- How stable are the world’s democracies? While there is a certain level of complacency among the citizens of most developed countries in the security of their freedom, at least one Harvard historian sees some glaring warning signs. Citing a “freedom index” compiled by Freedom House, Harvard historian Yascha Mounk notes that after rising steadily from the mid-1970s through the early 2000s, the number of countries globally that are considered “free” have been on a steady decline ever since.
- Political scientists have a theory called “democratic consolidation,” which holds that once countries develop democratic institutions, a robust civil society and a certain level of wealth, their democracy is secure.
- For decades, global events seemed to support that idea. Data from Freedom House, a watchdog organization that measures democracy and freedom around the world, shows that the number of countries classified as “free” rose steadily from the mid-1970s to the early 2000s