Representative democracy is making ﬁtful progress around the world, with remarkable advances in some regions and major setbacks in others. Its progress is menaced by religious fundamentalism, ethnic domination and conﬂicts, military coups and war. For every Yugoslavia where the people rose in protest against rigged elections, there is a Zimbabwe where a brutal electoral dictator seeks to perpetuate his corrupt rule by subverting the rule of law, using state and irregular forces to terrorise political opponents and the media, and systematically spreading fear. But there are other more insidious menaces too.
People in new and democratising states embrace the idea of democracy with enthusiasm, but that enthusiasm too often turns to disillusionment when they ﬁnd that they still have limited purchase on power and their daily lives are little changed.