After 200 years of expansion, democracy’s growth in the world has stalled. A handful of democracies like Venezuela and Hungary are backsliding into authoritarianism. And even in established Western democracies, voters are losing faith in democratic institutions and norms.
That has left us and scholars who study democracy obsessed with a set of questions. Is this all just a blip, or is democracy in real trouble? Are the oldest and sturdiest democracies, like those of Europe and the United States, really as safe as they seem? And why would people voluntarily dismantle their own democracy from within?