Don’t overstate turn from democracy


journal-of-democracy-october-2016People in Europe and the United States have soured on the idea of democracy and have become open to nondemocratic ways to run their countries, according to Roberto Stefan Foa and Yascha Mounk’s interesting article in the Journal of Democracy that has gotten a lot of media play, notes Georgetown University’s Erik Voeten.

Below and in an accompanying paper I take a more systematic look at the data. In short, there is no evidence for an overall trend, he writes for The Washington Post:

People in advanced democracies have not become more enthusiastic for nondemocratic alternatives and there is no drop in support for democracy. I do find differences between millennials and other generations. But these are modest and mostly limited to the United States.

That doesn’t mean that democracies are safe. There is plenty to worry about. But the threat does not come from abstract procedural preferences among younger people for alternative regime types.


Print Friendly, PDF & Email