Despite the ongoing global pandemic, one cannot get through a policy discussion debate nowadays without it being suggested that there is a global erosion of liberal democracy, and that ‘the rule of law’ could be the solution to most of the world’s democratic backsliding troubles. The rule of law is critical for building and maintaining a democracy, as a fundamental principle embraced by most modern democracies which serves us well in sustaining the checks and balances on the overreach of power by those leaders with autocratic tendencies. However, in order to maintain and nurture a democracy, more than simply a subscription to the principles of the rule of law is required. This article discusses the importance of the rule of law, and why in recent years it has been revived as an important mechanism; we will examine some of the key moments in history where the rule of law has gained momentum as a foundational element of a functional democracy.
China’s Evolving Footprint in the Western Balkans: Navigating Between the Belt and Road Initiative and the Covid-19 Pandemic
China’s infrastructure diplomacy during the implementation of the BRI in the course of the past years is now being challenged and subject to recalibration in light of the Covid-19 pandemic. China’s outreach activities in international relations are now being supplemented by what the authorities in Beijing label the “Health Silk Road”. This was illustrated by China’s ‘mask diplomacy’ during March and April 2020 vis-à-vis countries participating in the 17+1 network.