Why Democracies Survive


As an analysis of recent electoral results shows, the world’s emerging democracies are weathering the global economic crisis surprisingly well. There are three main reasons behind democracy’s resilience during the downturn. First, the countries hardest hit economically by the financial crisis have mostly been the wealthy, industrialized democracies or the new European market economies, which are now consolidated and deeply institutionalized. Second, in the newer and weaker democracies, the effect of economic turbulence has been the defeat of democratically elected governments but not the demise of democracy. And third, the breakdowns of democracy that have been occurring largely predate the onset of the global recession and are due to bad internal governance, not unfavorable global conditions.