Why the Next Democracy Summit Must Go Beyond Civil Society Support

By Katya Rimkunas, Patrick Quirk
14 Feb 2023

The inaugural summit provided a high-level platform for the Biden administration to repeat its rhetoric, affirming U.S. support for democracy overseas and warning of the escalating contest between democracy and autocracy.

Unfortunately, this position hasn’t always been backed by action. While the gathering highlighted the need to push back against authoritarianism, the administration undercut this aim by advancing too narrow of a solution—one focused disproportionately on supporting civil society and curbing graft without shoring up the institutions of governance that make democracy deliver.

Political parties are the most prevalent and efficacious forms of political organization and representation across the globe. Parties channel citizens’ views into platforms and are integral to democratic political competition. Victorious candidates transition their apparatus into office, making effective political parties essential to governing.

Despite the central role parties serve in the democratic architecture of functioning societies, not a single 2021 U.S. commitment included a call to prioritize or expand support to them…


February 15, 2023|Blog|