Recent years have seen democratic governments face a variety of challenges from both within and without. Endogenously, many established democracies have become pockmarked by factionalism, polarization, fearmongering, and populism. Exogenously, democratic institutions’ effectiveness is now frequently called into question by the rise of autocratic powers and a range of never-before-experienced global crises that have exposed democracy’s many shortcomings. Against this backdrop there have been widespread calls to ensure that democracies and their institutions become more epistocratic and adept at including the interests of aff ected individuals so that the factionalism and polarization leading to populist backlashes can be averted.

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Democratic Theory

An Interdisciplinary Journal