Democracy Embattled

Issue Date January 2020
Volume 31
Issue 1
Page Numbers 5-10
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Five years ago, the contributors to the Journal of Democracy‘s twenty-fifth anniversary issue (January 2015) expressed varying views in responding to the question “Is Democracy in Decline?” In the Journal’s thirtieth anniversary issue (January 2020), there is greater consensus about the global condition of democracy. It is facing grave threats, both internal and external. But while the situation is grim, there are also rays of hope. The instinct for freedom remains powerful, as has been demonstrated by massive prodemocracy protests in a number of countries. Moreover, unlike five years ago, today democrats around the world have become aware of the magnitude of the challenges to democracy and the need to defend it.

About the Author

Marc F. Plattner is a member of the National Endowment for Democracy (NED) Board of Directors. He was on the NED staff from 1984 until 2020, serving first as the director of the grants program. In 1989, he became founding coeditor (with Larry Diamond) of the Journal of Democracy. He later served as codirector of the International Forum for Democratic Studies and as NED’s vice-president for research and studies.

View all work by Marc F. Plattner