German Voters Trigger a Political Earthquake

  • Michael Bröning
The far-right AfD surged ahead in the European Union elections. It is now one of Germany’s dominant parties, and not just part of the fringe.

Is Democracy Surviving the “Year of Elections”?

  • John K. Glenn
Millions of voters are casting ballots in a string of elections across the globe. At the midyear point, how well is democracy holding up?

South Africa Has Entered a New Era

  • Ongama Mtimka
The African National Congress can no longer call all the shots, and opposition parties will have more sway. Will this lead to a more inclusive democracy or gridlock and division?
April 2024, Volume 35, Issue 2

Power, Performance, and Legitimacy

  • Larry Diamond
Around the world, democracy has lost steam. If we are to regain the momentum, we must harness these essential elements and wage the struggle with the conviction that the times demand.

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July 2019, Volume 30, Issue 3

Polarization versus Democracy

Why do ordinary people vote to return to office undemocratic incumbents? New survey experiments in several countries suggest that many voters are willing to put their partisan interests above democratic principles—a finding that may be key to understanding democratic backsliding.

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April 2024, Volume 35, Issue 2

America’s Crisis of Civic Virtue

The problem for democracy today is not capitalism; it is a decline in public honesty and civility. But there is an opportunity to revive our sense of national community, if we seize it.

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July 2023, Volume 34, Issue 3

Why India’s Democracy Is Dying

Under Narendra Modi, India is maintaining the trappings of democracy while it increasingly harasses the opposition, attacks minorities, and stifles dissent. It can still reverse course, but the damage is mounting.

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April 2024, Volume 35, Issue 2

The Liberalism of Refuge

Liberal societies are those which offer refuge from the very people they empower—through individual choice, mobility, and the possibility of exit. This is the form of liberty that most clearly elevates the liberal project.

Latest Online Exclusives

Why Ukraine’s Elections Can Wait | Olga Onuch and Lucan Way
Ukrainians’ first priority is defending their country from Russia’s invasion. They would rather hold fair, free, and inclusive elections than vote for the sake of voting.

The BJP Claimed This Financial Tool Would Clean Up Indian Politics. It Did the Opposite. | Vipul Mudgal
“Electoral bonds” were supposed to make political contributions transparent. Instead they became a form of legalized corruption, funneling huge sums and making the political playing field even more uneven.

Standing Up to Africa’s Juntas | Joseph Siegle and Jeffrey Smith
A string of Kremlin-backed military coups have brought a collection of juntas to power. The West should resist calls to placate them, and instead stick to its values and push for a return to civilian rule.

News & Updates

Is Democracy Surviving the “Year of Elections”?

June 2024

Millions of voters are casting ballots in a string of elections across the globe this year. At the midyear point, how well is democracy holding up? These Journal of Democracy essays cover some of the most consequential, transformative, or surprising elections of 2024 thus far.


JoD on APSA Educate

June 2024

APSA Educate, an online library for political science teaching and learning materials, now features a set of Journal of Democracy subject guides. Topics range from AI’s risks for democracy to the crisis of liberalism to the state of democracy in India and Latin America. Visit APSA Educate to learn more.


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The Rise of Political Violence in the United States

In a deeply polarized United States, ordinary people now consume and espouse once-radical ideas and are primed to commit violence.

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How Viktor Orbán Wins

The case of Hungary shows how autocrats can rig elections legally, using legislative majorities to change the law and neutralize the opposition at every turn, no matter what strategy they adopt.

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How Zelensky Has Changed Ukraine

Volodymyr Zelensky is far more than a brave wartime leader. He began changing the tenor and direction of Ukrainian politics long before the people made him their president.