To mark the Journal of Democracy’s 25th anniversary issue, the January 2015 edition features a debate among some of the Journal’s most prominent contributing authors exploring the question, “Is Democracy in Decline?”
In his introductory essay, “Is Democracy in Decline?”Journal coeditor Marc F. Plattner explains that the Journal felt “compelled to confront head-on the question of whether democracy is in decline.” Plattner notes that the articles in the issue explore two aspects of this question by examining what is happening on the ground in individual countries and by reflecting on how democracy is viewed more generally around the world.
Journal coeditor Larry Diamond argues cause for concern in his article,“Facing Up to the Democratic Recession,” that a number of democratic breakdowns over the past decade and measured declines in freedom have coincided with a resurgence of authoritarianism in key countries.
Steven Levitsky and Lucan Way debate “The Myth of the Democratic Recession” by reevaluating what they estimate as “excessive optimism” during the post-Cold War 1990s, “in which virtually all forms of authoritarian crisis or regime instability were conflated with democratization.”
Francis Fukuyama explores governance challenges in “Why is Democracy Performing So Poorly,” andThomas Carothers analyzes emerging challenges for the democracy assistance community in “Democracy Aid at 25: Time to Choose.” Robert Kagan also explores “The Weight of Geopolitics.”
About the Journal of Democracy
For more than 25 years, the Journal of Democracy has been a leading voice in the conversation about government by consent and its place in the world. The Journal is published for the International Forum for Democratic Studies at the National Endowment for Democracy by the Johns Hopkins University Press and full access is available to subscribers through Project MUSE.