By the end of 2019, more people will have cast a vote than ever before. Nearly 2 billion voters in 50 countries around the world will have headed to the polls to elect their leaders. At the same time, data show that citizens’ trust in governments is weak and political polarization is growing almost everywhere. Many are feeling left behind and find it hard to coexist with people who have different views. Social networks and echo chambers amplify this mistrust. Simultaneously, the world is getting richer, with just over half of the global population now middle class or wealthier. Many countries, ranging from autocracies to liberal democracies, are struggling to form political platforms that can satisfy a broad middle-class majority.
On October 31, the Global Economy and Development program at Brookings and the Center for the Implementation of Public Policies for Equity and Growth (CIPPEC) from Argentina co-hosted an event to assess democratic trends in the developing world and tease out implications for growth and development, drawing from recent electoral results in Africa, Latin America, and South Asia. The event kicked off with a brief presentation on global attitudes toward democracy by the Pew Research Center. A moderated panel with regional experts followed.
Following the discussion, the panel answered questions from the audience.