of American democracy today are "democratic," since the U.S. Senate is not elected according to the idea that all votes are to count equally, the Benthamite notion that "each is to count for one and no more than one." That is, two senators are elected by the voters of Wyoming whose population is approximately 450,000; but California, whose population exceeds 30,000,000, also elects just two senators. Thus, a senatorial vote is weightier in Wyoming than in California. Nevertheless, Americans find these arrangements completely legitimate, not problematic.

10. It should also be pointed out that liberal freedoms under enlightened despots such as Catherine the Great of Russia and Frederick the Great of Prussia in the 18th century or Lee Kuan Yew of Singapore in the 20th are notoriously uncertain. Nor need educated "progressive" despots be liberal at all, as in the case of the Shah of Iran, whose methods of rule included a notoriously brutal secret police.

11. See Marc F. Plattner and Carl Gershman, "Democracy Gets a Bum Rap" in The Wall Street Journal, January 26, 1998. Among the authors' arguments is that although elections are "not emough" for the establishment of lilberal democracy, regimes which hold free and fair elections "arouse citizens to insist upon their rights and upon the accountability of elected officials. The process makes government more subject to public scrutiny."

12. See Fareed Zakaria, "Culture is Destiny: A Conversation with Lee Kuan Yew," Foreign Affairs, vol. 73, March/April 1994, pp. 109-14.

13. See Eric Jones, "Asia's Fate: A Response to the Singapore School," The National Interest, vol. 35, Spring 1994, pp. 18-28.

14.. Samuel P. Huntington, "The West: Unique, Not Universal," Foreign Affairs, vol. 75, November/December 1996, pp. 28-46, p. 28; and see his The Clash of Civilizations and the Remaking of World Order, New York: Simon and Schuster, 1996.

15. Ibid., pp. 38-39.

16. The crisis may materially alter perceptions of the relative performance of certain Asian and Western, especially American, economies. As recently as 1995, the anti-Western prime minister of Malaysia Mahathir Mohamad wrote that "Americans must accept that the prosperity they once enjoyed is a thing of the past...." Angered at negative publicity in the United States about palm oil, a principal Malaysian export, Mahathir, a trained physician, also wrote that palm oil is "wholesome," but that "...in the United States, palm oil was blamed for virtually all the heart disease there." See, Mahathir Mohamad and Shintaro Ishihara, The Voice of Asia, Tokyo, New York, and London: Kodanshi International, 1995, pp. 40-41. It remains to be seen whether the crisis and its economic and political fallout will alter perceptions in Asia and elsewhere of the desirability of authoritarian neo-mercantilist regimes. For an analysis of changes in the relationship between government and markets in Asia and elsewhere, see Daniel Yergin and Joseph Stanislaw, The Commanding Heights: The Battle Between Government and the Marketplace That Is Remaking the Modern World, New York: Simon & Schuster, 1998, pp. 156-191, and passim.

17. See Zbigniew Brzezinski, "New Challenges to Human Rights," Journal of Democracy, vol. 8., no.2, April 1997, pp. 3-7.

18. At various times, Lee has said that it might be a hundred years before Asians might be intrusted with liberal freedoms and that it might be only thirty years. See Jones, op. cit., pp. 21-22.

19. See the locus classicus of the "end of history" debate, Francis Fukayama, The End of History and the Last Man, New York: The Free Press, 1992.

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