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.

The Undemocratic Dilemma

Article
April 2018

The ability of liberal democracies around the world to translate popular views into public policy has been declining. Yet there is no easy way to overcome this trend without weakening the capacity of governments to solve some of the most pressing challenges of the coming decades.

The Freedom House Survey for 2017: Democracy Beleaguered

Article
April 2018

In 2017, the state of political rights and civil liberties around the world sunk to its lowest point in more than a decade. While the democratic powers grappled with their own internal problems, leading autocrats expanded their global efforts to undermine democratic institutions.

The Populist Challenge to Liberal Democracy

Article
April 2018

Across the West, economic, demographic, and cultural shifts have spurred the rise of populists who embrace majoritarianism and popular sovereignty while showing little commitment to constitutionalism and individual liberty. 

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.

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. 

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.

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. 

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