The future of democracy

Standing on the site of the bloodiest battle of the American Civil War, Abraham Lincoln made a two-minute speech that would go down as one of the greatest in history. The Gettysburg Address is a celebration of democracy: “Government of the people, by the people, for the people”. Today the future of this ancient and radical idea is uncertain: the percentage of people living in “full democracies” has halved since 2015, while the US has been downgraded by the Economist Intelligence Unit to “flawed” status. A recent University of Cambridge survey found that only 48% of millennials are satisfied with democratic systems. Over a third of the world still lives under authoritarian rule. Is democracy in crisis?

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