The German Marshall Fund of the United States

Global Swing States and the Human Rights and Democracy Order

Editor's Note: This paper was originally published on the German Marshall Fund of the United States website. You can also download the related report titled "Global Swing States: Brazil, India, Indonesia, Turkey, and the Future of International Order."

SUMMARY

The convergence of values and divergence of methods between the “global swing states” — Brazil, India, Indonesia, and Turkey — and the world’s established democracies are on particular display in the arena of democracy and human rights. To varying degrees, all four nations are prepared to play a role in supporting international mechanisms to strengthen human rights and democracy, but this is to be done on their own terms: through quiet diplomacy and mediation, using coercive methods only as a last resort. The challenge before Western democracies is to evaluate when to seek convergence with global swing states on international interventions to uphold human rights and when to yield to parallel efforts that may entail less control but greater acceptance and therefore greater effectiveness on the ground.