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.

How Much Democratic Backsliding?

Article
October 2017

Democracy’s retreat is real, yet alarmist reports of a global demise or crisis of democracy are not warranted.

Liberal Democracy’s Fading Allure

Article
October 2017

Is liberal democracy the only suitable type of government for a strong, modern society? A quarter-century ago, the answer seemed to be a clear yes. But today the picture is much cloudier.

Eroding Norms and Democratic Deconsolidation

Article
October 2017

“Democratic deconsolidation” on the level of attitudes and beliefs is real, and behind it lies a disturbing rise in tolerance for antisocial behavior, especially among the young. 

The Real Lessons of the Interwar Years

Article
July 2017

Analogies with interwar Europe are often misdirected. In the 1920s and 1930s, regime breakdowns occurred in struggling new democracies, but established democratic systems exhibited remarkable endurance. 

The 2016 U.S. Election: The Populist Moment

Article
April 2017

Rising populism in the U.S. and beyond is calling into question the liberal-democratic bargain that has defined the postwar era. What led to Americans’ present revolt against elites, and what are its implications?

The Freedom House Survey for 2016: The Dual Threat of Populists and Autocrats

Article
April 2017

In 2016, established democracies figured prominently on the list of countries experiencing declines in freedom, while emboldened autocracies stepped up their repression at home and interference abroad. 

The 2016 U.S. Election: Can Democracy Survive the Internet?

Article
April 2017

Traditional intermediary institutions such as parties and the legacy media are not what they once were, and they are not coming back. What are the implications of new social media and digital-campaign techniques?

The Signs of Deconsolidation

Article
January 2017

Political scientists have long assumed that “democratic consolidation” is a one-way street, but survey evidence of declining support for democracy from across the established democracies suggests that deconsolidation is a genuine danger.

The Specter Haunting Europe: The Lost Left

Article
October 2016

Post-1945 Western Europe benefited greatly from center-left parties offering real solutions to real problems. Where has that left gone?

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