Ebb Tide of Freedom?: The Future of Democracy

Publication Date: January 2008

Publisher: Hoover Institution on War, Revolution, and Peace

Author(s): Niall Ferguson

Research Area: Human rights

Keywords: Democracy

Type: Report


After riding high on the wave of democracy that began with the 1989 fall of the Berlin wall, the recent events on nearly every continent unsettle those who dream of a world governed by the ballot box rather than the bullet. There is no reason that Democracy should not be possible in any of the world’s civilizations; however, it can (and probably must) be a protracted process. And that is precisely why it would be rash, after a few bad years, to prophesy the death of democracy—as rash as it was to predict its triumph after a few good ones.