For Global Democracy, These Are the Worst of Times, but Also the Best of Times

A Rising Tide of Authoritarianism Co-Exists With Advancing Forms of Participatory and Direct Democracy

Right now, it can feel like the worst of times for democracy. It also can feel like the best of times.

Democracy is under stress around the world from authoritarians and dictatorships—even as citizens make steady and historic progress in advancing newer forms of participatory and direct democracy, said a panel of democracy scholars and practitioners at a Zócalo/Global Forum on Modern Direct Democracy event, titled “Should Global Democracy Become More Direct?”

The four panelists appeared together via live-stream from their home countries, all touching the Pacific Ocean—Chile, Mexico, Taiwan, and the …