Is democratic deconsolidation underway in the United States and Europe? In recent years, support for democracy, especially among millennials, has been dwindling in a number of established democracies.
The evidence presented by Foa and Mounk is troubling, but it does not mean that democracy is now in long-term decline.
A quarter-century after the Soviet breakup, democracy has hardly fared well across the vast Eurasian landmass. Why has this seemingly promising gain for freedom produced such disappointing results?
As more and more African presidents attempt to remove or circumvent constitutional term limits, African populations increasingly are mobilizing en masse, at great risk, to defend their constitutions.
A number of countries in East-Central Europe are facing a grave crisis of constitutional democracy. As their governments seek to undermine the institutional limits on their power, constitutional courts have become a central target.
Far from being a reformer, as some had hoped, President Xi Jinping has launched the most sweeping ideological campaign seen in China since Mao. Xi is mixing nationalism, Leninism, and Maoism in ways that he hopes will cement continued one-party Communist rule.
Over the last decade or so, Bolivia has made great progress at wider political and social inclusion, but at some cost to civil liberties and horizontal accountability.
One of the first Latin American countries to make a democratic transition as the 1970s ended, Ecuador struggled in its search for political stability. Now it appears to have more stability, but that stability appears more authoritarian than democratic.
Latin America’s largest country has managed vastly to enlarge the share of its citizens who can take part in politics and need no longer live in poverty, and has robust horizontal accountability to boot. Vertical accountability, however, has suffered.
Delegative presidencies have not been a problem in post-Pinochet Chile, but the rise of mass protest movements suggests that the country’s new democracy has gone too far in the direction of demobilizing society.
President Alvaro Uribe’s time in office was marked by disturbing trends that included a spike in extrajudicial killings and an attempt to overthrow term limits, but the country’s institutions of horizontal accountability proved remarkably resilient.
After spending the 1990s coping with an overweening president, Peru settled into a more sedate style of politics, but it is one in which parties barely exist, voters feel unhappy with their elected chief executives despite strong economic growth, and technocracy rather than democracy is the key mode of decision making.
Latin America has not been witnessing a general trend toward authoritarianism, but accountability—whether horizontal, vertical, or both—has suffered in some countries, and at times has done so as a side-effect or unexpected cost of what must be considered signal democratic advances toward noble goals such as greater social and political inclusion.
- Excerpts of an April 30 letter written by Thich Quang Do, Supreme Patriarch of the Unified Buddhist Church of Vietnam and a leading human-rights advocate, to U.S. president Barack Obama on the eve of his first visit to Vietnam.
- Excerpts from an April 14 declaration issued by prominent Latin American political leaders and activists calling for political and social opening in Cuba.
- Exceprts from the inaugural address of Taiwan's new president Tsai Ing-wen of the Democratic Progressive Party.