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Democracy in Decline? by Larry Diamond, Marc F. Plattner, Condoleezza Rice

By Larry Diamond, Marc F. Plattner, Condoleezza Rice

For virtually a decade, Freedom House’s annual survey has highlighted a decline in democracy in so much areas of the globe. whereas a few analysts draw upon this proof to argue that the area has entered a "democratic recession," others dispute that interpretation, emphasizing as an alternative democracy’s luck in protecting the massive earnings it made over the last sector of the 20 th century.

Discussion of this query has moved past disputes approximately what percentage international locations might be labeled as democratic to embody a number of wider issues concerning the well-being of democracy: the bad financial and political functionality of complicated democracies, the hot self-confidence and assertiveness of a couple of prime authoritarian nations, and a geopolitical weakening of democracies relative to those resurgent authoritarians.

In Democracy in Decline?, 8 of the world’s major public intellectuals and students of democracy―Francis Fukuyama, Robert Kagan, Philippe C. Schmitter, Steven Levitsky, Lucan manner, Thomas Carothers, and editors Larry Diamond and Marc F. Plattner―explore those issues and supply competing viewpoints in regards to the country of democracy this day. This brief selection of essays is key interpreting for someone desirous to comprehend the most recent pondering on some of the most serious questions of our era.

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THE INTERNATIONAL CLIMATE IMPROVES The answer is related to the configuration of power and ideas in the world. The international climate from the mid-​1970s onward was simply more hospitable to democracies and more challenging to autocratic governments than had been the case in past eras. In his study, Huntington emphasized the change, following the Second Vatican Council, in the Catholic Church’s doctrine regarding order and revolution, which tended to weaken the legitimacy of authoritarian governments in Catholic countries.

This coercive power was backed by a strong belief in the legitimacy of law and was therefore Why Is Democracy Performing So Poorly? 21 converted into genuine authority in most places. The capacity to enforce constitutes an area where state capacity overlaps with the rule of law, and it is critical in dealing with a problem like corruption. The behavior of public officials depends on incentives—​not just getting adequate pay for doing their jobs, but the fear of punishment if they break the law.

Equally important was the role that the United States played in preventing backsliding away from democracy where it had barely taken root. Perhaps the most significant US contribution was simply to prevent military coups against fledgling democratic governments. In a sense, the United States was interfering in what might have been a natural cycle, preventing nations that ordinarily would have been “due” for an authoritarian phase from following the usual pattern. It was not that the United States was exporting democracy everywhere.

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