The Triumph of Democratic Institutions in the US: Lessons for South Sudan

The inauguration of President Joe Biden on the 20th of January 2021 is a triumph of democracy and democratic institutions in the United States. There were some genuine concerns that peaceful transfer of power might not happen for the first time in American history. President Trump’s refusal to concede the election he had genuinely lost, and his claim of electoral fraud were at the core of this uncertainty in the United States. The mob attack on the Capitol, which was an attempt to disrupt the certification of the electoral college results, epitomizes Trump’s relentless efforts to retain power. As the United States is seen as a paragon of democracy, Trump’s refusal to accept the results of the election baffled the whole world and generated debates about the future of democracy, both in the US and around the world. This Weekly Review applauds the power of human innovation and its success. It celebrates the strength of the American democratic institutions, which has enabled the American people to weather what was a substantial threat to a long-established institutional tradition of peaceful transfer of power. The hope is that such lessons could also help emerging countries, such as South Sudan, at the very least, to appreciate the value of rule-based institutions. Moreover, the review highlights the perils of predicating public institutions on personalities. The rest of the review revisits the definition of institutions, brief context and state of institutions in South Sudan, and concludes with some recommendations.