July 2019, Volume 30, Issue 3

Populism and the Decline of Social Democracy

  • Maria Snegovaya
  • Sheri Berman
In both Eastern and Western Europe, social-democratic parties have shifted to the center on economic policy, not only sapping the electoral strength of these parties, but also opening up political space for the populist right.

More from our July issue


Table of Contents

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July 2019, Volume 30, Issue 3

Polarization versus Democracy

Why do ordinary people vote to return to office undemocratic incumbents? New survey experiments in several countries suggest that many voters are willing to put their partisan interests above democratic principles—a finding that may be key to understanding democratic backsliding.

July 2019, Volume 30, Issue 3

Why Ballot Secrecy Still Matters

The norm of ballot secrecy, although widely accepted in principle, is often downplayed and loosely defined in practice. As policy makers weigh new electoral options such as postal and internet voting, a better understanding is needed of secrecy’s many aspects and requirements.

July 2019, Volume 30, Issue 3

Egyptian Youth’s Digital Dissent

The military-backed regime of President al-Sisi seems secure, but study of the Egyptian internet reveals that the regime has failed to win over the young.

Featured Podcasts

JoD Editors and Authors on the Power 3.0 Podcast

On new podcasts produced by NED’s International Forum for Democratic Studies, Larry Diamond discusses “China and the Global Challenge to Democracy,” and Marc F. Plattner explores “Democracy and the Illiberal Temptation.” And don’t miss conversations with recent JoD author Ronald J. Deibert on how social media may be fueling authoritarianism and with April-issue contributor Glenn Tiffert on digital censorship in China and beyond.

“Power 3.0 | Authoritarian Resurgence, Democratic Resilience” is hosted by Christopher Walker, NED Vice-President for Studies and Analysis, and, Shanthi Kalathil, Senior Director of the International Forum for Democratic Studies.

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In The News

Rod Alence and Anne Pitcher on South Africa’s elections

May 2019

At the Washington Post’s Monkey Cage, read Alence and Pitcher’s take on South Africa’s 8 May 2019 national elections, and stay tuned for an expanded analysis in the October 2019 JoD. Plus, read Alence’s 2004 Journal article (free through May 31) for a deeper look into the history of South Africa’s democracy.



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Fighting Terrorism: The Democracy Advantage

Despite worries that terror groups can turn open societies’ very openness against them, the numbers reveal that liberal democracies enjoy significant advantages in resisting the threat of terrorism. 

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The Populist Challenge to Liberal Democracy

Across the West, economic, demographic, and cultural shifts have spurred the rise of populists who embrace majoritarianism and popular sovereignty while showing little commitment to constitutionalism and individual liberty. 

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Illiberal Democracy and the Struggle on the Right

At present, the key struggle for the future of liberal democracy appears as if it will be unfolding among parties and thinkers on the right.

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China in Xi’s “New Era”: The Return to Personalistic Rule

After Mao, Deng Xiaoping tried to institutionalize collective leadership, but this did not stop Xi Jinping from grasping all the levers of power.

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Explaining Eastern Europe: Imitation and Its Discontents

For countries emerging from communism, the post-1989 imperative to “be like the West” has generated discontent and even a “return of the repressed,” as the region feels old nationalist stirrings and new demographic pressures.