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Why the Future Cannot Be Predicted

Accepted version
Peer-reviewed

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Type

Article

Change log

Authors

Foa, RS 
Mounk, Y 
Klassen, A 

Abstract

In recent years, public-opinion scholars have raised concerns about declining satisfaction with democracy's performance and, in some countries, eroding democratic support. While these trends raise questions regarding democratic stability, other scholars have suggested that measures of social liberalism offer a more optimistic picture. Social-liberal values are rising globally, they assert, and since the presence of such values have correlated with past democratic transitions, a bright future for democracy awaits. However, in this article we find little evidence to link social liberalism to democratization—or even that social-liberal values are rising outside of existing democracies. While there are good reasons to envisage a future wave of democratic transitions, such global-values measures cannot inform their timing, location, or rationale.

Description

Keywords

4408 Political Science, 44 Human Society

Journal Title

Journal of Democracy

Conference Name

Journal ISSN

1045-5736
1086-3214

Volume Title

33

Publisher

Project MUSE