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.
Contra Ben Margulies, one can clearly mark the boundaries that separate antidemocrats from democrats (nativists included), and nativists from populists.
Takis Pappas argues that certain nativist parties of the populist right should be counted as liberal-democratic. This is a mistake; these parties
do not truly merit that name.
Does the electoral victory of the Hindu-nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party signal that the world’s largest democracy may be following Sri Lanka toward a politics where the will of the majority is exalted above minority rights?
The response of the Chinese state (and of Chinese society at large) to the problems of the country’s periphery—Tibet, Xinjiang, and Inner Mongolia, as well as hundreds of counties, prefectures, and townships in Sichuan, Qinghai, Yunnan, and other areas—is piling more tension and misery upon the populations there, but it is not undermining state power.
Contrary to popular wisdom, emerging democracies might be better off with a majoritarian electoral system rather than one based on proportional representation.
Evidence from waves of democratization shows proportional election systems, however imperfect, to be the better option in most contexts.
Must every state be a nation and every nation a state? Or should we look instead to the example of countries such as India, where one state holds together a congeries of “national” groups and cultures in a single and wisely conceived federal republic?
How do democracies deal with the deep divisions created by race, ethnicity, religion, and language? The cases of Canada, India, and the United States show that democratic institutions—notably, competitive elections and independent judiciaries—can bridge divides and build stability, but they must find a way to manage the tension between individual and group equality.