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Societies around the world are continuing experiments with democracy in a myriad of ways. While legacies of colonialism, mass migration, and pluralism have shaped democratic outcomes, in the Global South societies such as India and Indonesia are among the world’s largest democracies. These postcolonial nations, like many others, include multiethnic, multireligious, and multilinguistic populations. Accompanying such diversity are heated debates on protecting minority rights, preserving the rule of law, and addressing corruption. However, from East to West, the rise of authoritarian populism has brought new challenges to democratic ideals of free speech, civil liberties, and a free press. As human societies continue to evolve, there are pressing questions about what a democratic future looks like. Will growing inequality undermine democratic practices? As competition for natural resources intensifies, how will countries balance economic growth and conflict? What role will technology continue to play in civic participation and social movements? And what might direct democracy look like beyond the confines of the nation-state?
Democracy in the World 2017
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