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Military Intervention and Democracy?

From: Carnegie Council
Series: Global Ethics Corner
Length: 01:30

Is it ever ethical to violate a democratic constitution? If the rationale for military intervention is to save democracy, does that make it legitimate?

Globalethicscorner_logo1_small Created and managed by Carnegie Council Senior Program Director and Senior Fellow William Vocke, Global Ethics Corner is a weekly 90-second segment devoted to newsworthy ethical issues.

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Piece Description

Created and managed by Carnegie Council Senior Program Director and Senior Fellow William Vocke, Global Ethics Corner is a weekly 90-second segment devoted to newsworthy ethical issues.

Transcript

Is military intervention legitimate if its rationale is to save democracy?

Democratically elected leaders on both right and left are moving to extend their terms. Voters are asked to change constitutions through referendums.

Some differentiate between democracy and legitimacy. Hence, "illiberal democracy" is when laws and institutions are changed through referendum in ways that constrain people's freedoms.

On June 28, in Honduras the military arrested President Zelaya and put him on a plane to Costa Rica. The military then turned power over to his constitutional successor.

Zelaya was arrested hours before a controversial "non-binding public consultation," a survey which would ask the public if they would support constitutional change, perhaps removing his one-term limit.

The Honduran Congress opposed Zelaya's survey, and the Supreme Court ruled the survey illegal.

However, the mili...
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