Letter from the Editors
Lee, Kristine, Mitchell, Michael, Harvard International Review
Democracy is at once old and new. From the legacy of ancient Athens to the promise of the Arab Awakening, government of the people, by the people, for the people holds enduring allure. In eras when rule by the richest or the strongest seemed certain to prevail, the power of the people has--time after time--won the day. Because of these struggles, we live in an era in which we, the people, hold unprecedented power. Still, democracy continues to evolve as it confronts new challenges and reaches new frontiers. This issue asks what the future holds for democracy.
Since the dawn of modern democracy, political parties have worked to translate the will of the people into the laws of the land, but does their history demonstrate that they matter? Kenneth Janda takes up this question and suggests that the democracies of the future have much to learn from those of the past. Harris Mylonas examines how democracies manage another potential source of division: religion.
No examination of democracy today would be complete without consideration of the role of the United States. As the unipolar world of US hegemony comes to a close and "the end of history" fails to materialize, Michael Cox traces the history of US support for freedom across the globe. Has US foreign policy predominantly been guided by realist priorities like trade and security, or by a liberal vision of a democratic world order? Staff writer Sarah Fellay uses problems with US campaign finance to initiate a broader conversation about the relationship between money and power. …