Democracy in Decline?

Book

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.

Understanding Authoritarian Regionalism

Article
October 2018

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.

Democracy’s "Near Misses"

Article
October 2018

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.

The Surprising Instability of Competitive Authoritarianism

Article
October 2018

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.

Why National Identity Matters

Article
October 2018

From enhancing physical security to encouraging mutual trust, an inclusive sense of national identity continues to be crucial to the flourishing of modern states.

Mass Protests and the Military

Article
July 2018

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.

Modernization and Authoritarianism

Article
July 2018

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.

What Is "Sharp Power"?

Article
July 2018

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.

The Case for Democratic Persistence

Article
January 2018

A review of Democracy: Stories from the Long Road to Freedom by Condoleezza Rice.

Reevaluating Runoffs in Latin America

Article
January 2018

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. 

Pages