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.
The triumph of far-right populist Jair Bolsonaro in Brazil’s October 2018 presidential election was made possible by a series of economic, social, and political crises that have shaken Brazilian democracy.
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.
In the world’s largest democracy, liberalism is in retreat, as evidenced by a pattern of assaults on minorities, press freedom, and the independence of key cultural and intellectual institutions.
Public-opinion data from Pew Research Center show that global support for representative democracy is widespread, but often thin. Amid rising economic anxiety, cultural unease, and political frustration, citizens are increasingly open to alternative systems of government.
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 political turmoil following a journalist’s murder in Slovakia has revealed serious dangers to the country’s democratic institutions.
Viewed until recently as an exemplar of democratic transformation, Poland is increasingly seen as a leading case of democratic backsliding, thanks to a series of illiberal measures pushed through by the Law and Justice party.
For countries emerging from communism, the post-1989 imperative to “be like the West” has generated discontent and even a “return of the repressed,” as the region feels old nationalist stirrings and new demographic pressures.
Viktor Orbán’s Fidesz party has used its two-thirds majority in parliament to change the constitution, erase checks and balances, and make
the electoral system even more majoritarian.