Democracy

Democracy will be tested, warns Francis Fukuyama

Here's how "The End of History and the Last Man," the 1992 best seller of political philosopher and Stanford University professor Francis Fukuyama, ends: "Perhaps this very prospect of centuries of boredom at the end of history will serve to get history started once again." Clearly, the engines of history restarted and have been working at warp speed in the past three decades.

Freedom of Information Curbs Alarm Rights Activists in Hungary

But rights groups and the opposition now fear a repeat of events in 2015. In that year, the Orban government introduced controversial "crisis" measures to stop an influx of migrants that are still in force today - despite the dramatic decline in the number of migrants and refugees coming to Hungary since then.

'Crisis' measures that risk becoming permanent:

‘Marshall Plan,’ Merkel method

Times like these test leaders. In a world full of fear and noise, a small group is called upon to take decisions that will determine the fate of their people. No one was elected on the basis of their program for dealing with a pandemic but their legacy will depend on how they handled this threat to all of us. Their decisions will either alleviate the damage or compound it.

Calling On ‘The People’ to Rekindle Democracy’s Promise

Aspiring authoritarian leaders and populist politicians are encouraged by divisive politics within mainstream political parties. They feel emboldened by blatant attacks on civil liberties by seasoned autocrats such as Russian President Vladimir Putin or Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. 

Wolves in the Woods: Liberal Democracy and Its Enemies

By the end of the 1980s, some believed that this system of governance, which engendered economic success and political stability, had won the day against any alternative. Communist and fascist authoritarianism were discredited. A mood of triumphalism set in, breeding complacency. But things look a lot less rosy for liberal democrats today.

Democracy Digest: Gloom, Doom and Silver Linings

Four out of the five categories that make up the average score deteriorated. Civil liberties: down. Political culture: down. Functioning of government: down. Electoral processes and pluralism: you guessed it.

The only category that registered an uptick was "political participation", reflecting "a rising tide of popular protest" that "shook regimes run by despots and democrats alike".

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