Democracy is in recession. After spreading across the globe between the 1970s and early 2000s, it is in retreat. Also in retreat is the belief in a liberal global economy. Is there a connection between the two? Yes. Democracy and capitalism are married, yet it has often been a turbulent union. Today, it is going through a rough patch. Larry Diamond of the Hoover Institution has propounded the idea of a "democratic recession". Roberto Foa of the University of Melbourne and Harvard’s Yascha Mounk have referred to "the democratic disconnect", pointing to a depressing loss of belief in democracy spreading through the US and Europe. In its latest annual report, Freedom House states that "67 countries suffered net declines in political rights and civil liberties in 2016, compared with 36 that registered gains. "This marked the 11th consecutive year in which declines outnumbered improvements." The election of Donald Trump as US president demonstrates hostility to liberal trade.Post-crisis ...

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