The twenty-first century marks a crossroads. The ending of the confrontation between East and West ushered in the possibility of a ‘new international order’ based on the extension of democracy across the globe, and a new spirit of peace. However, the enthusiasm which accompanied the fall of the Berlin wall and the end of the Cold War seems now far away. The crises and cruelties in Bosnia, Rwanda, Darfur, Afghanistan and Iraq have brought many to the conclusion that the new world order is a new world disorder. However, in a brief note of optimism, the recent revolts in the Middle East demonstrate that democracy is held dear by its citizens, despite the fact that it is a fluid arena which has to deal with unforeseen challenges from both within and outside the society. Spinoza wrote that without passion no human activity, though supported by reason, can prosper. But how can one rekindle in citizens, either spoiled by well-being or resentful because of exclusion from it, the passion for democracy by taking the path of nonviolence?
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