The Impact of the Economic Crisis: Why Democracies Survive

Issue Date January 2011
Volume 22
Issue 1
Page Numbers 17-30
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As an analysis of recent electoral results shows, the world’s emerging democracies are weathering the global economic crisis surprisingly well. There are three main reasons behind democracy’s resilience during the downturn. First, the countries hardest hit economically by the financial crisis have mostly been the wealthy, industrialized democracies or the new European market economies, which are now consolidated and deeply institutionalized. Second, in the newer and weaker democracies, the effect of economic turbulence has been the defeat of democratically elected governments but not the demise of democracy. And third, the breakdowns of democracy that have been occurring largely predate the onset of the global recession and are due to bad internal governance, not unfavorable global conditions.

About the Author

Larry Diamond is senior fellow at the Hoover Institution and the Mosbacher Senior Fellow in Global Democracy at the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies at Stanford University, and founding coeditor of the Journal of Democracy.

View all work by Larry Diamond