Debate: Questioning Backsliding

Issue Date October 2022
Volume 33
Issue 4
Page Numbers 156–59
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Jason Brownlee and Kenny Miao deftly question widespread views about the connections between democratic backsliding, democratic breakdown, and a global wave of autocratization. This brief response highlights the practical political questions that emerge from their findings and from the structural arguments they use to justify their relatively positive forecasts. The questions involve: backsliding’s breadth, location, and assessment; backsliding’s connections with the military; how recent changes in capitalism and party competition affect democratic resilience and, most important, why democracy’s defenders succeed or fail. Tracing and naming trends is useful, but the comparative study of how individual countries resist or reverse backsliding is essential.

About the Author

Nancy Bermeo is senior research fellow in politics at Nuffield College, Oxford University. 

View all work by Nancy Bermeo

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