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Cover Democracies and Authoritarian Regimes

Andrea Kendall-Taylor, Natasha Lindstaedt, and Erica Frantz

Chapter

Cover Democracies and Authoritarian Regimes

15. Conclusion: The Future of Democracy  

This concluding chapter outlines a number of factors that will potentially shape the future trajectory of democracy. It is impossible to forecast with any certainty democracy's future trajectory. The state of global democracy will be determined by a number of complex, dynamic, and inter-related factors. Based on current trends and future projections about the state of the global economy, levels of instability and conflict, technological change, and China's development, it appears that the risks of a widespread authoritarian resurgence have grown. Given these prospects, it is important to consider the implications of a rise in the number of autocracies worldwide. How would a widespread authoritarian resurgence affect today's global order? Policymakers, analysts, and academics widely agree that the norms, values, laws, and institutions that have undergirded the international system and governed relationships between nations are being stretched and strained. Widespread democratic decline would also accelerate changes in today's global order.