Conceptual and Theoretical Exposition on Democracy and Human Rights

Joseph Adekeye Adeshola, Ajape Temitope Solomon


Liberal democracy as a system of government in theory guarantees; human dignity, equality, social justice, morality, liberty, freedom, rule by the majority, selection of representatives directly or indirectly, popular participation, observance of the tenets of rule of law, separation of powers and fair play. The theory of democracy equally encourages the protection of fundamental human rights of citizens. In practice, the above features of democracy may become unrealistic if elected representatives choose to be doctorial, despotic, totalitarian, authoritarian and anti-democratic at the long run. Therefore, the major thrust of this chapter is to interrogate the connection between democracy and human rights in practice. Methodologically, a qualitative data was obtained in form of content analysis of; extant laws, constitutional provisions, Universal Declaration of Human Rights, empirical Studies, Journals, textbooks and monograph. Valid conclusions were drawn after thorough analysis of secondary data. The findings of the study reveal that the connection between democracy and human rights is debatable since the inability to determine the scope of human right made its universal application an intricate task. On the whole, the study recommends for enlightenment campaigns and political education of citizens about their rights and responsibilities in representative democracy. Also, there is need to define the scope of human right globally in order to enhance its universal applicability.


Democracy; Human rights; Concept; Theory; Citizens; Totalitarianism; Authoritarianism; Fascism; Military junta

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