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February 7, 2018

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Democracy's Global Retreat

February 7, 2018


In an earlier post, I'd referenced a Journal of Democracy article about some interesting findings that suggest many citizens in democratic nations would willingly "trade" or give up aspects of a healthy democracy for greater economic security. The Economist provides some data to show numbers behind this trend of a "global democratic recession."


What is interesting and less known to me is whether peacetime economic growth is correlated with strong and healthy democratic systems. While it is true that trade relations are excellent integrators of markets and governments (not to mention preventive of war), it is unclear whether authoritarian states or monarchies could deliver equivalent goods in our modern context. The story of 150 years of explosive global economic growth is the story of the rise of two rival doctrines, capitalism and modern democracy.


Whether both vibrant and mature polities and markets can endure within the frameworks of laissez faire capitalism and representative democracy appears to be the question of our age.

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