Democracy once seemed an inexorable part of human progress. As the Berlin Wall fell, Francis Fukuyama famously declared that liberal, capitalist democracy was ‘The End of History’ (1992). Fukuyama has conceded that democracies can go backwards. But the situation looks very different today.
The Future of Democracy initiative will be a unique programme of research and engagement, to bring together academics, politicians, policymakers and the public to explore the shape and health of democracy. It will assess the central issues of 21st century politics and ask what they mean for democracy. Some of the questions we will ask are:
- Does representative democracy, as it elects nationalist ring-wing forces in various countries, threaten the democratic rights of minorities?
- How can elections work democratically in an age of misinformation and online abuse?
- How might technology help us become more active and informed citizens?
Such questions will fall under interconnected themes combining research and public engagement, and aim to help inform and support the general debate about the future of society.