Civil Rights and Minimal Definitions of Democracy
There are two civil rights that are worth special consideration, as they are closely connected with political rights and democracy. First, freedom of the press is undoubtedly among the most crucial civil rights for the development of democracy in any state. If there is an absence of censorship, journalists can reveal whether certain individuals work toward the common good or their own private interests. Freedom of the press is strongly linked to political rights, as it allows citizens to consciously participate in both the civil and political life of their country.
People must analyze some credible information in order to do it first; thus, they need to read free and unbiased media resources. Furthermore, freedom of the press is related to both procedural and substantive definitions of democracy. Its basic principles are clearly outlined by various government documents and applied in different processes, while its outcomes preserve democracy. Pohl illustrates the significance of freedom of the press by analyzing the case of the Nazis and mentioning that Adolf Hitler began his reign with the end of civil rights. Therefore, freedom of the press is vital in a democratic state.
Second, freedom of religion has great importance for democracy as well. According to Essayah, the maturity of a democratic state can be measured by the willingness of political leaders and ordinary citizens to protect religious minorities. Those who are religiously oppressed may often lack the opportunity to fully exercise their political rights due to the fear of discrimination. What is more, the definitions of substantive and procedural democracy are also connected to freedom of religion. The outcomes of this civil rights application are undoubtedly favorable for the prosperity of democracy, while the process itself involves a number of democratic procedures.