Laura Thornton, Annika Silva-Leander
One hundred countries joined Biden’s Summit for Democracy in December 2021 to demonstrate their commitment to, and develop strategies to defend, democracy during a time of increased autocratic threats. While the event was largely aspirational and sparse on details, a “year of action” was launched to develop concrete commitments and embark upon reforms.
So far, there has been little visible action. Only six of the 98 countries have made their written commitments publicly available by the early January deadline. Without more countries following suit, the summit is in danger of fulfilling critics’ accusations of being an empty initiative of lofty lip service and little action. This is a missed opportunity.