The BJP Claimed This Financial Tool Would Clean Up Indian Politics. It Did the Opposite.

  • Vipul Mudgal
“Electoral bonds” were supposed to make political contributions transparent. Instead they became a form of legalized corruption, funneling huge sums and making the political playing field even more uneven.
January 2024, Volume 35, Issue 1

Hindu Nationalism and the New Jim Crow

  • Ashutosh Varshney
  • Connor Staggs
While the histories of white supremacy and Hindu supremacy are different, their political objectives are much the same. The BJP is forging a regime of exclusion and oppression as brutal as the Jim Crow South. Only India’s voters can reverse its advance.
April 2024, Volume 35, Issue 2

Power, Performance, and Legitimacy

  • Larry Diamond
Around the world, democracy has lost steam. If we are to regain the momentum, we must harness these essential elements and wage the struggle with the conviction that the times demand.
April 2024, Volume 35, Issue 2

America’s Crisis of Civic Virtue

  • Arthur C. Brooks
The problem for democracy today is not capitalism; it is a decline in public honesty and civility. But there is an opportunity to revive our sense of national community, if we seize it.

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April 2024, Volume 35, Issue 2

The Liberalism of Refuge

Liberal societies are those which offer refuge from the very people they empower—through individual choice, mobility, and the possibility of exit. This is the form of liberty that most clearly elevates the liberal project.


October 2023, Volume 34, Issue 4

AI and Catastrophic Risk

AI with superhuman abilities could emerge within the next few years, and there is currently no guarantee that we will be able to control them. We must act now to protect democracy, human rights, and our very existence.

Latest Online Exclusives

Standing Up to Africa’s Juntas | Joseph Siegle and Jeffrey Smith
A string of Kremlin-backed military coups have brought a collection of juntas to power. The West should resist calls to placate them, and instead stick to its values and push for a return to civilian rule.

Why Georgia Has Erupted in Protest | Ghia Nodia
The country is at risk of collapsing into a full Russian autocracy, and Georgians understand it as a make-or-break moment. The strength and resolve of the country’s civil society will decide the outcome.

Why Militaries Support Presidential Coups | Sharan Grewal
If you want to understand why generals support a presidential power grab, then you need to understand the logic that motivates them. Why they leave the barracks — and what we must do to get them to stand down.

News & Updates

What Are Foreign-Agent Laws? And Why Georgia Has Erupted in Protest.

May 2024

On Tuesday, Georgia’s Parliament passed a controversial new law that would brand NGOs and media organizations receiving foreign funding as “foreign agents.” Countries across the globe are following the Russian model and painting liberal-democratic values as malign foreign interference. Read about the strategies autocrats are devising to repress civil society and stifle dissent.

Why Do Militaries Launch Coups?

May 2024

Coups are a direct assault on democracy. And militaries can be pivotal to whether a coup succeeds or fails. The following Journal of Democracy essays examine what makes coups more likely, and how democracies can keep the military brass from seizing power.

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The Rise of Political Violence in the United States

In a deeply polarized United States, ordinary people now consume and espouse once-radical ideas and are primed to commit violence.


How Viktor Orbán Wins

The case of Hungary shows how autocrats can rig elections legally, using legislative majorities to change the law and neutralize the opposition at every turn, no matter what strategy they adopt.


How Zelensky Has Changed Ukraine

Volodymyr Zelensky is far more than a brave wartime leader. He began changing the tenor and direction of Ukrainian politics long before the people made him their president.