The Crisis of Western Democracy: Have Governments Lost the Ability to Self-Correct?
Western democracy finds itself in crisis. Trust in the political institutions of democracy – parties, elections, parliaments, governments – is in free fall. Over the last three decades, democracy has largely triumphed around the world, with more people voting now than ever before. But in many European countries, the majority of people have lost the feeling that their vote really matters as democracy is increasingly substituted by technocratic government. In the United States, governmental paralysis and the inability of institutions to govern has led to growing distrust between Americans and their elected leaders.
One of the great ironies of today’s western democracies is that the key factors that contributed to their success are also leading to the erosion of popular trust in democratic institutions. This is not an outcome of some institutional failure of democracy; on the contrary it is a product of democracy’s success. The key question going forward is: Will democracy transformed still be able to self-correct?
On Thursday, December 13, 2012 the TA hosted a timely discussion with Ivan Krastev, Transatlantic Academy Bosch Public Policy Fellow and chairman of the Centre for Liberal Strategies in Sofia, Bulgaria. GMF Vice President of Programs, Ivan Vejvoda, provided introductory remarks and serve as moderator.