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Foreign Policy Foreign Policy

Promote democracy (and other principles) across the world

Last updated: 08:43pm 11 December 2019

We will continue to promote democracy, the rule of law, property entitlements, a free and open media, and accountable institutions in countries and societies across the world.

Conservative Party Manifesto 2017, p.39

Our verdict

This policy is strikingly similar to a promise on page 22 of the manifesto to “champion British values around the globe“. That policy speaks of “freedom, democracy, tolerance and the rule of law”: this one uses “democracy, the rule of law, property entitlements, a free and open media, and accountable institutions”.

Promoting “democracy” and “the rule of law” are objectives of both policies; “a free and open media” falls under “freedom” and “tolerance”; “accountable institutions” sits inside “democracy” and “the rule of law”. The only arguably significant difference is the inclusion in this policy of “property entitlements”. However, property rights are regularly included in definitions of the rule of law, and often used as a measure of adherence to the rule of law by small ‘c’ conservative groups such as the Conservative Party.

In short, we think these promises are close enough to identical to say that this policy replicates another. It is essentially a promise that the government will act as a force for good at a global level. We found enough evidence, much of it based on actions to fulfil more focused policies, to give the replica policy – Continue to champion British values around the globe – a status of ‘done’, so this one gets the same treatment.

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