Decline of Democracy (I)

Decline of Democracy (I)

Written by Alfonso Elizondo


According to Larry Diamond, eminent political sociologist and Stanford University professor, the danger of a growing democratic regression cannot be denied at this time. The picture is not yet bleak because the average levels of freedom have not declined and have found great citizen support. So what is required is for democrats living in established democracies to not lose faith.


The myth propounded by Levitsky and Lucan Way about the regression of democracy during the last decade has not yet produced any democratic debacle. Instead, democracy has shown its tenacious resistance globally. It is possible that in the new social order that is still not well defined, the forms of democracy will expand to include new versions, including non-Western models.

A new democracy demands more social actors, a reaction against non-democratic elites, a spirit more open to participation and greater tolerance among existing social groups.

Coexisting social movements overlap and contradict each other because they are the expression of society and they foster the renewal of democracy as new parties emerge. These sources are a combination of the crisis in the functioning of institutions, the outrage over specific events and the emergence of a critical awareness that goes from protest to planning.

Joshua Kurlantzick, for his part, analyzes the economic and social factors in the decline of democracy. He says that in the years at the turn of the century, most predictions pointed to the global triumph of democracy. But authoritarian government resurfaced because democracies in the developing world had not succeeded in becoming firmly planted, although some positive signs are appearing.

According to Christopher Hare and Keith T. Poole, the current major political and economic problems are unlikely to be a real threat to US institutions, but partisan polarization can have serious effects on democracy. It is not yet known at the moment how Democrats, Republicans and President Trump are going to overcome the differences between them just a few months before the next presidential elections in 2020.

Addendum: Now we will turn to Europe, Latin America, Africa, China, Australia and the rest of the world.