Distinguished Professor Ali Riaz has published a commentary on the global crisis of democracy. In the essay titled “Democracy in Crisis: What We Know and What We Don’t” Riaz notes that since the beginning of the decade democratic values and democratic institutions are under assault. He explains that in the past decade academics, activists and policy-makers have identified the defining features of the decline of democracy, who are the principal actors of this assault on democracy and how democracy erodes.

He notes that decline of democracy means that citizens’ fundamental rights are severely curtailed, freedom of expressions and assembly become limited, media face severe restrictions and the judiciary becomes subordinate to the executive; and often demagogue ascends to the helm of power. It is evident that the principal threat to democracy comes from the radical right-wing populists, and ironically, the anti-democratic populists have risen to power through electoral processes.

Riaz argues that while there is a consensus on these aspects, the causes of the rise are yet to be determined. The commentary is published in the Daily Star.