“Some say that global democracy is experiencing its worst setback since the 1930s and that it will continue to retreat unless rich countries find ways to reduce inequality and manage the information revolution,” Foreign Affairs editor Gideon Rose writes in his introduction to the latest issue:
- To counsel against despair, Walter Russell Mead uses history, and Ronald Inglehart uses theory. Democracies in general, and American democracy in particular, have proved remarkably resilient over time. They have faced great challenges, but they have also found ways of rising to those challenges and renewing themselves. ….
- Yascha Mounk and Roberto Stefan Foa [contributors to the National Endowment for Democracy’s Journal of Democracy] offer a bleaker view. The collective economic might of authoritarian powers now outweighs that of advanced liberal democracies, they point out, and it is probable that the future will look less like the end of history than a renewed struggle for global ideological supremacy.
- Yuen Yuen Ang and Ivan Krastev, finally, explore how the authoritarian resurgence is playing out on the ground in China and eastern Europe, respectively. At least today’s enemies of democracy are less violent and aggressive than their fascist predecessors, so war is unlikely.