Democracies in Crisis
W 2017

This SDG focuses on two simultaneous and possibly connected political crises. Our primary theme is the stalemate of democracies in advanced industrial societies, signaled by increasing economic concentration and popular distrust of mainline institutions. A secondary topic is the stalling or reversal of democratization in China, Russia, parts of Latin America, and in countries in the Arab spring orbit.

The U.S. is a prime example of the first crisis. What are the antecedents of the decline in political trust, of policy gridlock, of the rise of conservative as well as leftwing populism?

Similarly, what historical and cultural factors account for the disenchantment with recent waves of democratization outside the U.S. and Western Europe?