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Preventing and Reversing “Democratic” Backsliding

by Norman Eisen, Andrew Kenealy, Susan Corke, Torrey Taussig, and Alina Polyakova

Executive Summary

The Democracy Playbook sets forth strategies and actions that supporters of liberal democracy can implement to halt and reverse democratic backsliding and make democratic institutions work more effectively for citizens.

The strategies are deeply rooted in the evidence: what the scholarship and practice of democracy teach us about what does and does not work.

We hope that diverse groups and individuals will find the syntheses herein useful as they design catered, context-specific strategies for contesting and resisting the illiberal toolkit.

This playbook is organized into two principal sections: one dealing with actions that domestic actors can take within democracies, including retrenching ones, and the second section addressing the role of international actors in supporting and empowering pro-democracy actors on the ground. Those recommendations are summarized here.

Editor’s note: the use of quotes and bold by editor. This is the “liberal democracy” playbook. To understand the correct meaning of the word “democracy” as it is used here, it appears that the word “liberal” should be inserted before it each time it appears, as in the first sentence of the executive summary. Reminder: We are not a “democracy”. We are a republic.

Photo: Protesters take part in a demonstration outside the office of the prime minister in Valletta, Malta.



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