The future of democracy: an interesting idea

by VanessaVaile

Bryan Alexander

How will governments change?  Will the 21st century see more or fewer democracies? A fascinating new Pew Research survey examines global attitudes towards governmental structures, and offers a glimpse into several possible futures.

Let me draw out what I think of as some key findings, then offer some thoughts about where this might all be headed.

To begin, Pew put forward several models of modern government and asked if respondents would support each.  They included, in order of descending popularity, representative democracy, direct democracy, rule by experts, rule by a strong leader, and a military regime.

The good news (if you like democracy) is that about one quarter of the human race really likes democracy.  The less good news is that almost one half approve of democracy, but also enjoy at least one of the above alternatives:

Respondents who say a representative democracy is good but also support at least…

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