Rather than being in decline, democracy is in crisis due to the gap between the democratic ideal and how democracy is actually being practiced. It will survive by transitioning into a new, as yet unknown, form.
The present crisis of the Euro is a near perfect example of how causal complexity, unanticipated consequences, and decisional uncertainty can have a significant and cumulative impact on regional integration. In theory, this should be the crisis that will drive the EU from economic to political integration. In practice, the outcome—at least, so far—has been the just opposite.
A coauthor of the pathbreaking study Transitions from Authoritarian Rule reflects on the lessons that he has learned about democratic transition and consolidation since the publication of this work nearly 25 years ago.
A ket to "modern representative political democracy" is accountability, but the task of assessing it must be carefully thought through.
Europe faces a potentially dangerous “double bind”: The legitimacy of domestic democracy in the member states is waning, and citizens are increasingly unhappy with the EU’s lack of accountability—but the new draft Constitution fails to address the problem.