News & Updates

Read the Journal of Democracy’s free essays in 2023

Why Russia’s Democracy Never Began

People obsess over where Russia’s democracy went wrong. The truth is it did not fail: Russia’s democratic transition never got off the starting blocks.

By Maria Snegovaya

Why India’s Democracy Is Dying

Under Narendra Modi, India is maintaining the trappings of democracy while it increasingly harasses the opposition, attacks minorities, and stifles dissent. It can still reverse course, but the damage is mounting.

By Maya Tudor

The Authoritarian Roots of India’s Democracy

To say that Indian democracy is backsliding misunderstands the country’s history and the challenges its faces: A certain authoritarianism is embedded in India’s constitution and political structures.

By Tripurdaman Singh

The Putin Myth

Vladimir Putin’s reputation as a skillful leader was buoyed by years of economic good fortune. But when his regime faltered, his rule quickly descended into the fearful, repressive, and paranoid state we see today.

By Kathryn Stoner

Is Iran on the Verge of Another Revolution?

There have been numerous waves of protest against the country’s corrupt theocracy. This time is different. It is a movement to reclaim life. Whatever happens, there is no going back.

By Asef Bayat

Iraq’s Mafia State

Although Saddam fell twenty years ago, the politicians who have come after him still think like Baathists. But a new generation has begun making itself heard. It believes in Iraq as a nation and it understands democracy as more than a source of spoils to be divided among groups.

By Kanan Makiya


In Europe, Democracy Erodes from the Right

When ordinary voters are given a choice between democracy and partisan loyalty, who will put democracy first? Frighteningly, Europe harbors a deep reservoir of authoritarian potential.

By Milan W. Svolik, Johanna Lutz, Filip Milačić, and Elena Avramovska

China’s Threat to Global Democracy

The Chinese Communist Party is deadly serious about its authoritarian designs, and it is bent on promoting them. It is time for the world’s democracies to get serious, too.

By Michael Beckley and Hal Brands

Armies and Autocrats: Why Putin’s Military Failed

When Vladimir Putin launched a massive invasion of Ukraine, he expected an easy victory. Instead, the world has witnessed an object lesson in how a corrupt Russian regime crippled its own military power.

By Zoltan Barany

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