95 Foreign Aff. 151 (2016)
Democracy in Decline: How Washington Can Reverse the Tide

handle is hein.journals/fora95 and id is 831 raw text is: 





Democracy in Decline


How Washington Can Reverse the Tide

Larry Diamond


n the decade following the Cold War, democracy flourished around
    the world as never before. In recent years, however, much of this
    progress has steadily eroded. Between 2000 and 2015, democracy
broke down in 27 countries, among them Kenya, Russia, Thailand,
and Turkey. Around the same time, several other global swing states-
countries that, thanks to their large populations and economies, could
have an outsize impact on the future of global democracy-also took
a turn for the worse. In nearly half of them, political liberties, as
measured by the U.S. nonprofit Freedom House, contracted.
   Meanwhile, many existing authoritarian regimes have become even
less open, transparent, and responsive to their citizens. They are
silencing online dissent by censoring, regulating, and arresting those
they perceive as threats. Many of them are attempting to control the
Internet by passing laws, for example, that require foreign companies
to store citizens' data within the home country's borders. Offline,
states are also constraining civil society by restricting the ability of
organizations to operate, communicate, and fundraise. Since 2012,
governments across the globe have proposed or enacted more than
90 laws restricting freedom of association or assembly.
   Adding to the problem, democracy itself seems to have lost its
appeal. Many emerging democracies have failed to meet their
citizens' hopes for freedom, security, and economic growth, just as
the world's established democracies, including the United States,
have grown increasingly dysfunctional. In China, meanwhile, decades
of economic growth have proved that a state need not liberalize to
generate prosperity.

LARRY DIAMOND is a Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution and at the Freeman
Spogli Institute for International Studies at Stanford University. Follow him on
Twitter @LarryDiamond.


July/August 2016 151

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