Policy Research: Democratic Backsliding and Manipulation in the 21st Century

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Democracies have established themselves as the norm in the 21st century but are under threat from backsliding and political manipulation. This paper will examine the philosophical and structural flaws inhibiting modern democracies, with a particular focus on the United States of America. Specifically, this paper will analyze the historical expansion of US suffrage rights and current barriers to universal suffrage with a comprehensive multi-tiered approach. The challenges faced by democracies will be examined on four different levels: regional, state, federal, and global. The paper will then posit potential solutions for each tier. It will also consider the growth of the People’s Republic of China and other authoritarian states under the status quo and their erosion of the modern democratic order through tacit and direct means.

Main Author: Yingbo Wang

Co-authors: Zhuangyan Shi, Jaxon Xie, and Leah del Fierro

Research Paper Type: IR Evaluative Paper

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