When the first issue of the Journal of Democracy appeared in January 1990, democracy's continued expansion appeared inexorable. Thirty years later, after years of negative global trends that have been called the democratic recession, such optimism about democracy's prospects seems profoundly unrealistic. But the recession is being countered today by surprising democratic resilience. Since the spring of 2018, when authoritarian regimes unexpectedly fell in Ethiopia, Armenia, and Malaysia, grassroots movements of protest against corrupt and unaccountable autocratic governments have swept through many countries and regions. In this new period, organizations and individuals working to strengthen democracy globally should focus on six urgent priorities: 1) assisting democratic transitions; 2) supporting the liberalization of authoritarian systems; 3) countering authoritarianism's malign influence internationally; 4) defending democratic values against growing illiberalism and intolerance; 5) winning the new battle over technology and information; and 6) reviving democratic political will in the world's leading democracies, above all in the United States.


Additional Information

Print ISSN
pp. 103-113
Launched on MUSE
Open Access
Back To Top

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. Without cookies your experience may not be seamless.