Journal of Democracy 30th Anniversary Issue: Democracy Embattled

In our special 30th anniversary issue, Francis Fukuyama, Ivan Krastev, Lilia Shevtsova, and many more distinguished contributors reflect on democracy’s prospects in a shifting global landscape.

In his introductory essay, Journal coeditor Marc F. Plattner writes that the title Democracy Embattled “reflects our sense that we are in the early stages of what is likely to be a long struggle. Democracy may be down, but it certainly is not out.” Our January 2020 issue, available free of charge through February 15 at Project MUSE, surveys the legacies of recent decades and the critical issues that confront democracies today:

Weighing the Democratic Recession

  • Francis Fukuyama examines the growing role of identity, technology’s unexpected consequences, and other emerging challenges to democracies;
  • Yascha Mounk revisits Fukuyama’s thesis on the “end of history”;
  • Larry Diamond explains how to escape the world’s democratic slump.

The New Authoritarian Challenge

Understanding Populism

  • Ivan Krastev explores how the “fear of being outnumbered” may be driving illiberalism in Central and Eastern Europe;
  • Ghia Nodia asks what the “iron law of oligarchy” can tell us about rising discontent with representative democracy.

Fresh Thinking on International Democracy Support

  • Alina Mungiu-Pippidi charts the rise of anticorruption norms and the pitfalls of good-governance interventions;
  • Carl Gershman identifies the six urgent priorities for bolstering democracy assistance;
  • Thomas Carothers argues we must rethink how democracy support fits in a turbulent world.

Trends Around the World

  • Lilia Shevtsova unpacks the motives behind Russia’s aggression in Ukraine and considers the West’s response;
  • Minxin Pei writes that the course chosen decades ago by Deng Xiaoping has enabled a “revival of neo-Stalinism” in Xi Jinping’s China;
  • Andrew J. Nathan probes the puzzle of popular support for authoritarian regimes in East and Southeast Asia;
  • Ladan Boroumand contends that the Islamic Republic is suffering from an ideological crisis that is leading Iranians to turn their backs on the regime;
  • Michele Dunne shows how demonstrators in Algeria and Sudan are learning from the experiences of neighboring countries; and
  • Sumit Ganguly outlines the threat of rising illiberalism in India.

Plus: Laura Rosenberger reviews Peter Pomerantsev’s This Is Not Propaganda.


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