The crisis in the older democracies

Democracy is not so much a stable political system as a work in permanent progress. It takes decades, even centuries, to embed in a society – but, even then, it is never settled and never totally secure.

Indeed the distinction between democratic countries and non-democratic countries is a blurred one and it is better to see nations on a spectrum from fully democratic to outright authoritarian. Positions on that spectrum can and do change, sometimes – for good or bad – very rapidly.

This is very obvious with nations that have only recently attempted democratic forms, such as Russia, South Africa, Afghanistan and Iraq.

What is much less well understood is that even the older democracies are facing serious challenges which, in some cases, amount to a crisis. Sadly this is the case in many of the nations of Europe and much of the remainder of the developed world including the United States.

These are the opening paragraphs of my website essay on “The crisis in the older democracies”.


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