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.
Not so long ago, the internet was being lauded as a force for greater freedom and democracy. With the rise of intrusive and addictive social media, however, a discomfiting reality has set in.
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.
Democracies must grapple not only with the proliferation of AI to authoritarian and illiberal regimes, but also with the temptation that AI poses for democratic governments themselves.
There is a growing sense today that democrats worldwide are in a race against time to prevent cyberspace from becoming an arena for surveillance, control, and manipulation.
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.
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.
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.
From enhancing physical security to encouraging mutual trust, an inclusive sense of national identity continues to be crucial to the flourishing of modern states.
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.