What Is the Future of Democracy?
International IDEA expert Annika Silva-Leander shared her views on the challenges, potentials and limitations of the Summit for Democracy for the Robert Bosch Stiftung. Democracy is facing unprecedented challenges: we see a decline in the number of democracies, the quality of these democracies is declining, and more and more countries continue to move further into authoritarianism. The Summit is an unprecedented initiative with much potential for opportunity, but it is important that it does not become "just a high-level summit with lofty goals and few concrete results." Her analysis of the initial results of the Summit is not optimistic: more than half of verbal statements made at the Summit included very generic or no commitments, and though the deadline for written commitments passed on 7 January, by 22 January, only five countries had made written commitments. Moving forward, Silva-Leander recommends a more inclusive approach for civil society, especially in agenda-setting with the second Summit and expanding their participation to more actors from the Global South, and hopes that issues will be broadened to include other topics such as the integrity of elections. Also useful would be to look at the multilateral system and what role it can play to counter negative democratic trends.