Economic Growth

5 stories on the state of democracy today

Is democracy in danger? Image: REUTERS/Vasily Fedosenko

Ceri Parker
Previously Commissioning Editor, Agenda, World Economic Forum
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Economic Progress

Today, over 4 billion people live under some form of democracy. This represents remarkable progress over the last 200 years, as this graph illustrates.

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However, there are concerns that the spread of democracy is stalling, and that even in democratic countries, the conditions needed for fair and accountable governance are under threat.

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These five articles shed light on the state of democracy today.

The biggest threat to democracy? Your social media feed. “When people feel their democratic representatives do not serve them any more, they turn to the internet. They look for others who feel the same and moans turn into movements.” Democracy cannot function without an informed debate, writes Vyacheslav Polonski, a network scientist at the Oxford Internet Institute.

Image: REUTERS/Kacper Pempe

Democracy has sold its soul. Around the world, voter turn-out is the lowest it has been in a generation. Citizens have lost faith in politicians and are turning to demagogues, writes Japheth J. Omojuwa, CEO of the Alpha Reach.

Three reasons democracy is failing in the nation state. From the hollowing-out of politics to knee-jerk reactions by national leaders, Mary Kaldor, Professor of Global Governance, London School of Economics, outlines what’s gone wrong – and how to fix it.

An idea for the future of democracy. We need to have a hacker mentality towards our institutions: understand them from the inside, pull them apart and reformulate them in order to make them better, writes Jorge Soto, entrepreneur and former adviser to Mexico's government.

The weakening of democracy. We have 19th-century institutions with 20th-century mindsets, and we're attempting to communicate with 21st-century citizens, states the latest World Economic Forum Outlook on the Global Agenda.

Image: Outlook on the Global Agenda 2015 report
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