Fareed Zakaria made a scary prediction about democracy in 1997 — and it's coming true

"I thought this was interesting, especially with regards to the decline of political parties as a moderating force." Nora Hazi

Twenty years ago, CNN’s Fareed Zakaria wrote an essay in Foreign Affairs titled “The Rise of Illiberal Democracy.” His thesis was that democracies around the world were surrendering to illiberal reforms, and that the strands holding the traditions of democracy and liberalism together were rapidly eroding.

“From Peru to the Palestinian Authority, from Sierra Leone to Slovakia, from Pakistan to the Philippines,” he wrote, “we see the rise of a disturbing phenomenon in international life — illiberal democracy.”

Zakaria’s piece made an important distinction between democracy and liberalism, constructs that are often conflated. Democracy is a process for choosing leaders; it’s about popular participation. To say that a state is democratic is to say little about how it is actually governed.  read more