October 2023

Volume 34, Issue 4

How Guatemala Defied the Odds

Almost no one expected a little-known candidate to defeat the ruling antidemocratic regime at the ballot box. But the Guatemalan opposition, backed by the international community, exploited the criminal oligarchy’s fissures to halt the country’s authoritarian slide.

Democracy’s Devout Defenders

When Africa’s leaders act undemocratically, they face an unexpected opponent—the power of the pulpit. Within civil society, church leaders and their faithful have become leading defenders of liberal democracy.

The Rise of Theocratic Democracy

Theocratic democracy, the de facto grand bargain between religious groups and political leaders, offers key insights into the relationship between faith, freedom, and the global democratic recession.

Symposium: Artificial Intelligence and Democracy

Artificial Intelligence and Democracy

In this symposium, the Journal of Democracy brings together leading thinkers, experts, and technologists to explore the challenges that artificial intelligence poses for humanity, and how democratic institutions can be marshaled to help meet those challenges.


AI and Catastrophic Risk

AI with superhuman abilities could emerge within the next few years, and there is currently no guarantee that we will be able to control them. We must act now to protect democracy, human rights, and our very existence.


How AI Threatens Democracy

Generative AI can flood the media, internet, and even personal correspondence with misinformation—sowing confusion for voters and government officials alike. If we fail to act, mounting mistrust will polarize our societies and tear at our institutions.

The Danger of Runaway AI

Science fiction may soon become reality with the advent of AI systems that can independently pursue their own objectives. Guardrails are needed now to save us from the worst outcomes.

The Authoritarian Data Problem

AI is destined to become another stage for geopolitical conflict. In this contest, autocracies have the advantage, as they vacuum up valuable data from democracies, while democracies inevitably incorporate data tainted by repression.

Reimagining Democracy for AI

Advances in AI are rapidly disrupting the foundations of democracy and the international order. We must reinvent our democratic infrastructure to ensure our ability to govern in a dramatically different technological world.

Documents on Democracy

A final statement by Russian activist and opposition politician Alexei Navalny; The North Atlantic Council’s communiqué on Ukraine; Legal analyst Ethan Hee-Seok’s testimony on North Korean asylum-seekers at the China–North Korea border; “Voices of a New Belarus” by playwright Andrei Kureichik; Guatemalan president-elect Bernardo Arévalo’s victory speech.