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.
Taking advantage of broad global respect for regionalism, authoritarian regimes are using their own regional organizations to bolster fellow autocracies. These groupings offer a mechanism for lending legitimacy, redistributing resources, and insulating members from democratic influences.
What factors help a democracy to survive a crisis? A study of cases in which democracy suffered a steep decline, yet ultimately recovered and endured, offers new insights. In moments of crisis, unelected and nonmajoritarian actors can play a pivotal role.
Most competitive authoritarian regimes have proven strikingly unstable over recent decades. Quasi-democratic institutions, rather than serving authoritarians as useful instruments of manipulation, have frequently contributed to the breakdown of these systems.
From enhancing physical security to encouraging mutual trust, an inclusive sense of national identity continues to be crucial to the flourishing of modern states.
When nonviolent mass protests occur under authoritarian regimes, the military plays a key role in determining the outcome: the hardening of the dictatorship, a new authoritarian regime, or a transition to democracy.
Embracing a new model of capitalist authoritarianism, a number of nondemocratic regimes have made startling gains in state capacity, posing a new challenge to the appeal and advance of liberal democracy.
Today’s authoritarians are using “sharp power” to project their influence internationally, with the objective of limiting free expression, spreading confusion, and distorting the political environment within democracies.
A review of Democracy: Stories from the Long Road to Freedom by Condoleezza Rice.
The worldwide popularity of runoff rules for presidential elections has grown strikingly in recent decades. In Latin America, contrary to scholarly expectations, this shift has had important benefits for democracy.