For almost a decade, Freedom House’s annual survey has highlighted a decline in democracy in most regions of the globe. Some analysts say this shows that the world has entered a "democratic recession." Others dispute that interpretation, emphasizing democracy’s success in maintaining the huge gains it made during the last quarter of the twentieth century.
Analogies with interwar Europe are often misdirected. In the 1920s and 1930s, regime breakdowns occurred in struggling new democracies, but established democratic systems exhibited remarkable endurance.
Traditional intermediary institutions such as parties and the legacy media are not what they once were, and they are not coming back. What are the implications of new social media and digital-campaign techniques?
Rising populism in the U.S. and beyond is calling into question the liberal-democratic bargain that has defined the postwar era. What led to Americans’ present revolt against elites, and what are its implications?
In 2016, established democracies figured prominently on the list of countries experiencing declines in freedom, while emboldened autocracies stepped up their repression at home and interference abroad.
Political scientists have long assumed that “democratic consolidation” is a one-way street, but survey evidence of declining support for democracy from across the established democracies suggests that deconsolidation is a genuine danger.
Post-1945 Western Europe benefited greatly from center-left parties offering real solutions to real problems. Where has that left gone?
Once the poster child for successful postcommunist transitions to democracy, Poland is now governed by populist nationalists. What happened?
Once a protest party, the right-wing National Front has sought to recast itself for electoral success. How will Marine Le Pen fare in the 2017 presidential race?
What some had thought would be the “end of history” has instead turned out to be the “new world disorder.” Democratic liberalism may have no new ideological rival, but older identities are powerfully reasserting themselves.